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10 Do’s and Don’ts for This Year’s Corporate Holiday Party


The holiday season is fast approaching and the emergence of red and green candy on the store shelves should be your cue to start planning the corporate holiday party for this year!  This party is the biggest of the year provides a virtual minefield of DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to not only throwing it but planning as well.  We here at Speed Raceway know all too well about these familiar mix-ups, miscues and faux pas that happen before and during these parties and would like to provide you with a list of 10 DO’s and DON’Ts for your corporate holiday party this year!

1. DON’T forget to create a budget for the party

First things first, you’ll need to figure out how much money you can and are willing to spend on this fancy party!  Knowing you’ll be spending most of it on a venue and food, start to plan out what fits your budget, what your guests will want and what type of options that leaves you with.

2. DO book a venue outside the office

Office parties often attract fewer guests than RSVP’s might promise due to the fact that many people don’t want to spend their evenings off at the office that they work in.  Instead, change up the scenery and hold you event at a fun and non-office venue that will interest and excite people more!  Whether it’s a restaurant, entertainment center or other fun location, your guests will be much happier compared to making chit-chat right next to their desk.

3. DON’T put off booking the venue until the last minute

Just because you’ve decided that you’ll host your corporate party at an offsite venue doesn’t mean it’s going to magically happen.  Set a reminder in your calendar a few months out telling you to locate and book the necessary venue for your party so that you aren’t stuck scrambling to find a proper location and paying extra for last minute concessions.

4. DO provide food and drink

If you’re going to attract your entire office to a night of mingling with each other and their spouses, you better be serving food and drink.  While you may not need to go provide a full 4 course meal for everyone there, you should definitely have some kind of finger food to snack on.  Whether you make this in house or hire a caterer is entirely up to you and your budget, but make sure that there is sufficient food and alcoholic drinks for everyone there to tide them over for the night.

5. DON’T let workers consumer too much alcohol

Just because you’re cool and provide alcohol does not mean that you leave the responsible drinking of your coworkers up to chance.  If you feel you must, limit the number of drinks for each person or amount available at the party to ensure that everyone stays safe and doesn’t make a fool of themselves.  This type of alcohol monitoring may not be the way your company would like to handle this so there always…

6. DO provide transportation options (to and from)

Transportation options to and from the venue are a must for your corporate holiday party.  Not only will you need to give directions, carpooling and parking options to all of your guests when it comes to getting to your party but you will want to consider how all of your guests will get home, especially if some of them have overindulged themselves.  Having taxi options, assigning designated drivers and paying for hotel rooms are just a few ways that you and your company can keep your employees safe while avoiding any kind of incidents regarding alcohol, your employees and driving.

7. DON’T forget decorations

After taking all the time to find and book a venue away from your office, don’t forget to dress the place up for the party with some fun decorations that remind your guests why they’re there!  Paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, brightly colored table cloths and festive streamers are just a few ideas when it comes to decorating your party!

8. DO bring appropriate party music

An iPod and large speakers is all you really need now-in-days for party music, but don’t just leave it at that!  While you may not need to hire a DJ anymore, creating an appropriate playlist to last you the entire night is needed.  Holiday music is always a good choice, along with popular and trending music so long as it isn’t too edgy or controversial.

9. DON’T forget fun activities

Getting together, eating and making small talk with everyone can only take up so much of a night, so go ahead and plan out fun events throughout the party to keep people entertained.  White elephant, Secret Santa and other holiday events are great ways to get everyone all together having fun and can kill large portions of time if planned correctly.

10. DO have fun!

Last and most important of all is to have fun as the party planner!  You’ve spent countless hours preparing every aspect of this party and you can easily get caught up in making sure that everything runs smoothly and that everyone else has a good time, but you will need to come to a realization.  There isn’t much you can do once the party is set in motion, some people may not have as good of a time as planned and some things might not work out like you saw them in your head.  Once you come to accept these things, then you can relax and start to enjoy yourself because remember, it is a party!

Planning corporate holiday parties can be a tricky business.  Knowing how to properly plan the different aspects of it are not easy, so why not get a little help from these DO’s and DON’Ts as well as our Corporate Event Planning Guide so that you don’t forget a thing!  Trust us, your guests will thank you for it!


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