How to Throw a Great Holiday Party

With the year coming to a close, it can only mean one thing: it is time to start planning for that annual holiday event. Even though holiday gatherings are typically planned to reward associates and employees with a fun experience, being the one behind the curtain planning all the details can be anything but enjoyable. From the tracking down the right venue to the hiring suitable entertainment, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all that has to be done.

Yet, planning a great holiday party doesn’t have to be stressful. Check out these tips from a professional event planning service and breeze through the whole ordeal without so much hassle.

Start Planning Early On

It is never too early to get the plans lined up for a holiday gathering for a large group. In fact, a lot of the stress can be deducted if planning starts early, even if the final event date is yet to be decided. Create a party-planning checklist as early as when the initial idea to host a party is formed.

Go ahead and enlist the aid of others to help plan the event and designate them with specific tasks, such as hiring the caterer or creating a guest list. Don’t forget to also plan to set a date far enough in advance that attendees can plan for it, and don’t pick a date that will interfere with other things, whether it is employee vacations or other local happenings.

Stay Organized

Invest in an inexpensive binder or designate a digital file folder to keep running lists of things like:

  • master to-do list with all necessary tasks
  • a shopping list for party supplies
  • a list of attendees and their contact and RSVP information
  • a timetable to complete things, such as finding and contracting the best venue or hiring a DJ
  • a complete list of event-related contacts, such as caterers and entertainers

Consider Implementing a Holiday Party Theme

Themed parties are often more associated with birthdays or even weddings, but a theme helps a planner visualize the exact setting and give a higher level of focus on what has to be done to pull it off. For example, if you go with a ‘Santa’s Workshop’ theme, you could enlist the entertainment of a children’s choir and use fun and cheerful decorations that coincide. Besides, just think how much fun it will be to create a ‘Winter Wonderland’ or ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ party.

Don’t Skip Professional Invites and RSVPs

It is pretty common for corporate holiday parties to be announced via a mass email or company-wide announcement in a meeting. However, it is much easier to get a handle on how many guests will show up if you are sure they got an invite. So go ahead and take the extra step to have professional invites sent or handed out with RSVPs tucked inside. It will be a lot easier to plan appropriately if the number of guests expected to be in attendance is known in advance.

Think About Skipping a Massive Meal and Opting for Appetizers and Hors ‘d Oeuvres Instead

A big dinner or full-course meal is a lot harder to pull off for a large group of people and it can be more costly to achieve. Plus, most people at a corporate event will be mingling, talking amongst themselves, and enjoying whatever entertainment is provided, so the focus of the party does not have to be all about the food. Choosing easy appetizers instead of complex meal plans can bring down the complexity of the planning process dramatically and will likely work just as well.

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