Corporate Holiday Parties – 10 Do’s & 10 Don’ts To Know Before You Go

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With Halloween barely behind us and our favourite retailers showcasing everything we need to create a beautiful holiday in our homes; I feel it’s time to talk about Christmas! And more specifically, everyone’s favourite work event: Corporate Holiday Parties.

I was recently interviewed by a national publication about the do’s and don’ts for hosting holiday parties in your home and I thought I would create a list of what to do and what to avoid when planning your next corporate holiday event!


Do:
Pick a holiday theme to carry you through from the invite to décor and into those special touches.

Don’t:
Feel married to this theme in every area. White Christmas works well for many things but your menu could be colourful!


Do:
Consider a stand up reception for your holiday event – as it lends itself to mixing and mingling.

Don’t:
If you have your heart set on a sit down dinner Don’t feel bad – perhaps find an area in your venue where you can still enjoy some mingling before and after dinner!


Do:
Consider a special gift for your attendees – perhaps place an ornament at each table setting that your guests can take home.

Don’t:
Try to avoid giveaways that include overly branded swag as they likely won’t be enjoyed or used.


Do:
Work with your venue to create a menu that would be special for your guests.

Don’t:
Be afraid to ask for a tasting in advance and request changes if you don’t initially see or like an aspect of the menu.


Do:
Create a signature drink with your venue – use the theme of your event or the pull inspiration from your company.

Don’t:
Keep an eye on the amount of alcohol in this drink and the associated costs. Most venues are happy to find a special libation that will fit within every budget.


Do:
Consider live entertainment to bring a new level of excitement to your event.

Don’t:
Avoid entertainment like comedians – people’s taste varies when it comes to humour and it’s often hard to accommodate large groups.


Do:
Look at safe transportation options for your guests. Taxi chits and even hotel options are a nice extra that many people will appreciate.

Don’t:
Forget to have some please don’t drink and drive signage at your event and additional event insurance is a must if you can’t add taxi chits to your bottom line.


Do:
Consider adding photos from previous company events to your screens (if you have some). It’s a great way to remind people of the wonderful connections they have made at work.

Don’t:
Forget to hire a professional photographer for this event. Most couples enjoy a great photo when they are all dressed for a special night out.


Do:
Include management and executives to welcome guests as they arrive. Its a special touch that really can help provide unity and connection within your organization.

Don’t:
Expect that you will be able to get everyone’s attention for an extended period of time (for speeches etc.), if you’re hosting a stand-up reception.


Do:
Consider hiring an event planner to assist with all of the above – as we are well versed in great ways to help you create and execute wonderful events.

Don’t:
Sweat the small stuff. After all Holiday events are supposed to be fun!


Written by Jennifer James, a Calgary based event planner. You can contact Jennifer James at 403-294-1644 or email info@jenniferjamesevents.com

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