Start Planning Your Corporate Holiday Party Early
Holiday venues book up quickly, especially for prime dates during November or December. Booking in advance saves you the headache of scrambling for space last minute. Ideally, you’ll want to start looking at venues a couple of months in advance. To do so, it’s best if you have a decent estimate of the following:
- The number of attendees, including potential ‘plus-ones.’
- Proposed dates (hint: if Fridays and Saturdays are full, Thursday evenings may be an option for you as well)
- Overall budget
- Type of party atmosphere. Do you want more of a casual gathering or a company-wide extravaganza?
Build Your Budget Wisely
It can be tricky to know exactly what to include in your budget, but we recommend including:
- Dedicated venue spend
- Food costs -Are you hosting a sit-down meal, or budgeting for hor d’oeurves?
- Alcohol budget – if you decide to serve alcohol (more on the pros and cons below), it can quickly eat through your budget if you don’t plan carefully. Check out our Wedding Bar Bill Tips blog to get a general idea of the breakdown when it comes to alcohol spend.
- Entertainment costs – Does your venue allow you to bring your setup, are your bringing in live music, etc.
- Event transportation/ accommodations – depending on your location this may be optional, but if you do plan on having alcohol available to guests, it’s both widely appreciated and recommended that you give your guests a safe way to get home or stay the night.
Booze or No Booze
As with weddings, one of the most common questions our planners receive is whether or not to include alcohol at an event. Truthfully, we can’t make that call for you, but if it’s something you’re considering, we strongly advise you to consider the following:
- Expense – as we said above, alcohol can quickly take up a large portion of your budget dependent on a variety of factors
- Company policy – Even though a work party may fall outside typical circumstances, you’ll want to make sure that your choice aligns with your overall company vision
- If you’re providing alcohol, your food spends will likely need to be higher to minimize the chances of overindulgence on an empty stomach.
- Consider limiting the number of drinks available via drink tickets, having a cash bar, and providing a wide selection of non-alcoholic drinks for your guests.
Plan Your Menu
No one likes to go home on an empty stomach! Planning your menu in advance works to everyone’s benefits. Make sure you are aware of any dietary restrictions for your guests. Also try to give your caterer ample notice, so they have time to create a menu that suits your needs. A general rule of thumb if you’re looking to save a little on overall food costs? Stick to dishes that are seasonal and easily sourced locally.
Remember to Have Fun!
With all the business surrounding the holidays and party planning, it can be easy to forget the reason behind getting together. Corporate festivities are one of the best ways to bring your team together and say thank you after a long year of hard work!
Looking to book an exceptional venue for this year’s office shindig? Contact us today to learn how our dedicated team of experts can help!