The Officer’s Club ballroom and patio have been home to many memorable company events, like luncheons, awards ceremonies, meetings, and, of course, office holiday parties! When it comes to creating a memorable experience for your employees, there are many factors to take into account - everything from the type and size of the venue to the smaller details, like invitations and door prizes.
When should you start planning your office holiday party?
Start planning your corporate holiday party as soon as you can! It’s important to give yourself as much time as you think you’ll need to secure all of your vendors - such as the venue, caterer, rental company, and entertainment.
We recommend booking your event venue at least four months in advance, to ensure you get the event date that works best for your team and allows for your other vendors to participate. Event venues tend to book fast, especially in those final months before the holidays, so have a few potential event dates in mind when reaching out to the venue’s on-site coordinator.
What should you consider before planning your company holiday party?
A great place to start when planning the office holiday party is soliciting feedback from your team about past events. Some questions you can ask at the water cooler or through a formal survey could be:
- What did you enjoy about previous holiday parties?
- What was missing from last year’s party?
- What would make you look forward to this year’s company holiday party?
- Do you prefer to have our holiday party during work hours, or after work?
- Are there any activities you’d like to see at this year’s holiday party?
Think about all aspects of your event (we’ve offered some more ideas below!) that would benefit from employees’ input. After all, your company holiday party is to celebrate the whole team’s hard work!
If it’s your company’s first time hosting a holiday party, solicit employee input from the very beginning to ensure you’re planning an event the whole team will love.
Who should plan the office holiday party?
The often-daunting task of holiday party planning is typically left to an Office Manager, or the Marketing or HR team - unless it’s outsourced to a party planner. To help manage the time and resources that go into planning a holiday office party, consider creating an event committee with employees who are eager to help plan! They can divide and conquer the many tasks that go into having a successful office party, and ownership over the event will make them even more excited to attend.
5 Tips for a Fun Company Holiday Party
Our team has compiled a list of our favorite company holiday party ideas, to help you have a smooth and memorable event this holiday season.
1. Start with a holiday party theme.
A great theme can keep employees talking about your holiday party until the next year’s event! Consider a festive theme that attendees could dress-up for (if that’s within your workplace’s dress code) or base fun activities or themed foods around. For example, you could do a “throwback” theme to a specific decade and feature decor and popular food from that time. Think about it: How fun would it be to see the boss dressed up in bell-bottoms for a 1970s themed bash?
Some other fun corporate holiday party themes that have taken place at our Sacramento event venue include:
- Movie Night
- Pop Culture
- Winter Wonderland
- Ugly Sweater
- Casino Night, and many more!
2. Do your research when selecting an event venue.
A good venue will suit your event theme - or can be transformed to fit the theme! Ask the on-site coordinator at your venue for their recommendations of ways to integrate the theme into their event space. It’s helpful to have an estimated number of attendees, a holiday party theme, and budget in mind when first starting the search for the perfect place to host your company office party.
The right venue can also inspire a holiday party theme! For example, an arcade lounge could inspire a retro night, a glamorous ballroom could lend itself nicely to a Roaring 20s theme or a Winter Wonderland.
Another factor to consider is whether the event should be held indoors or outdoors. Gauge what the weather is typically like that time of year. If it tends to be colder or rain seems likely, consider an indoor venue or one with indoor-outdoor space, and ensure space heaters are on your list of things to rent. Don’t forget to inform your guests about expected temperature conditions, so they can dress accordingly.
3. Plan holiday office party activities.
Add some fun to your holiday party by planning festive activities for your guests. Playing a game at your event can be a great way to get employees mingling with one another and show your team you care.
A great way to encourage attendance and thank employees for their hard work is to offer door prizes. These can be a small trinket imprinted with the company’s logo, or something personalized to each employee. You can also host a raffle where attendees can win bigger prizes, or host games like a white elephant gift exchange, trivia, or contests between teams or individuals.
Another great way to engage attendees is to have an interactive activity, such as a photo booth, a cookie decorating bar or s’mores bar, or even karaoke!
4. Great food makes all the difference.
If people remember anything about events, it’s usually the food! That’s why having a great caterer makes all the difference.
Consider the format of your holiday party and decide which type of food service makes the most sense. Do you want to keep employees mingling over passed hors d’oeuvres? Is your event during dinner time, and therefore guests need a more hearty meal through buffet or plated dinner service? Or should you hire the team’s favorite food truck to offer select items from its menu all night long?
Some internet research or recommendations from colleagues will likely result in a great list of catering companies you can hire for your corporate holiday party. Review each company’s menus and pricing, and discuss your specific event needs with their catering teams to get the best understanding of which one is the best fit for your holiday party catering.
If you’re working with a full-service venue like The Officer’s Club, which offers both catering and event services, talk to the event team about your needs. They can help you select cuisine most appropriate for your event format and help you create a menu that all of your guests are sure to enjoy.
5. Ask for feedback after the event.
The best thing about holiday office parties is that they happen every year! Get input from your team about what they enjoyed most about the event and what they’d like to see done differently next year. Employees will know their feedback is valued, and you’ll be able to plan another fantastic office holiday party - it’s a win-win!
We hope you can use these corporate holiday party ideas to plan a fun and successful event for your team. If you have any questions or wish to learn more about having an event at our historic Sacramento event venue, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Wishing you and your team happy holidays!