As the holidays come around, it is time for celebrations, including the office holiday party. Often companies ask so much of employees and the holidays are a perfect time for everyone to slow down a little and take some time to enjoy one another and be recognized for their hard work. If you’ve been assigned the task of planning a holiday party, you may not know where to begin and you may feel a bit overwhelmed. There is a lot to consider when planning a company party that will be memorable for all and this list will help you easily curate an event.

Company holiday parties are an excellent way for employees to bond and feel appreciated during the holiday season. These company holiday events are a way to recognize employees’ hard work throughout the year by providing a fun environment filled with drinks, delicious food, and activities (like a gift exchange). The company wants to ensure that everyone in attendance enjoys themselves and there are a few simple ways to make sure that this happens. 

Continue reading to learn more about how to plan a company holiday party with everything you need to know to plan a successful and memorable event. 


Why Should You Plan a Corporate Holiday Party?

If your company is on the fence about planning a holiday party for the employees, it’s essential to consider the following. These points will offer benefits for companies that hold corporate holiday parties


People standing on deck of boat

1 Holiday parties help employees build relationships
These relationships are between coworkers and those with higher positions, such as management. Employees and managers can learn about each other on a human level in a more relaxed environment. This way, employees feel seen as individuals.Some employees never have an opportunity to interact with people in other departments or in various positions, and this time together allows team members to make themselves more visible and can boost morale. Plus, holiday events can help create a positive company culture.


2 It provides a more personal method of employee recognition
Employees will appreciate gifts and bonuses during the holiday. Why not give your team something to look forward to? Holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate and recognize accomplishments. Adding a holiday event to the calendar will also make employees feel more appreciated. Taking the extra step of planning a special event shows that the employees are cared for, especially if awards are presented. These awards can recognize employees for specific characteristics or accomplished tasks.

This token of gratitude for all the challenging work done by employees without compromising bonuses is appreciated and helps employees feel they are an integral part of the company. 



How to Plan a Company Holiday Party

Now that you have decided on crafting a party for the employees, it is essential to work through the steps to plan the event. The more organized you are,and the earlier you begin planning, will allow you the time you need to sort out all the details without feeling rushed or flustered. This holiday party checklist will aid in curating a party that the employees will want to attend.

People writing in notepads


Select a Date

The first step in planning a corporate holiday party is determining the date. Do this early as this will ensure the biggest turnout and will relieve anxiety and unnecessary stress. It is important to note that holidays are a busy time for people so choosing a date well in advance benefits everyone. It is also noteworthy to realize .that most employees’ holiday plans will be different and fall on different days. It is likely that not all employees will be able to attend the annual company holiday party. To ensure that most are able to, perhaps sending a survey with date selections and choices will be a good start.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Once you have received responses, select the date that works for the largest group of employees. Ideally, you’ll be planning the activity at least a few months in advance to allow guests the opportunity to decide if they can attend. Planning further in advance will also ensure that more people will be in attendance.


Plan the Budget

Now that you have the date set, the second step is planning the budget. Consider the cost of every party aspect, from food to drinks, entertainment, activities, gifts, venue, and more. Even with a smaller budget, there is a way to plan an event that employees will love                                                                                     .

You can rank the party priorities if you’re unsure where to allocate your budget. For example, food is a large priority, so you will want to put that option at the top. The food you choose does not have to be elaborate, but it should be tasty.Once you have your priorities ranked, you can allocate percentages of the budget based on them.

People celebrating


Decide on the Type of Party

There are many distinct types of corporate parties that you can host for employees ranging from half-day parties to after-hours events, virtual holiday party events, activity-centric options, and more. Below are some types of parties you can plan.


After Hours Party

These are common for holiday parties for varied reasons. Typically, an after-hours gathering consists of going to a local restaurant, bar , or venue to enjoy the celebration. This event requires less planning as you do not have to figure out entertainment, transportation, etc. However, since it is outside of work hours, not every employee will be able to attend. After-hours parties create a more relaxed vibe and people tend to enjoy themselves when the workday is over when they can relax and have a cocktail.  


At Work Party

If you would like to ensure more employees can attend the party, consider hosting it during normal work hours. For example, you can schedule activities and food for the second half of the day and relieve the employees from their regular duties. In this case, nearly all employees will attend with some exceptions.

More planning is required for this type of party. However, it helps boost morale as the employees get a few extra hours without the stress of their daily tasks.


Wine glasses being cheered


Corporate Party Package

Corporate party packages are a great way to create corporate events if you are short on time and want to host a memorable get-together.These events can occur in a venue providing food, drinks, entertainment, etc. 

