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  • Mary Windham

The Perfect Holiday Party Made Easy

From the Desk of Mary

Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer

The annual holiday party is a big chance for company management to bring their team together and for staff to let loose. If done well, the event can be a chance for bonding and team development. If done poorly, it can be a waste of money or breed discontent among coworkers.

As with most things in event management, you have to take the time to think ahead and prepare. So don’t delay! Here are the basic steps to ensuring this year’s holiday fiesta isn’t a flop:

Budget and Plan

Lay it all out at the beginning. Determine your max spend and break down the costs and priorities for your team. The sooner you start planning the pieces, the better for getting the right venue, securing savings, and overcoming challenges.

The Occasions, Inc. team recommends starting this process at least 6 months before your preferred event date. Many companies start by securing their holiday party venue in the summer months.


Next, you’ll want to talk about and decide the event details, like date, time, activities/theme, and more. Once you’ve put some thought into the basics, create nice invites that match your company’s tone (ex: classy or casual). Besides the time and location, invites can also include the dress code, if there will be plus ones, activities or food and beverage options they’ll have (like “cash bar”), and if there’s an RSVP deadline.

Aim to send these out several weeks in advance so your team has time to plan and you have time to collect responses.

Team Building

Why not use this time while your staff is together to incorporate fun team building activities to encourage bonding and networking? You don’t have to throw the party in an ice cave to make it interesting, but a few fun, seasonal activities are the way to go. White elephant gift exchanges, cookie contests, ugly sweater contests, pictures with Santa, a photo booth… the ideas are endless.


This is also the biggest season for charitable giving! Coming together for a good cause is a great way to do good, build your team, and get some kudos within your community. Encourage employees to get into the holiday spirit through toy drives or cash donations, collected leading up to or at your holiday event.

Food and Beverage

Last, but far from least, is the food and beverage options. The absolute best way to get your employees in the holiday spirit is through a delicious holiday cuisine. Keep it seasonal with holiday themed foods and specialty drink offerings.

On a tight budget? Opt for heavy hors d'oeuvres rather than a full menu to keep that quality and seasonal appeal.

If alcohol is offered at the party, ensure your employees get home safe by providing discounts with ride-shares such as Uber and Lyft, or establishing safeguards in advance, such as capping the number of alcoholic beverages offered.

Drinks, food, fun, and team building! What more could you want?

Leave a comment below to let us know how these tips worked for you! And don’t forget to follow Occasions, Inc. on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


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