9 Steps to Planning a Fun Holiday Party

As the weather changes and you head into the cold winter months, it’s time to start planning out your company holiday parties. Getting a head start can help take your holiday parties from pie in the break room to fun, camaraderie-building events. So break out the cider and unpack your ugly sweater, because this holiday party checklist is going to help you stress less and enjoy the season.

1. Delegate
Organizing a party is a big task, and it shouldn’t fall on one person’s shoulders. Delegate responsibilities to other people as you plan your party.

2. Budget
Before you can make any other decisions, you’ll need to know how much you can spend. Depending on your organization, you might have some discretion, or you might have to plan based on a fixed amount. Check with the financial decision-makers before starting.

3. Attendee basics
Once you’ve established how much you can spend, you can move on to the basic details of the party you’re planning. Who will be invited? Will it be during business hours? If so, how will customer service employees get to participate? If it’s after hours, can employees bring a plus-one? Are families invited? Will guests need to RSVP?

4. Date and venue
These two aspects of your party go hand in hand—the more exclusive your venue, the more limited your choice of dates. If you’re inviting families to the office to trick-or-treat, then the date is set for you. But if you’re planning ahead for your year-end holiday party, then you should look at reserving your venue now, before the best places book up.

5. Food
Whether you’re creating a sign-up sheet for a potluck, arranging a caterer, or taking the easy route and calling in for pizza, plan on enough food for your event. If you delegate out food items, send out reminders before the event. There’s nothing sadder than corn chips without any dip.

6. Drinks
Holiday spirits can make the season bright, but only when your party guests drink responsibly. If you’re planning on serving alcohol, arrange for designated drivers, or set limits on consumption.

7. Dress code
Parties are much more fun when your guests aren’t over- or under-dressed. Are masks allowed at the Halloween party? What about flirty hipster Disney princess costumes? Do they need to rent a tux for the holiday party, or buy an ugly sweater? Include a line or two in your invitation to help everyone feel comfortable and ready to party.

8. Entertainment
Along with the eating and socializing, planning additional activities for your party can make it more exciting. Whether you’re dividing employees into groups for Halloween carnival games or booking a band in advance for your holiday party, the more thought you give to entertainment in advance, the better entertainment you can provide.

As the day of the party gets closer, encourage your guests to RSVP so you can have an accurate idea of who will be attending.

It takes a lot of consideration to plan out a holiday party. But getting all the details sorted out well in advance leads to a great experience for both you and your employees, and checks one more thing off your list as you simplify for the holidays.

Unpack your ugly sweater because this holiday party checklist is going to help you stress less.

What are some tips that have helped you plan out your holiday parties?