These events can be held in alternative venues, such as on a yacht, for an even more special experience. For example, if you are searching for a New York corporate event on the water, you can opt for a yacht that holds anywhere from 120 to 1,000 people. Planning an event on the water is a unique and enjoyable experience for all and the good part is, the planning is all done for you by a team of experts. They can accommodate any budget and party size to fit your needs. All of this will be aboard a floating vessel with amazing views to create unforgettable memories. Your employees will talk about this event for years to come.The only plan you will need to make for an event like this is to decide on the date. Also be sure to check out other destinations such as: 


Create and Send Invitations

Sending invitations is another crucial step in the process. Once you have determined the type of party, budget, and date, you can create the invitations. If you would like, you can provide employees with a physical invitation. However, a digital invite is also sufficient.Having an event planning team will ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. This way someone can have the role of sending out invites with whatever method they choose.


Group of people on a boat celebrating.


Choose a Location

You can select a final location based on your budgetary needs, whether a nearby restaurant, the office, or a yacht. Consider choosing a location 30 minutes or less from the office, making it easier for employees to get to a more convenient location.


Select the Food, Drinks, and Entertainment

Opt for food and drinks that most people will enjoy when considering how to plan a company holiday party. Or offer them the option of selecting their meals ahead of time.Finger food or buffet options are a wonderful way to get people up and moving as well. 

As for entertainment, it’s necessary to choose between options like board games or a DJ.
The type of party will help dictate which type of entertainment is appropriate and even help you produce holiday party ideas.The right entertainment is essential for any type of party, but especially for a corporate event so that a relaxed environment can be created, and everyone has a good time. 


Finalize Arrangements

Once the selections are made, you can finalize the arrangements for the perfect company holiday party. Book the venue, catering company (or make restaurant reservations), and start putting together the employee gifts.Whatever you choose, planning early and being detail oriented will create a party that employees will love. It’s time to let your employees shine at an unforgettable company holiday party!

FAQs – How to Plan a Company Holiday Party in 2024

What are the benefits of hosting a corporate holiday party?

Corporate holiday parties help build relationships among employees and provide a personal method of recognizing their hard work.

What are the initial steps in planning a corporate holiday party?

Start by selecting a date and planning a budget. Early planning ensures better attendance and more efficient organization.

What types of corporate holiday parties can be organized?

Options range from after-hours parties at local venues to in-office celebrations during work hours, or more elaborate events like corporate party packages.

How should invitations for a corporate holiday party be managed?

Invitations can be either physical or digital, and should be sent out once the party type, budget, and date are finalized.

What should be considered when choosing a location for the party?

The location should be convenient for employees, ideally within 30 minutes of the office. Options can vary from restaurants to unique venues like yachts.

How to select food, drinks, and entertainment for the party?

Choose options that cater to a broad range of preferences and consider engaging activities or entertainment to enhance the experience.

How do you determine the right theme for a corporate holiday party?

Consider your company culture and the interests of your employees when selecting a theme. Themes can range from traditional holiday celebrations to creative concepts like winter wonderlands or decades parties. A well-chosen theme can make the event more engaging and memorable.

What are some tips for ensuring a high attendance rate at the corporate holiday party?

Choosing a convenient date and sending out invitations well in advance can help. Additionally, engaging employees in the planning process or incorporating elements they’re excited about, such as a popular DJ or a unique venue, can increase interest and attendance.

How can companies make their holiday parties inclusive for all employees?

Ensure that the party is accessible to everyone, including those with dietary restrictions, non-drinkers, and people with disabilities. Consider incorporating a variety of food, non-alcoholic beverage options, and activities that don’t center around alcohol or specific cultural traditions.

What are some innovative entertainment options for a corporate holiday party?

Beyond traditional DJs and bands, consider hiring a comedian, a magician, or a performance troupe. Interactive entertainment like photo booths, virtual reality experiences, or DIY craft stations can also add a unique touch to the party.

How can companies incorporate team-building activities into their holiday parties?

Team-building activities that are fun and festive can enhance camaraderie. Consider organizing a holiday-themed scavenger hunt, gingerbread house-building competition, or charity drive as part of the event to promote teamwork and the spirit of giving.

What logistical considerations should be taken into account when planning a corporate holiday party?

Think about transportation options for getting to and from the venue, especially if alcohol will be served. You may need to arrange for shuttle services, ride shares, or provide information on public transportation. Additionally, consider any audio/visual needs, seating arrangements, and the flow of the event to ensure everything runs smoothly.

How do you handle gift-giving or awards during a corporate holiday party?

If your company tradition includes gift exchanges or awards, plan these segments to be inclusive and considerate. For gift exchanges, set clear guidelines on spending limits. For awards, ensure the recognition is meaningful and celebrates a broad range of contributions to the company.

What strategies can be used to manage the budget for a corporate holiday party?

Early planning can help secure better deals. Consider negotiating package deals with vendors or venues, and be transparent about your budget constraints. Prioritize spending on aspects that will have the most significant impact on the attendee experience, such as food, drinks, and entertainment, while looking for areas where costs can be minimized without affecting the quality of the event.


Original post date: August 1, 2022