Holiday parties are ideal for gathering all of your staff, showing appreciation, and celebrating the year’s success. Nonetheless, putting on a great party also requires thoughtful coordination and planning. To help you plan your company’s next holiday party, we’ve developed a checklist of critical tasks.
1. Determine the type of event.
Luncheons are generally the most common type of company holiday party (51%), and evening parties are the second most common (38%). The type of holiday party can affect the date you select. For example, evening parties are often hosted on Saturdays nights (83%) while luncheon parties are most commonly hosted on weekdays.
2. Select a date and time.
Most organizations schedule holiday parties during the second week (33%) or the third week of December (28%). Holiday parties are less common during the first week of December. Fridays are generally the most common day of the week for holiday parties (50%), with Saturdays (16%) and Thursdays (15%) following. December 14th is the most common day for holiday parties (27%) this year. December 21st (17%) and December 7th (10%) were the second and third most common days.
3. Create a guest list.
Most organizations invite at least all employees (61%) to their holiday parties. Some employers invite spouses/significant others (30%). Fewer organizations invite spouses and children (7%).
4. Choose a venue and a caterer.
Organizations use a wide range of local venues for their holiday parties. These venues most commonly include country clubs, restaurants, and hotels. Also, the vast majority of organizations that host holiday parties (74%) use a caterer.
5. Send out invitations.
Once these details are set, send out invitations at least a few weeks in advance and request an RSVP by a certain date.
6. Select a theme and entertainment.
Some organizations provide entertainment at their holiday parties. Entertainment (i.e. entertainers, DJs, speakers, etc.) is by no means a common practice for company holiday parties but can aid in making your party more enjoyable for all of your guests. Party themes can also make your event unique and memorable.
7. Create an agenda.
Create an agenda for the holiday party to make sure it runs smoothly. The agenda should outline timing for arrival, cocktails/appetizers, dinner/lunch, talking points, employee recognition, gift-giving, entertainment, and closure.
8. Determine your alcohol policy.
Many employers serve alcohol at their holiday party but are usually split in terms of whether they limit or do not limit alcohol consumption. Slightly more employers that serve alcohol limit consumption (51%), but 49% do not.
9. Give a gift.
Holiday parties are the ideal time to provide a holiday gift to each of your employees. Over half of the organizations we surveyed this year are planning to give gifts to employees this year. Gift cards are usually the most common gift, provided by 54% of respondents.
10. Incorporate recognition.
Holiday parties are employee appreciation events more than anything else, and as a result, it’s important to recognize the successes of your staff as a whole and communicate how much you appreciate their hard work and contributions throughout the year.
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