Corporate Culture & Productivity

Successfully Planning Your Office Holiday Party

Darin Herle
November 9th, 2017

Planning a flawless and unforgettable holiday party is no easy feat—it requires months of planning, input from multiple stakeholders and a lot of creativity. There are many factors to plan for, like reserving the venue, creating a menu and coordinating decorations. In all of the excitement, it’s easy to forget the extra steps that can take your party to the next level—and even easier to miss important tasks that are a little bit less exciting. Let’s explore the ins-and-outs of office holiday party planning, to ensure you’re organizing one of the most exciting nights of the year.

Considering hosting your company’s holiday party at the office? Space management software will help you visualize how to create a party-friendly layout.


Present meaningful awards

Holiday parties are an opportune time to show appreciation for your committed and hard-working staff. Whether this means handing out anniversary plaques for employees who’ve been with the company for many years, or rewarding them monetarily, celebrating dedicated staff is a must. Not only will it help boost employees’ spirits, it will motivate them to work harder at the company year-after-year.

Prepare an engaging presentation

Nobody enjoys an awkward, never-ending party speech. In place of this faux-pas, plan an organized video or visual presentation. Recap the year with photos, wins and highlights to remind employees of their greatest achievements, and emphasize their contribution to the company’s success.

Choose a rockstar MC

Assigning the right host can make or break your office’s holiday party. The MC sets the tone for the evening and ensures a good time. When selecting an MC, be sure to consider whether they can add inspiration, humor and encouragement to the evening.

Encourage mingling

Holiday parties promote relationship-building across departments. They allow staff to step outside their close-knit groups and get to know the rest of their co-workers. While this often happens organically, it can be beneficial to plan ways to get it started. For example, rather than let people cluster together with their friends at meal time, organize a seating arrangement that situates unacquainted groups together. Facility managers (FMs) play an important role in organizing this, as they often facilitate the company directory. They understand which departments and individuals share a space and interact with each other on a daily basis.

Account for accessibility

Facility managers understand the office layout and organization, including how the facility accommodates inclusivity. FMs have inside knowledge on the mobility and health requirements of all staff members—information that is very important for party planning. Whether the event is taking place at the office or at an external location, accessibility must be accounted for. Make sure to communicate with staff about the accessibility options at new or unfamiliar venues, prior to the event.

Have a clean-up plan

Even if the party is held off-site, it will likely need a lot of cleaning up afterwards. It’s a good idea to coordinate a crew of reliable staff members who can assist in packing up decorations, as well as returning furniture and electronics post-party. If you’re hosting the party at the office, be sure to keep track of equipment that you moved to make room for the event, ensuring an easy clean-up the next day.

Cover all your bases

When planning your holiday party, consider this: what does the company’s liability insurance cover? As with any off-site event, the company is still responsible for its staff members. Consider the legal implications of hosting a holiday party and take all the steps to ensure your bases are covered.  

The above planning requires vision, imagination and originality. But, it also requires practicality and foresight. Find a balance in your planning to ensure that the party is just as fun to organize as it is to attend.


Photos: Shutterstock / gpointstudio, Shutterstock / Jacob Lund, Shutterstock / Rawpixel, Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi