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How to Plan a Great Company Holiday Party

7 Tips for Creating Successful End-Of-Year Events

Done right, your company holiday party will boost morale and pump up employee satisfaction. In some ways, it’s like any other meeting – you need to pick a date, secure a venue and decide what food and beverage to serve.

In other intangible ways, however, the annual holiday party holds special significance. It’s a company-wide thank you; a pat on the back; a genial gathering of the workplace family. To help meet and exceed those kinds of expectations, here are seven tips to keep in mind during the planning phase.  


When to Hold the Holiday Party

  • Time of Year. Most employers have gotten away from calling it the Annual Christmas Party. Nonetheless, the most common time for it is at the end of the calendar year, after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.  

    Still, don’t be limited to this time frame. Oher company events might be cause for the party to be held earlier in the year – or even after New Year’s Day. Whatever the case, for tradition’s sake, it’s best to hold it at the same time year after year.

  • Day of the Week. Nobody wants to give up a weekend day for the company party. Forget Saturday and Sunday. The benefit to Friday are that after the party, employees can segue into their weekend. However, Friday can be a busy night for event venues, and it can be more expensive.

  • Afternoon or Evening. If you choose Monday through Thursday for the event, the next determination is whether to do a lunch or a dinner. Time off during the workday is considered a benefit to some employees. A lunch event also can be more cost effective.

    Evening parties, though, can make attendees feel special. Evening events – whatever day of the week – often take place at an offsite venue. A dinner party will influence dress code, and it will be more apropos to invite spouses/guests.

Where to Hold the Party

  • For an afternoon/lunch event, holding the party onsite in the office can help with logistics (and can keep budgets in check).

  • For an evening party, you’ll likely want to pick a restaurant or party/event facility with space to fit your group.

  • Don’t forget to consider event venues, like hotels or convention centers. Most properties have skilled staff who work with meeting planners on a regular basis. And convention centers have all sorts of exciting and interesting spaces within their walls that are perfect for end-of-the-year parties.

Enforcing Etiquette

  • Set the Ground Rules. There’s nothing wrong with sending out a company-wide memo to enforce guidelines for the holiday party. Most employees should already understand party etiquette. Still, no harm in reminding everybody about the dress code, refraining from excessive drinking, arriving too early/late, and whether guests are welcome. 

Kalahari hosts great company holiday parties

Our team can assist you in planning a memorable employee holiday party. And, we’ve just doubling the size of our convention center in Wisconsin. Expansions are also in progress at our properties in Pennsylvania (Pocono Mountains, late 2019) and Texas (Round Rock, November 2020). Call our sales team at 855.411.4605 to schedule your site visit today.