What to Do When Company Holiday Party Planning Falls on You

Office holiday party season kicks off in earnest next month, and if you’re an office managers, HR director or company principal, chances are the task of organizing a fun event for staff has fallen squarely in your lap.

Unless you’re a corporate event entertainment professional, you probably see this task as more of a burdensome chore than a welcome gift – after all, there’s a business to run here! Who’s got time to worry about party planning when we’re trying to find leads, make sales, and close the books on the fiscal year?

Not to worry – here’s a very simple guide for the first steps to take when you’ve been charged with planning your company’s holiday party:

1.         Determine Your Event Goals – This is always the first step, before you send one email or punch a single digit into the calculator. Ask yourself, your holiday party committee or the senior decision maker, “what exactly do we want to get out of this event?” Are we looking to show staff a good time and blow off steam? Integrate new team members? Rally the troops and boost morale after a tough year? Make clear WHY you are holding an event, before you focus on what, how and when.

2.         Find Out What Your Budget Is – This is the immediate next step after determining goals, especially in our current economic environment. Somebody in charge – maybe even you – has the answer to the question, “how much can we spend on our holiday party?” Find out the answer, before doing anything else.

3.         Determine if Your Event Will be Onsite or Offsite – Perhaps the biggest single decision you need to make: will we be having this party here in the office, or somewhere else? Budget plays a role here, but so do your event goals, your workplace culture, and your physical space. Figure this part out quickly, and it will help clarify what your next steps will be.

4.         Keep it Simple – This is supposed to be a fun event for you and staff, so don’t go bananas with the details at this point – just get the what, where and when figured out. Once that’s finalized, you can go as crazy as you like on fine touches.

Planning an event on behalf of the company can be overwhelming, and I certainly don’t mean to oversimplify things here. However, the fact is that if your office is going to to have a holiday party, than SOMEBODY has to plan it; if that person is you, no problem!

You got this.


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