How to Plan a Holiday Party

We feel that everyone has the skills to plan a festive event for their circle of friends, co-workers or families. All you need to do is organize the following tasks and add your flare to make your event memorable:

VENUE
You can hold this celebration at your home, office or an external venue. It depends on your attendance, budget, creativity and your overall interest on being hands on/off the key execution details. Is the place fitting for an older crowd? Can it accommodate for those with children or is it appropriate for your office get together? Find out what you need and start searching for the ideal venue.

DATE/TIME
The date and time are essential to secure the right external venue that you want, or to get the attendance you wanted to achieve. Middle of the day, evenings or weekends might work for some, and not others. Venues may not be open or have availability when you want, so have some flexibility with your date and time to ensure that you get the right audience and location for your party. Once you find a place that works with your date and time, book it!

THEME
We’re not talking about costumes or spending your spare time making arts and crafts projects for the party (unless you want you). We are saying that there should be a universal “feel” that can be encompassed into the invitations, décor, entertainment, food and beverages that brings everything together as your event.

INVITE
Now that you have locked in your date, venue and theme, start telling people! You can send out your formal invitations or even a ‘Save the Date’ message until you have organized further details. When you send out your invitations, we always share some of the following details with guests:

  • If there is a dress code or theme.
  • Requests for dietary restrictions.
  • If the invitation grants a guest or requires a person to RSVP for multiple people.
  • An RSVP deadline date (at least a month prior to the event)
  • That the event is invite only or opened to the public.

FOOD/ BEVERAGES
Once you have a list of your dietary restrictions, you can start creating a list of food options that everyone can enjoy at your event. If you are working with a restaurant, caterer or an external venue, take note on their timelines and available menu options. If you’re going the route of potluck, then make sure guests update you on the dish that they are bringing so you don’t end up with four of the same item.

Signature beverages are a way that people are spicing up their holiday events so if you are adding this to your function, make sure you have ordered all of the appropriate ingredients. Depending on your theme/feel of the event, beverages can be places in an area for guests to grab as they please, served by a bartender/server or placed at the dining tables. Don’t forget to include water, pop and juice for those who don’t consume alcohol!

ENTERTAINMENT
Music is the first thing that people need for their holiday party. Cocktails, dinner and even the main event could feature music, so ensure you have the right audio system for your needs. You could have entertainment when your guests arrive or at an allocated time in the evening; it depends on what type of interaction you are looking for. Acts require certain things to perform like open spaces, stages/risers, a change area, proper lighting, sound, power, venue approval and much more to accomplish their performance. Make sure you discuss their needs before booking any sort of entertainment for your holiday party.

PLAN A SURPRISE
People love surprises, so give them a Thank You Card, welcome gift, entry to win a grand prize, bring in a special guest, add a candy bar or talk to the venue you’re working with to see what they can offer. What ever you choose to include, make sure it puts a smile on people’s faces.

Planning a holiday party is a great opportunity to bring people together in a social setting and to have some fun. Get creative!

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