Planning your company’s holiday party is a matter of balance: fun, but professional. You need to stay within budget and organize activities that will bring your staff together in a way that everybody will appreciate, and feel appreciated. These are the top tips from corporate event planners about arranging the ideal company celebration for the holiday season.

Budget far ahead of time

Funding will affect basically every aspect of the affair, so make sure you know where you stand at least three months before the season starts. Ask around to see if parties have gone over-budget in the past, and by how much – you might want to build in a 15%-20% allowance for overages.

Decide on a theme

A basic rule of event planning is “know your audience”. Do people in your company lean towards Christmas-y motifs, or something more generic? What have the staff enjoyed in previous years, and do they want something new? Obviously, the larger the firm, the more difficult it will be to answer these questions, but some of the office veterans will probably know the score.

Choose the right activities

A meal and a set of speeches are standard, but a truly great party will provide its own entertainment. From a DJ and dancing to dunking for apples and Santa competitions, you can find a supplier for almost every conceivable activity. Most of it boils down to budget and the theme you have picked.

Book your venue, and do it early

If your budget allows for an outside venue, make sure it fits the theme and activities that you have chosen. You need to find a compromise between convenience and the type of facilities provided by the location. Remember, if it might snow, and if some of the guests might get a bit tipsy, you’ll probably want something local, unless it really doesn’t accommodate the number of attendees and plan for the evening. Make your down payment on both the location and entertainment (including food) at least two months before Christmas, or you might find that the good suppliers are all taken.   

Send invitations

Here’s where all of your planning really pays off. Your invitation can reflect all of the major aspects of the event: theme, activities list, and venue location. It’ll prove that you’ve put something wonderful together with time to spare, and show that you’ve mastered all facets of arranging the most important event of the year. A “save the date” should go out two months in advance and a formal invitation one month in advance, followed by a reminder about two weeks before the actual event.

Company Holiday Party Templates
Company holiday party templates at Smilebox

Check out the selection of Smilebox Business invitations and flyers designed especially for company holiday celebrations! They’re a great starting point for getting your coworkers in the mood for the event you’ve planned. Happy Holidays!