How to Plan an Office Christmas Party

It’s already November – where’s the year gone? The holidays are looming closer, and if you’re in charge of planning this year’s holiday festivities, it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone and get the ball rolling. In 5 simple steps, you can build a Christmas party that your supervisors and colleagues will remember for years to come. Let’s get started!

1. Pick a Date

One of the most difficult aspects of planning a holiday party for your office mates? Finding a date that actually works for everyone. Thanks to vacation time, family travel, and the hustle and bustle that is Christmas shopping, you may find it near impossible to pick a Friday or Saturday night that complements everyone’s schedules. Hint: Consider planning the occasion on a weekday, instead of on an uber-busy December weekend. Even a Monday would work – but you may want to talk to the powers-that-be about letting employees come in an hour or two later the next day. Use a survey tool like Doodle to get the lowdown on which dates work for everyone in your office, and start early! The sooner you start planning, the less likely you are to have timing conflicts.

2. Pick a Venue

You’ve got the date set – now where do you want to host this fun shindig? Your venue is dependent on your budget, so your choices could run the gamut. Whether you opt for a local pizza shop that everyone in the office loves, or you go all out and rent out a museum space for a fancy holiday soiree, make sure you get in touch with the venue of your choice early. The holiday season is busy, and there are plenty of other companies on the hunt for the perfect party location.

3. Pick a Dress Code After you have your venue in place, it’s time to consider the dress code. It’s a good idea to provide guidance to your work cohorts, as you don’t want a supervisor showing up in a suit and tie, only for her direct report to show up in jeans and a graphic tee. Whether you opt for an elegant black tie affair complete with tuxes and dresses, or you want to enhance the festivities with a Christmas clothing theme (guaranteed the office clown will show up in some kind of ugly Christmas suit), just make sure you spell out the dress code in your event invitation. This will be helpful not only to your coworkers’, but to their dates as well.

4. Pick a Caterer

There are few things as important as food at a holiday party – what’s on the menu for your company? Some venues may require you to use particular caterers, while others may allow you to bring in whatever

your company desires. Just make sure that you keep eating preferences in mind during your planning, and offer a few vegetarian and vegan options to ensure everyone on the guest list can eat well at your holiday bonanza. And don’t forget the libations!

5. Pick Entertainment

What are holiday party guests going to do while the party rages on? Perhaps you’re focused on mingling and fostering camaraderie – that doesn’t mean you can’t hire a bit of entertainment to get the party in full swing. Hire a live band to play tunes so all of your coworkers can cut a rug, or enlist the help of a local comedian to keep the belly laughs coming. From skilled magicians to DJs and everything in between, the entertainment you pick will serve as the cherry on top of a fantastic party.

If you’ve been tasked with planning the company holiday party, take a deep breath. Following the above steps, you can easily plan a raucous affair that will put a smile on all of your coworkers’ faces this December.

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