4 Best Practices for Planning a Successful Company Holiday Party

party food

Written by Tim Grable

November 7, 2021

It’s one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year – an occasion to see your co-workers in a different light, build stronger connections with your team, and, of course, have loads of fun!

We’re talking about the annual company holiday party. 

If you’re in charge of planning this year’s festivities, the last thing you want is to let everyone down and put together an event that fails to meet expectations. (Yikes!)

To make your job a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of four best practices that are sure to set your holiday party up for success. Let’s dive in!

1. Make it a Themed Event

Making your holiday party a themed event is a great way to stand out from the rest and boost guests’ excitement.

Guests are more likely to remember a whimsical, holiday season-related theme event than a generic corporate party that lacks “personality.”

A themed event can have one-of-a-kind activities, exciting food, unique decor, and other distinctive details that are sure to stick in attendees’ minds.

Plus, having a theme gives you a clear direction regarding what decor to choose, what type of event activities to include, and so on – thus simplifying the planning process.

Planning a Successful Company Holiday Party

2. Incorporate Activities to Make Your Event More Interactive

A company holiday party provides the perfect setting for guests to get better to know each other outside of a work environment.

You’ll want attendees to feel like they are part of a community, not just an organization. You’ll want them to feel like they are in a social setting – not a business setting.

This is why you should incorporate engaging activities such as games (Ugly Sweater Competition; Board Games; Holiday Trivia; Cooking Decorating Competition).

It’s a great way to make your event more interactive and fun for those who attend.

3. Invest in High-Quality Entertainment

Entertainment should be at the top of your list of priorities when planning a company holiday party.

High-quality entertainment is not only likely to increase the attendance rate, but it will also keep guests engaged and create both value and memorability in your event.

Here are a few popular entertainment choices which work great for this type of event:

  • Magic act. Highly interactive and always surprising, magic is sure to captivate your guests’ attention. Plus, a magic show doesn’t typically require much space, which makes it an appropriate entertainment choice for a wide array of party venues.
  • Live music. Booking a live musician or singer is guaranteed to energize your event and keep guests on the dance floor.
  • Comedy show. Comedy is an excellent way to lighten up the mood and foster social connections between attendees through humor and laughter.

[Related] 10 Great Holiday Party Entertainment Ideas for the Office

Holiday Party  

4. Be Intentional about Showing Employee Appreciation

Set your holiday party up for success by using this event as an opportunity to show employees and colleagues that all their hard work throughout the year is appreciated.

How can you express employee appreciation as part of the event? Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Offer branded gifts that tie to your event’s theme.
  • Set aside some time to highlight deserving employees (this can be a part of a dedicated speech or presentation from one of the company’s higher-ups)
  • Treat guests to fun experiences. For example, you could book a live event painter like Jeremy Sutton and give attendees the chance to have their digital portraits drawn by a word-class artist using state-of-the-art digital paint technology.

Planning a Successful Company Holiday Party: Now You Know

We hope that the insights we shared in this article have made you feel better prepared to tackle the challenging task of planning this year’s holiday party.

Please check out this article to discover five unique event ideas that you’ll want to try out.

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