The Ins and Outs of Planning a Company Holiday Party

Dec 1, 2021

Planning a company holiday party has always come with unique challenges, but it can be extra difficult in this post-pandemic world. After forgoing the standard company holiday events last year during the lockdown, many companies are eager to celebrate with their staff again. If you are ready to create an atmosphere that is festive and enjoyable, you need to consider the logistics of your event. Should you opt for a virtual get-together? How many people are coming? What type of food should you serve? What kind of decorations will make everyone feel at home? This blog post has all the information you’ll need to plan your perfect company holiday party!

Why have a company holiday party?


The company holiday party has carried a lot of recruiting and employee retention significance in the past. Big corporations have been known to spare no expense in hosting their annual holiday gatherings. Facebook once spent $300K on a party venue. Salesforce hired the B-52s to perform at their gathering one year. In some companies, company parties were actually considered part of the benefits package.

The sentiment is not misplaced. A company holiday party is a celebration to thank employees for their hard work and allow them to reconnect with co-workers. In addition to being a time for employees to get together and have some fun, it’s also an opportunity for employers to show appreciation and boost morale.

In this post-pandemic world, the economy and workplace environment has changed significantly. A good holiday party is a great way to celebrate the past year and look forward to what’s in store for the future. In addition, it can be an opportunity for your company to thank your employees, strengthen morale, and build teamwork.

With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc, you might be curious about how to throw a fun work gathering this holiday season while also keeping everyone safe. You can do it, but careful planning is necessary.

How to Plan the Perfect Company Holiday Party


1) Virtual or In-Person?

Before you can plan for a successful company party, you need to decide what type of event would be most appropriate for your company and employees.

Thanks to the global pandemic, planning a holiday work party this year requires determining in advance whether your event will be hosted in-person, online, or a hybrid of both. Perhaps the easiest way to make this decision is by using your company’s current work policy. Are you still a remote-first workplace, or are employees back in their offices? If your staff has yet to return to the office full-time, it may be best to consider a virtual or hybrid gathering.

2) Team-Building or Socializing?

Decide on a topic or activity for your holiday party. Will you focus on team building or strictly socializing? Activities are a great way to do both and lend themselves well to virtual or hybrid alternatives. For example, a team of foodies might enjoy an online cooking class or virtual tasting event, while an outdoor cocoa night or going to see Christmas lights may create ideal networking opportunities while honoring social distance requirements.

3) Get on the Calendar

Calendars fill up fast during the holidays for most people, so set your date and get invitations out quickly. While traditionally, holiday work parties took place on Friday evenings, take advantage of more flexible schedules and consider holding the event during the workday or on a weeknight.

Make sure to send out invitations with precise details about the party. Include location, time, dress code, and any mask or social-distancing requirements. If the gathering is online, share the link and information about joining the party.

Other considerations for your event

The success of your company holiday party is contingent on how well you execute and manage logistics. There’s nothing worse than planning a party and realizing that there won’t be enough space or food to accommodate everyone. Before putting any plans into motion, consider these key factors:

Space: When hosting in-person events, make sure there will be enough space for everyone. If hosting a party at a restaurant or a public place, make sure that there is a private area where you can gather without being disturbed by other patrons.

Food: Plan your menu in advance – do you want hors d’oeuvres? A sit-down dinner with appetizers and desserts? Will there be gluten-free or vegan options? Do you need to hire catering? If desired, consider purchasing masks or face masks for guests to wear during dinner preparation and eating.

Attire: If in-person, consider a dress code for the evening. Will it be a casual or business attire event?

The holiday season can be the perfect time to boost morale and employee engagement. Combine it with a company holiday party, and this can help enhance both your work environment and workplace culture. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that company gatherings are meant to foster community and build relationships. Design your holiday party with these goals in mind, and you’ll have great results!

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