It seems almost unthinkable. You’re still looking forward to your late summer vacation. The dreaded push of back to school shopping is looming. But, the reality is, you need to start planning a business holiday party, if you intend on having one – today.
While the dog days of summer are still upon us, the crisp hint of fall is on the horizon and once that train starts, the holidays will motor our way in no time.
For small companies, planning a business holiday party and/or seasonal event is often a cumbersome task. Questions that arise are generally:
- What to budget?
- When to budget?
- How do we host an event that truly shows our employees how much we care?
- What is the appropriate degree of entertainment and holiday spirit for a corporate event for clients?
- How do I promote my event on my social media platforms?
- Should I write about my event on my blog?
- Do I need to come up with a clever gamification campaign to leverage my holiday party with existing clients and new leads?
- How much would it cost to get a great comedian to entertain for the night?
- Do I need to hire a pianist?
- What color should the decor and theme reflect for a true seasonal event that honors and salutes the spirit of multiple holiday celebrations?
Yes, these are robust questions, all of which are totally justified when it comes to planning a business holiday party. Once the beach days of summer wind to a close, the formidable task of planning your holiday party will take on its own persona.
Below are some hot tips to start planning a business holiday party – today. You can even start planning from your beach chair!
Select Your Event’s Theme
The most important element in planning a business holiday party is to, very early on in the process, determine your goals, objectives and even the theme of the event. Ask yourself:
- Are you trying to thank employees?
- Are you trying to romance new clients?
- Is it a client appreciation event?
Take time out to assemble a team to determine what the true goals of the event are and the best themes to consider for achieving those goals. Think creatively and brand your event. Your theme will influence many – actually, all – of your decisions, from what color hues are best for your event decor, to the look of your invitations to the way you promote your event on social media.
Determine the event’s personality, then move forward. If you are planning a business holiday party for December, get all of your planning done before September 15 at the very latest. (That may already be too late to achieve all the goals on your wish list, but if you are reading this article now it means you have not done any planning – so make the best of it.)
Determine Your Event’s Social Personality
How are you going to make everyone aware of your great event? Once you plan the event’s theme, confirm the venue, mobilize with entertainment and set a menu – all of which require careful planning, consultation and, yes, even coaching by a professional event coordinator or event producer, you can begin to think about the social media energy of your uniquely branded event.
Are you going to create a Pinterest campaign that features images that support the theme of your event? Are you scheduling daily social shares with fun fast facts, video invites, cute memes or even a clever infographic that talks all about how great your event will be?
A winning event is one with a clear and well demonstrated personality – bring one to your social media platforms, and share, share, share.
Get Your Countdown Checklist Organized
As your event takes shape, reverse engineer it. Create a document for all involved in the event process to review and update. Clearly show every step of the event from soup to nuts and everything in between. Document all the steps you feel are required to deliver a truly structured event – one that accomplishes your goals for hospitality and entertainment, while staying in budget and on target.
Creating a memorable and successful event is not a one-person job – especially for a business. Even a small business has big details to coordinate and confirm. Make sure you are organized and militant about your planning. Make sure your event has a team behind its success, not just one overwhelmed individual. Make sure all you do stays in line with your event budget and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Committees can do wonderful things, if all participating are engaged and excited about the goals at hand. Once you set your event in motion, the countdown clock is on – actually, believe it or not…it’s already ticking.
Countdown Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Holidays
Don’t get me thinking about holiday parties already 😉 I’ve got a lot to do between now and then.
Also, I love themes. It gets you in the holiday mood and allows you to take cool group pictures with your officemates.
This is an excellent, to the point article. Everything that CJ is saying is right. My magic show is already getting booked for holiday parties in other states so get your entertainment NOW.
Thanks for sharing this advice on making your corporate party successful. I agree that it is important to have a clear goal in mind when planning the party. When I start planning my business’ holiday party in a few months, I’ll be sure to make sure that I am choosing the right venue and food that coincides with my goal of showing appreciation. That’s why I think I’m going to try and make the party a ton of fun for every employee.