How to Throw the Ultimate Corporate Holiday Party

You know the holiday season is approaching when you start seeing public spaces decorated with bright lights and Mariah Carey making a comeback on the radio. Not only does the holiday season bring families and friends together, it also allows for companies and colleagues to put work aside and spend quality time with each other. For many companies, the holiday party is the one sought-after event where employees get to let loose.

We want you to satisfy your work team and host a memorable event for them – let us help you throw the ultimate corporate holiday party with the tips below!

Venue

Picking a venue can be a big feat; there are many variables that come into play when trying to satisfy a large crowd. Here are some guidelines and items to consider in your decision making process.

Venue Selection:

Locking down a venue is the first step to having a successful holiday corporate party. Depending on the size of your company, it might make more sense to host the holiday party off-site to accommodate employees and +1’s. Recently, it has become more acceptable to hold the ‘holiday party’ at a non-traditional time (January – February) to have access to off-peak time venue rates and save on a major cost. If you’re looking for some options, take a look at our Approved Vendor List to see some places we trust and know pretty well.

Location & Parking:

Consider where the majority of employees live and decide whether it’d be convenient to host the event close to the majority or by the office since it’s a familiar location. When it comes to transportation it’s important to find out and communicate if the venue offers parking space, or if there is parking nearby. If alcohol is to be provided at the event, make sure to encourage employees to select a designated driver or use ride share programs like Lyft or Uber.

Layout & Ambiance:

When thinking about the layout of the event, it’s important to keep in mind what areas of the venue you want to accentuate for traffic flow, focus and attention. Think about what kind of setup would be ideal for you, the activities you have planned and your guests. When it comes to ambiance, pay attention at what the internal decor of the venue is like and work with it to maximize your budget. Consider using company colors for decor to emphasize workplace belonging and pride.

Services & Amenities:

When picking a venue, it doesn’t hurt to ask the booking representative what services and amenities are included with the booking fee. If the venue is able to provide or charge a setup/cleaning fee for tables, chairs and linens, it can help save a big deal of money in the end. If there will be a presentation of some sort which will require multimedia, make sure to ask the booking representative whether the venue has built-in capabilities.

Pro tip: Our friends at blanc Denver are currently having a Very Merry Deal! Book your December 2018 through April 2019 event and receive their special holiday pricing of $5,000 venue rental rate!

Food

The next step for a successful holiday corporate party is picking the right food. Holiday parties are usually also appreciation events so employees expect to be fed. The food is typically one of the highlights of the event, so this can seem like a big responsibility. Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here to help!

There are a number of tips and tricks that our event designers can discuss with you to help you stay in budget while still providing an excellent meal. Here are some of them!

Know Your Audience

Depending on the size of your company you might already know your employee’s food preferences. Sometimes, it’s safe to stick to what you know – or this can be a great opportunity to poll your employees and guests to get a sense of what their preference would be. Take this moment to consider any additional accommodations that need to be made those with dietary restrictions or allergies.

Know Your Event

Are you hosting a simple holiday corporate party or are you weaving other elements like group activities and speeches in between? Knowing what you’ll be doing at your event and having a rough timeline can help you decide on menu options, for example whether it makes more sense to serve plated meals or family style, and the appropriate timing as to when food will be served.  

Know Your Numbers

Before finalizing menu choices, check the number of people who RSVP’d to get an approximate number of people in attendance and make a decision based on that.

We pride ourselves to be a fully custom catering company where we’ll let your story run the show. We want your event’s menu to be influenced by your party’s theme, brand colors and holiday spirit. To get some ideas rolling, take a look at our holiday menu of our festive and delicious offerings.

Alcohol

A great question to consider when organizing a corporate holiday party is whether you should provide wine, beer or spirits. You want your employees to enjoy themselves and have a good time but still keep company culture and code of conduct in mind.

A good alternative we’ve found that works for many companies and events is to limit the amount of alcohol that is available at the event. This can be done by providing drink tickets or limiting the amount of time the bar will be open. In addition, there should always be trained bartenders used to serve alcohol.

If you will be serving alcohol at your corporate holiday party, we know that alcohol portioning can be tricky!  That’s why we’ve developed this simple tool to make this easier for you. This Alcohol Calculator will provide a rough idea on how much alcohol would be needed at your event based on the number of guests and type of bar you’d like to have.  

Activities

You know how the saying goes: “Eat, drink and be merry”. Besides food and drinks, having some fun activities planned out can really help inject some real holiday spirit into your company party.

Here are some ideas that your employees and guests will be talking about for weeks!

Give Door Prizes

It is human nature to be competitive; we all have the desire to win. Door prizes will provide an opportunity for everyone to feel like a winner. Think about prizes that will fit your budget and will also be meaningful for your employees.

Pick a Theme

Give your party an identity! By adding a theme, your employees will be more likely to recall it due to its unique nature. Using a theme will also create an ecosystem where the decorations, food and drinks are in unison. 

Festive Ice Breakers

The holiday corporate party can be an opportunity for people from different teams to interact with each other and get a chance to bond. Party games provide the perfect way to foster group cohesion. This can be done simply by dividing people into teams and giving a scavenger hunt or having a holiday movie trivia.

Rent a Photo Booth

Renting a photo booth or having a batch of disposable cameras on site can be a great way to capture memories and provide individuals with the opportunity to mingle, be silly and strike a pose!

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Having a holiday corporate party is a great way to increase workplace morale, show appreciation and strengthen the bond among colleagues. We absolutely love spreading the holiday joy with individuals and companies we get to work with and want to help you do the same!

If you have your own venue and would like Relish Catering to cater, don’t hesitate to give us a call to start menu planning today for your corporate holiday party!

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