Everyone wants to host the kind of company soiree employees really want to come to, but it can be difficult to pull off a great holiday party, especially with seasonal vacation time quickly approaching. Fortunately, keeping a few simple party planning tips in mind can help you create a great get together that won’t break the bank or leave you feeling like Scrooge, wanting to scream “bah humbug.” Just be sure to follow a few key dos and don’ts, lest you end up with an empty party venue or with a slew of hangry (hungry and angry) guests.
Do make it clear who is invited.
Whether you intend to invite employees only, their spouses as well, or entire families, make it crystal clear ahead of time whom is expected to attend. This way everyone can make arrangements accordingly. If you’d like to make the night even more fun and less stressful, consider providing childcare on site for parents that might otherwise have to scramble to find a babysitter.
Do stick to the given budget.
Respect your bosses, or if you own your own business your company’s bottom line, by sticking to the allotted budget for the party. After all, with careful planning, there is no reason you can’t pull of a fantastic party even on a tight budget! Just make sure to provide plenty of food and refreshments and keep the décor simple, if you don’t have much money to work with. Well-fed party guests are happy guests, regardless of what the corporate party venue looks like.
Do choose seasonal foods.
One way to keep food costs low is to choose seasonal items. But it’s also a great way to honor the holidays. Consider updated takes on traditional Christmas fare, like deep fried turkey or really get the party started with cranberry-flavored shots or spiked apple cider.
Don’t feel the need to choose traditional Christmas décor.
There’s no reason to limit your party palette to red and green. Think outside traditionally-wrapped boxes to help create a unique and memorable environment. Choosing a theme can help keep all the decorative elements coordinated, and make planning much simpler. For instance, host A Christmas Carol-themed event with Past, Present and Future décor details, or if you’re hosting a family-friendly event play up every kids’ favorite wintertime movie, Frozen!
Don’t delay sending out invites.
Every guest needs to know when and where to be, obviously. If you’re planning a December or January event, you’ll want to send out invites as soon as humanly possible. In fact, you may want to opt for electronic invites in order to maximize efficiency given the tight timeframe. Plus, it can help you get an accurate RSVP list much sooner than relying on snail mail, especially during such a busy postal season.
Don’t forget to include a dress code.
While formulating your invites, make sure to include a dress code. It doesn’t mean you need to require formal attire. Just be clear what’s expected so you don’t have your interns showing up in rented tuxes and your bosses in their best jeans.