12 Tips for Planning an Unforgettable Office Holiday Party

Yes, it’s almost that time of year again! Mariah Carey is defrosting as we speak, supermarkets are stocking their shelves with panettone, and you’re once again asking yourself if they started decorating stores earlier than last year.

What’s more, the office holiday party is just around the corner—and you’ve been charged with the seemingly overwhelming task of organizing it. Choosing the right venue, stocking up on enough drinks, finding a DJ who doesn’t suck, and making sure everything is done on time, can be quite difficult.

But don’t worry, TravelPerk’s got your back. It’s a merry season after all, and we decided to share our secret recipes for throwing a party everyone will love.

Why you (and everyone) should be psyched about this party

For fear of stating the obvious, let’s not forget how office parties are great for team building, morale, and bringing employees together. They are always one of the benefits that employees look forward to. But it takes on even more value in a post-pandemic world, as these bonding experiences become more important than ever.

The way we work has changed over the years. From fully remote work for the better part of 2020, to a shift to hybrid or distributed work in 2021 and 2022, the nature of the work relationship has changed. Organizations worldwide are still trying to decide how they will proceed – but one thing is clear. Employees want to get together in real life – and what better way to give them what they want than with a holiday party? It’s just the ticket to immerse your employees in your company culture in a fun, non-professional setting.

It’s a great way to blow off some steam at the end of a year of hard work. Just talking.

Speaking of ugly Christmas jumpers

Everyone loves TravelPerk’s secret recipe for company holiday parties

One of the first things we hear as newcomers to TravelPark is “You won’t believe what happened at last year’s holiday party”. And everyone has a different story to tell. A huge part of our company culture is this drive and desire to get together in person, whether it’s for professional meetings, casual drinks with our colleagues, weekly all-hands, or seasonal parties.

So, what is our secret recipe? We catch up Miriam, our event manager, Get the inside scoop on how to make your next company party a roaring success. You don’t even have to hire a party planner! Here are his tips:

1. Party planning is not a last-minute affair

The holiday season is extremely busy for corporate events, and event spaces book up quickly (especially good ones). Party planning is a must get a jump on all other companies. But early planning is about more than just getting the right location. There are a lot of moving parts when planning an event, and it’s important to get all your ducks in a row beforehand so you get everything.

2. Don’t ignore COVID-19 safety measures

It’s easy to get carried away by planning the fun part of the party. But in a post-pandemic world, it’s important not to forget health and safety, always respecting the measures and restrictions your local government has set. Set clear guidelines for how your employees will behave at the party, and remember that you should empower people to behave like owners and take responsibility for their behavior.

3. There is no such thing as too much communication

Don’t be shy! Repeat yourself as many times as you need to so that your message really sinks in Employees are extremely busy at the end of the year, so many times, the information you share may be overlooked It is also really important to have a place where all the details are available for everyone to consult anytime At TravelPerk, we use Concepts as a centralized hub for such information. We also open relevant Slack channels for each event and have a dedicated email address so people can ask questions when needed.

This is one of our core pillars at TravelPerk. You’re creating events for your community, so let them be part of the organization and involve them in your decision-making process (where possible, of course). Let them share their holiday party themes, what activities they want to participate in, when they want to party, or even tell you what cool things people like. This time, we will run a themed party and organize focus groups to decide what it will be. We’re going with a… circus theme!

Pineapple party

5. The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach

… and it’s not a joke. Finding a good caterer is essential to the success of your party, as food is one of the most important things attendees will remember after the party is over. seriously This year, we selected a few to attend a tasting session and choose the best menu available. It was a really fun, mini-event with different groups of people. It became a great opportunity for them to get together and get to know each other – not to mention, try some really delicious food. We are based in Spain, after all.

6. Create opportunities for people to interact

Yes, it is a novel way to organize group activities. The whole point of such events is for people to step outside of their normal, everyday range of interactions. We want them to meet new people, develop new relationships and create positive memories with their colleagues. A sure way to do this is with a few short icebreaker party games. People will let their guard down and meet people they wouldn’t normally get a chance to work with.

7. Let your budget guide you

Okay, so it’s really easy to carry away. Event planners who tell you otherwise are lying. You want to throw the best corporate holiday party for everyone, and it’s so tempting to go crazy and get carried away by all the incredible options available on the market. But keeping your budget in mind and sticking to it is essential. This will serve as your guiding compass to create the right type of party for your company. It shows you what you can do and limits what you can’t do

8. It’s time to get creative

No matter the size of your budget, use this party plan as an opportunity to get creative. Think outside the box and stay away from overwork or cliche themes Winter wonderland or Ugly Christmas Sweater. Even if you have a small budget, try to find different ways to do things that will reduce logistical costs so you can invest in making the party fun. And yes, we’re talking more than the standard photobooth.

Party balloons and confetti

9. Is the holiday a good time to give gifts?

The answer is no! There’s really no better time to give company gifts than year-end parties. Everyone indulges in holiday cheer, getting to know their colleagues, sharing drinks with their team members (who are now becoming their friends)… what better way to top it off than with a surprise gift? Whether it’s a Secret Santa gift exchange or a gift from the company, getting it out at the right time can have a big “get-psyched” effect.

10. Be Monica when it comes to scheduling

Remember Monica Geller’s mental checklist from Friends? yes Do it. Just write. Have a detailed party schedule, clearly describing what will happen at each step of the event. Things can always go wrong, so don’t leave any issues open and be prepared to crop up with the unexpected Always have a Plan B or some sort of contingency plan for things that could go wrong.

11. People love pictures and videos

Hire a photographer and/or a videographer, budget permitting. People love to look back on such events and remember the fun they had! Often, they’re too busy enjoying themselves to take pictures of themselves, and even if they do, there’s nothing more fun than seeing candid pictures of themselves taken by other people! Not to mention it will help reinforce your company culture.

12. Last but not least… Rely on your team

Ask for help if you need it! It seems like we’re making the obvious statement here, but people don’t always do that. Planning an event is a lot of work with many obstacles in the way, and you don’t have to do it all alone. Rely on your team to help you. No one is an island!

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