It’s hard to believe that it’s already July and even harder to believe that December is less than 6 months away. The end of the year is approaching fast and so is your company’s holiday party. What separates mediocre parties from amazing ones is the preparation. Starting the planning process now will prevent issues and stress as the event gets closer. So here are 5 tips for why you should start planning your Holiday or end-of-the-year party now before it’s too late – straight from the event planning experts here at Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s!
Tip 1 – Available dates are limited in December, Book Your Vendors Now
When it comes to planning a holiday party, there are many decisions to make. Most importantly is the “where”. If you’re hoping to take the team out of the office, you’ll definitely want to start looking at venues now.
Throwing a party in the office is fine, but it can make for a very stiff event. Everyone is still at work and may feel like the only thing they can talk about is work. Having an event elsewhere gives your coworkers an opportunity to relax and mingle. If you’re at an outside venue, you can have your staff invite “plus ones”, which can diverge the conversation from just work topics and help employees get to know each other better.
If you look at a calendar, holiday dates are tight this year. Thanksgiving is during the last week of November. And since Christmas Eve is on a Tuesday, you may find that most of your staff has left already for Christmas vacation the weekend before. That leaves only 2 weekends available in December to have your party.
And it’s not just venues that will book up fast. Catering, entertainment, and decorators will start filling spots now for the end of the year.
Tip 2 – Opportunity to pick a theme that isn’t “Christmas”
Think outside the box and come up with a different theme for this year’s party.
Your team might love dressing up for a formal Christmas party. Fancy is fun! Or have a time period theme like an 60’s party and watch your staff laugh at each other’s retro clothes.
Once you pick a theme, it will be easy to plan everything else around it. If you’re having an upscale party, of course you’re not going to be serving pizza out of the box. If you’d like to incorporate the latest superhero movie at your party, make sure there’s fun movie décor. If you’re thinking of an 80’s themed party, rent some cool arcade games and a band that can hit the high notes in “Take on me.”
If you’d rather not have a party atmosphere at all, but still want it to be a professional event for your staff – consider having an awards show. Roll out the red carpet and give trophies to all the hard workers on your team. Your staff will love looking back on the accomplishments of this year and will be happy for the opportunity to celebrate each other.
There are lots of options in this area so put on your thinking cap and get creative!
Tip 3 – Time to save for presents and put in orders for personalized gifts
Ask any child why Christmas is their favorite holiday and they will tell you “presents.” The excitement of receiving gifts doesn’t go away with age. Your staff will appreciate something extra-special from you this holiday season, so start saving now for great gifts!
Everyone loves money and gift cards; they’ll always get a great reaction from your staff. But if you’re thinking of having a silent auction, raffle, or award show where you’re giving out big ticket items, start stocking up now and your staff will be blown away with all the options they have. Keep an eye out for major sales throughout rest of the year like Black Friday.
Give your team some company pride this holiday season with personalized apparel with your business logo. Collecting sizes and names ahead of time will give your custom printing company enough time to fill your order and correct any mistakes.
Another important part of the holiday season is giving back. Putting a ticking clock on the end of the year for your team to make a donation to a local charity could not only double as doing something good but also has the potential for team building throughout the year. Your crew will have a sense of pride to be a part of the “check handing off” ceremony.
Tip 4 – Get Quotes for Entertainers and Other Vendors
Actors, magicians, and bands are a great way to get your workforce interacting, dancing and unwinding at your holiday party. By starting the planning process now, you have lots of opportunities to be the first to scout out your entertainment. Make sure your magician can do more than card tricks, and that your DJ can play all the hits and isn’t an amateur DeadMau5.
Now is also the time to shop around and get quotes from
caterers, decorators and other vendors.
Having tastings with different caterers ensures the flavors you choose
fit your party. If you have vegetarians or other team members with food
allergies, make sure that they will work around those food issues. When you’re
paying for the food, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth and not
have your employees stuck eating celery sticks and hummus all night! Talk about
these issues with prospective caterers and see how they can help. At Catering
by Jonathan Byrd’s, we offer an array of different options for your event. We
can create lots of different food choices and serve them on everything from
, to plated dinners , to interactive customizable
stations. We can also work within your
budget to design a memorable meal that your staff will be talking about for
Also, now is a good time to survey your team. What do they want to do at a party that celebrates them? You may find that they would rather have more of an intimate gathering rather than a loud party. If you have an active staff, give them physical games like a mechanical bull or an inflatable obstacle course. Finding what fits your team best will determine the overall success of your party.
Tip 5 – Explore your options to save
Maybe there’s no money in the budget this year to have a party outside of the office and you can’t give away big-screen televisions but you still want to show your staff you care about them. Bringing a catered lunch or breakfast into the office will also make your staff happy and give them a well-deserved break.
Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s can also provide bartenders and alcohol if you’re looking for an in-office happy hour. By serving just beer and wine, a speciality seasonal cocktail, or using drink tickets, you can help cut costs of the overall party.
Holding your event on a weeknight rather than on a weekend may be a cheaper option at certain venues as well. Your staff will the change of scenery and breaking the monotony of a normal work week and you will enjoy still being able to give your employees a night out without spending a lot of money. Consider also having a full staff meeting at this time. The end of the year might be the only time that your staff can come together to pep each other up to finish the year strong.
If you’re looking for a facility that can accommodate your whole staff for the company holiday party this year, check out 502 East in Carmel. Or if you’re searching for catering for your in-office party, call Catering by Jonathan Byrd’s. But call today before the hottest holiday dates fill up!
For More Tips on Planning Your Holiday Party – Check us out talking on WISH TV’s Indy Style!