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How to Plan a Holiday Party at Work
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Holiday Party at Work: The Ultimate Checklist

February 14, 2019
How to Plan a Holiday Party at Work

Holiday parties are filled with cheerful conversation, laughter and appreciation for everyone in the workplace. For many companies and employees, the holiday gathering has a reputation as the biggest event of the year. Planning such an event should not be taken lightly. If you were the lucky individual tasked with putting together the corporate party plan this year, follow these steps for effective party planning. They will guide you in the right direction and allow you to throw a grand event where every guest will leave with a smile on their face.

What Are The Steps for a Holiday Party at Work?

1. Decide on a Party Theme

It becomes easy to overlook the general picture of the party when you get too caught up in the details. Creating a solid idea as a foundation will make planning much simpler. You should decide how you want guests to feel at your event and the atmosphere you are hoping to achieve. People attending the party want to have a relaxing and memorable time. If you decide on a general theme for the holiday party, everything else will fall into place. Whether it be decorations, invitation, music or the venue, you can tweak each element to relate back to the party mood and theme.

The theme also determines how attendees will dress. If you are hoping to host a glamorous employee Christmas party, guests will need to dress up much more than at an event with a playful theme. Picking a theme that will encourage people to dress differently from their day-to-day office look, or show a new side of their personality, will likely have great success.

If you’re having trouble deciding on what exactly you want out of your party, envision yourself going to the greatest holiday party you can think of, and go from there. Things you enjoy at a work gathering are likely similar to what your party goers will be expecting at your event.

2. Finalize a Team and Make a Budget  ‍

Corporate holiday party planning requires an organized individual as a leader. However, the planning team that works with the leader shares the responsibility. If you’re in charge of an event, you should recruit a team that will help to make the planning process as stress free as possible. The people you surround yourself with should be individuals who you trust to assign tasks to and enjoy having around.

Once the team comes together, decide on a budget. You should talk to your boss about what he or she expects and what the holiday party plan costs have been in the past. Throughout planning, use a general spreadsheet to keep track of expenses.

3. Pick a Date

Picking a date for the holiday party may be harder than expected. If you have a small budget, a lunchtime gathering might be the best choice. If your budget is larger, consider a dinnertime event or evening gathering. Also consider the day of the week your event will take place. Don’t assume that because people are not at work on the weekends, they have ample free time. The best time for a corporate gathering may be during an extended lunch hour or even a Monday night. Try to pick a date and time that would fit well into your employees’ schedules. You want to ensure enough people will come to the event that you put so much time into planning.

4. Choose a Venue ‍

Once a team has been assembled, a budget has been decided and a date has been set, you need to choose a venue. Try to find a space that will work well for the number of guests you plan to accommodate. Hosting the corporate holiday party outside the office will make the event more memorable and allow co-workers to interact in a different environment.

Visit the venue in person before making a final decision. You want to walk around and envision your holiday event plan coming to life. Take photos to refer back to as you plan the logistics of the party.


5. Guest List  

Reassess your theme before inviting guests. You should be confident about the decisions you’ve made and be excited to see your plan come together.

The invitations should detail when and where the party will take place, what employees should wear and if they are allowed any guests. In addition to invitations, talk about the party around the workplace. Mention it in passing or even in a meeting. Make sure everyone feels welcome and included.  

6. Plan the Details of the Night

Be organized when planning the smaller aspects of the event so you always have a record to refer to. Besides the venue and any entertainers, caterers, bar workers and staff must be booked. Figure out if the venue supplies any equipment or if you’ll need to find a party rental vendor for tables and chairs. Consider whether or not you will need any additional lighting or significant decoration additions.

When deciding on a caterer and a menu, check to ensure there will be options for all guests in attendance. The food served should accommodate those with allergies or dietary restrictions. Decide if you want someone in the office to give a speech or if you need to look elsewhere. A great host or speaker can help set the mood of a party.

7. Focus on your Employees

Your corporate party plan should include an element that makes employees feel valued. Consider hosting an awards ceremony that your party goers can look forward to. The holiday party should be a fun and relaxing time for co-workers to bond with one another outside of the workplace, but also a time to be acknowledged for the great work they put into the company.

Creating friendly competition can also make the event more fun for your employees. Think about setting up some sort of tournament or even a gift exchange to embrace the holiday spirit.

Written by:

Junel Seet
Digital Marketing at Kisi