Choosing the right venue for a holiday party is a big job. Organizers must consider the location, budget, menu, number of attendees, and several other factors when selecting the ideal venue. For many companies, location is secondary only to budget when deciding where to host the annual holiday party for employees.
Don’t Overestimate the Importance of a Convenient Location
Some event organizers assume that a party venue closest to the office would be the most convenient for everyone. However, this isn’t necessarily true anymore. Some people work from their home many miles away while others commute long distances to work every day. Taking a poll to find out employee preferences for a holiday party venue location before the big event can help to make it convenient for as many people as possible.
Thinking outside the box when it comes to venue location can help to make it even more memorable. There’s no rule that says the party must take place at a restaurant or meeting hall just because these are popular locations. Holding a holiday party on a yacht, for example, is a unique experience that allows partygoers to interact with each other much more than they would in a traditional holiday party setting.
Choose an Off-Peak Time for Greater Efficiency
Friday is a popular day to hold holiday parties. The reasoning is that most people are off for the weekend and can spend more time at events held on Friday nights. Unfortunately, this is also the most crowded and expensive time to host a holiday party. Companies can save money and party guests can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere by choosing a different weekday for the party.
Some businesses even choose to give their employees an extended lunch hour to enjoy the festivities. If it’s not possible to close the business for the party so everyone can enjoy it, companies might consider hiring a temporary worker for the day to answer phones and attend to customers.
Have Fun with It
While not all employees celebrate Christmas, most can appreciate the good-natured fun of something like an ugly Christmas sweater contest or a Christmas cookie baking competition. Even so, organizers should be careful to frame events using the term holiday instead of Christmas whenever possible. These events can take place outside of the holiday party and then participants can receive recognition during the event itself.
Food and Alcohol Concerns
It’s impossible to please everyone when it comes to selecting the menu for a holiday party. The best that organizers can do is to offer as many options as possible, including some gluten-free foods. Choosing a caterer that serves guests from their choice of a few plated meals can save party organizers a lot of money over offering a buffet. This option also tends to add an air of elegance to the holiday festivities. Asking the catering staff to make food or decorations in the same color as the company logo is a fun way to increase all-around company spirit.
As far as alcohol is concerned, less is best for liability purposes. Companies that wish to include alcohol could limit service to only the mealtime to reduce the likelihood of employees overindulging. Organizers might also consider sending an email or memo outlining expectations for behavior during the holiday event in advance.
Interesting related article: “Top themes for corporate events.”