How to Throw the Perfect Company Holiday Party
With the holiday buzz starting to build up at VenueBook headquarters, we rounded up some of the best advice for planning the perfect company holiday party from our employees -- many of whom have been venue managers, event planners, and entrepreneurs throughout their careers. Here’s what they have to say you should do in order to throw the perfect company holiday party:
- Start planning much earlier than you think you should.
With the weather dipping into the 50’s this past week, fall is officially upon us. If you haven’t started scouting locations for your holiday party, you can easily start your search today on VenueBook!
The most popular venues are booked out for holiday festivities by the first week of November. By mid-November, you can expect that the majority of venues have completely packed their calendars!
The most popular holiday party dates each year are the first two Thursdays and Fridays of December (for 2016, that's the 8th, 9th, 15th, and 16th.) If you’re a smaller company, getting your foot in the door earlier will help ensure that you don’t have to compete with larger corporate budgets looking at the same spaces.
- Prioritize what’s important by paying keen attention to what will deliver the best employee experience and returns for company culture.
We all know that going to a grocery store hungry without a shopping list is a recipe for disaster! No one has the caloric budget for that!
Similarly, you should approach holiday party planning in the same way. It’s unlikely you’ll have the financial budget to pull off everything you want to do (though that would be pretty nice!), so make sure you spend some time thinking through the critical choices you’ll have to make when vendors are doing their best to win you over.
What are some of your non-negotiables? What will matter the most in delivering the best employee experience to your team? An open bar may provide greater team-bonding returns than a sit-down meal if your company teams are more silo’ed and don’t work cross-functionally that often.
Conversely, where do you have some wiggle room? Do we really need that awesome ice sculpture? Or would that $1K be better spent on an interactive photo booth for your guests?
Get creative, prioritize what will make the biggest impact on employee experience, and then allocate whatever remains accordingly!
- Use time-saving tools to wrap up all aspects of the holiday party planning chaos fast!
Here’s our shortlist of much-loved event planning hacks:
1) Manage your event marketing with Splash! Their platform allows you to create gorgeous, fully-customizable event pages, send email invitations to curated lists, then manage RSVPs and ticketing all in one place.
2) Outsource your event to-do list with Hello Alfred or TaskRabbit. Both companies vet through their helpers who can get all those last-minute details done. Everything from buying decor to picking up extra party favors -- they’ve got you covered.
3) Make sure your guests have amazing photos to remember the night with Pretty Instant, an online marketplace for professional photographers. Your Marketing department will thank you too!
4) Book the perfect venue with VenueBook. Explore our marketplace of venues -- easily filter for availability, price, and amenities. Once you’ve found your venue, request a custom, digital proposal and finalize event details, pay online, and check one less thing off your to-do list!
Now that you are a pro at planning your holiday party. Check out our blog about how not to act at your holiday party.