Planning a corporate holiday party is a multi-faceted task with an important function: thanking staff members for their hard work and dedication over the past year. Executed correctly, the event offers a chance to build relationships and pride in the organization.
Time and budget constraints can make pulling off a winning corporate party a challenge. By starting with a comprehensive plan that addresses all key areas, you can increase the likelihood of a successful event.
Before seeking assistance from an event planner or booking a venue or caterer, you’ll need to nail down some key information:
- What is the overall purpose of the event?
- Who will be invited?
- What is the budget?
- How will you allocate your budget between venue, entertainment, food and drink?
- How will you handle unexpected costs?
- Where and when will the event take place?
Choose the date and location
Next on the agenda are choosing a date and place for your event. You’ll likely have the option to hold your event outdoors, since Phoenix typically enjoys mild weather around the holidays. However, extreme highs and lows do occur occasionally, so having a backup plan in place is prudent. Tents and canopies offer a great backup plan for unexpected weather.
Select a theme
If you want to incorporate a theme into your event, choose it early in the planning since it will affect other choices. Possibilities include a “south of the border” party complete with margaritas and a mariachi band, a costume party, a “winter wonderland” or a fundraiser for a charity, along with your own creative ideas. The possibilities are endless.
Plan the food and beverages
For budget reasons, some holiday parties these days skip the booze. If you do opt to serve alcohol, you can control costs with the following strategies:
- Limit alcoholic options to wine and beer.
- Serve one “signature” drink.
- Limit drinks to two per person.
- Offer drinks during the meal only.
- Close the bar early in the event.
- For the food, the main limitation is your budget. Will you serve a full meal or appetizers only? To keep a tight food budget in check, consider the following strategies:
- Serve seasonal fruits and vegetables — available year-round in Phoenix.
- Offer miniature portions of desserts rather than full servings.
- Consider a plated meal, which can be less expensive than a buffet.
- Choose serving options based on the budget and venue choice.
- Be sure to provide at least one vegetarian option in your meal planning.
Whether or not alcohol is served, you are likely considering some appetizers or even a buffet style meal. Items like tables, chairs, linens, skirting, chair covers, silverware and glassware can all be rented at an affordable cost.
For a successful holiday party, start with a plan
Planning a corporate holiday party is a big job. To pull off a memorable event that will impress both staff and executive management, get clear on your purpose and guest list before determining a theme, booking a venue and choosing food, beverages and entertainment. For assistance with all the details, consider working with an event planner like Big AZ Promotions.