3 Holiday Party Planning Tips from the Pros | Windy City Fieldhouse

Xmas Lights

It’s warm outside, and the beaches are open…so, you’re planning your company’s holiday party, right?

We know it can be a real challenge to focus on planning a holiday party at this time of year, but we also know that many of you are starting the process. And that’s exactly what it is – a process; one that most of us do not engage on a full-time basis.

That’s why we want to help you get organized for the upcoming festivities by focusing on three important considerations for your company party.

Get your tablet out; it’s time to take some notes.

Space

You can’t have a party without the perfect place, right? The space you choose is going to impact just about every other aspect of the holiday party, like which activities you can do, what kind of food you can serve, and how much revelry can ensue.

Before you start calling around for quotes, do a head count (don’t forget to include significant others, clients or vendors, if you’re inviting them). You’re going to want a space that can accommodate a guest list of about 20-50 more people than you plan to invite. Why? Because even though it’s winter and cold, it can get hot inside the venue with so many people. And because you never know when a spontaneous dance party will break out.

Another space factor: ambiance. Is it bright and airy or dark and moody? Knowing what kind of vibe you are trying to create can help you narrow down the spaces to consider. Not sure what type of environment you need? Think about the personalities and interests of the employees, and that should help inspire you.

Food

Let’s be honest for a minute; the quality and amount of food you have at a company holiday party is crucial. Most guests are going to arrive on an empty stomach, expecting to be fed, and it’s a good idea to have a hearty offering if you’re serving adult beverages.

Another pro trip for holiday parties: consider food allergies. With gluten-free and dairy-free diets of increasing influence, and many allergies to peanuts, soy and other ingredients, you may want to discuss having some options on the menu for these folks. It’s just the right thing to do.

Entertainment

O.k., so maybe your teammates are entertainment enough in the office, but you probably don’t want to depend on them to make your company holiday party a success.

Instead, consider your venue, the amount of time you have, and the personality types of your group. If yours is a more reserved crew, then you may choose to incorporate small group activities. On the other hand, if your group is more boisterous, then a large collaborative task may be just what you need. Consider something out of the ordinary like stuffing stockings for needy children, putting together care packages for overseas military staff, or a holiday karaoke sing-off.

However you decide to approach your holiday party planning this year, keep these cornerstones in mind as you move through each phase. And, if you find that it becomes too overwhelming, you can always send an S.O.S. to the holiday party planning veterans.

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