Planning a company holiday party can be overwhelming — especially when you’re working with the schedule of an entire office. Chances are, every employee has several other parties they’ve already committed to — and there are only so many Saturdays during the season. But, before you can plan anything, you have to pick a date. So what are some things to remember when booking a date for your holiday office party? Check out our holiday party planning tips to make the process less stressful.

Plan Early.
This one is obvious, but it’s also the most ignored. Why? Because who is thinking of a holiday party in July? Planning at least six months in advance will give you your first choice of dates, select a great venue, find catering, and give your team enough notice.

Are you already scrambling to organize everything at the last minute? We get it. Check out our tips for planning a last minute holiday party.

Don’t pick a Saturday.
Yes, Saturday is an ideal day for most parties. It’s not a weekday and you have all of Sunday to recover. However, when it comes to office parties, we don’t recommend it. As we said, there are only so many Saturdays and most of your employees will have already booked them for parties with friends and family. If you need a venue for the party, Saturday will also be the most expensive.

Instead, we recommend planning something for mid-week to save on money. Most office party planners have one day they prefer: Thursday. No one has to sacrifice one of their precious weekend nights, and, if everyone is dragging the next day, a slow Friday is better than a slow Wednesday. If you do have a mid-week party or are simply feeling generous, offer a catered mini-breakfast — or aspirin — the next day to give everyone a boost. We also recommend starting the party an hour before your office closes to give people more incentive to attend.

If you are really tight on a budget, Monday-Wednesday will be your cheapest options. You can even consider hosting the party in October, November, or January for a possible bargain. Check out our post on planning a holiday office party on a budget.

Offer options.
Have you narrowed down a few dates, but don’t know which one will work? Send out a quick poll to your employees. They’ll appreciate having a say and this increases how many people will end up attending. After all, don’t you want your employees showing up?

Once you have your date nailed down, the fun really begins! Hornblower Cruises & Events is a great venue for your holiday office party. With 35+ years in the event planning industry and over 50,000 corporate events under our belt, we know a thing or two about how to create an unforgettable, epic experience. Check us out in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, Long Beach, San Diego and New York!

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