If you’ve been tasked with planning the annual end of year party, following a few basic guidelines to get the most out of your special event can help you reduce costs without impacting quality. By carefully evaluating the best way to approach and execute this holiday party, you can create an experience that not only boosts company morale but also increases employee satisfaction and retention levels across the board.
It’s important to start with the basics—what theme should the party have, where should it take place, how many people are coming, when should it happen, and what food and drinks will be served during the occasion—before moving on to specialized planning and eventually event execution.
The Basic Elements of a Year End Party
Of course, like any other event or project, you need to create a project plan that identifies the event details for the employee holiday party. Theme, venue, time, date, guest count, food and beverage selections, decor, and event agenda must all be considered before you begin to execute your event.
Every good party needs these core elements to be successful, but not everything has to be set in stone before you begin to execute on securing a venue and planning an agenda, etc etc.
Choose the Most Effective Time to Hold Your Event
The best time to hold a year end party is probably somewhere during the last week before holiday break. Its also ideal to host the event during company hours, this allows the organization to control costs and reduces the obligations on employees’ personal time and commitments.
So how do you get the biggest bang for the buck? Friday is the most popular day of the week at restaurants, its the most expensive time. Few organizations will want to consider Sunday evening, so it seems the next best option may be Monday night.
Choose a Team to Help Execute the Event
Teaming up with co workers and delegating event organizational tasks to them may be a huge headache. People tend to take things personally or will leave tasks to the last minute because they have work to do. Thats why we recommend that you allow our team to help you execute your year end party. We’ll help you put together the theme, the menu, the decor and entertainment so you can worry about the fun things like gifts and awards.
A Cost-Effective Holiday Party Menu
When it comes to choosing what to feed the office during your party, a number of options come to mind. Floating platters are ideal for short parties, where people aren’t obligated to stay long or if the bar tab is the star of the event. Plated service is great for an intimate office. Buffets are most suitable for events that will last well into the night.
Decide on Alcohol Consumption Levels and Limits
Most employees don’t want to attend a company event that doesn’t feature some form of alcoholic beverage. For this reason, you want to narrow your booze selection or even create signature cocktails to reduce costs and keep intoxication levels down.
You might also consider limiting the selections to wines, beers and ciders. Anything else individuals can pay for themselves.
Remind Employees of Proper Etiquette
The best advice for everyone who attends a year end party is to make sure you remember etiquette for arriving and making others feel comfortable and enjoy the evening, and laying out ground rules in a company-wide memo or e-mail before the event is a perfectly acceptable way to make sure your employee guests have the best experience they can.
Etiquette mistakes to avoid at the holiday party include avoiding excessive drinking, eating, talking, or complaining, arriving too early or leaving too late, wearing improper attire, and bringing excessive guests—all of which can not only impact others’ experiences at the event but also company costs.
Although the party is meant to bring the team together and lower inhibitions commonly found in the workplace, remind your guests that they still represent the company, even when attending this after-work event, and are therefore expected to behave in a manner suitable for the workplace.
Consider Setting Up a Gift Exchange
In general, many organizations include a gift exchange between employees at their holiday parties. However, if the organization is larger, perhaps this is best left at the departmental level rather than at the all-employee event as organizing on such a scale can prove difficult—especially if you’re unfamiliar with certain departments and their employees.