With the holidays only five months away, preparing ahead can save time, money, and effort—and give your employees a function they will love to attend. The following suggestions were offered by real people about parties they remembered. Use these tips for planning your vibrant year-end party.
- Give your guests an opportunity to pose for a professional picture (like boarding a cruise ship). Many of them don’t don their finest often and will appreciate the free photograph. Additionally, they will have a physical reminder of the event.
- For those with tight budgets, a potluck lunch is a good idea. Lots of delicious food will be on offer and the guests have a chance to mingle and perhaps talk with other coworkers they don’t usually get to interact with. You provide the meat (turkey and ham) and give everyone free rein with the dishes they bring.
- Reserve a private room at a restaurant, hotel, or other comparable venue and buy your employee and one guest’s dinner. If the seating is intimate, your guests can mingle. Another fun idea is to bring gifts to exchange with a set spend limit. Everyone loves presents! This will contribute to a really amusing time.
- Depending on the number of your employees, host a catered cocktail party with plenty of hors d’oeuvres or a sit-down dinner at your home. The atmosphere is friendly and intimate, and your guests will appreciate the effort you put into entertaining them.
- How about a dress-up affair at an elegant location with a dinner dance and open bar? In the case of the latter, door-to-door transportation is an excellent touch and a good safety measure. A lot of people don’t have an occasion to wear formal attire frequently and will enjoy having a luxurious night out on the town.
- Door prizes add spark to any party and entice people not to leave early.
- Offer on-site child care.
- A catered lunch (sit-down meal) allows employees who do not want to go out in the evening a thank you for a year’s hard work.
- Have your party the night before Christmas Eve and give your employees Christmas Eve and Christmas off.
- Have a sushi bar complete with Sushi Chef during cocktail hour.
- A lunch at a restaurant with the remainder of the afternoon off, or a nice meal out later in the afternoon, and those who wish can carry on to the bars.
- If you have a piano, fabricate a bar around it, hire a professional to play, and sing holiday songs. Of course, Billy Joel’s Piano Man is a must!
- Have a caricaturist draw pictures of your employees, or set up casino tables with chips employees can trade later for door prizes. Keep the speeches short. Music and dancing are far more fun than reminiscing—DJ and dance coordinator included.
- Get a writer to craft a funny story using all the last names of your employees.
- Choose an unusual location for your party. A garden party? A restaurant with an arcade and exciting rides? A private floor at a local hot spot? An oyster roast in your backyard?
It’s difficult to please everyone, but you can host a successful holiday party that will attract most of your employees—if not all—to attend and enjoy. Whatever your choice, the key word is enjoyment. Happy early holidays!
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