Be Cool! 5 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Company Holiday Party

So here we are, halfway through December – and still, no company office party planned. Maybe this is your busy season, there’s been a crisis, or several key staff changes have confused just who was supposed to be doing what. Regardless, the fact remains: as far as this year’s holiday party goes, we ain’t got nothin’!

This is actually a lot more common than you think. I remember working at a company a number of years back, and senior management flat out told us that the annual holiday had been cancelled, because…they forgot! They literally didn’t remember that they were supposed to plan something. It stinks, but it happens.

However, that doesn’t mean you and your employees are out of luck this year, not by a long shot! Here are 5 options to consider if, by whatever set of circumstances, you still haven’t got an office holiday party planned yet:

1.         Get Going Now- Like, RIGHT NOW – Yes, it’s late; yes, time is short. However, it’s still very much the holiday season, and you absolutely can pull off a great staff holiday party with the resources you have available. Pick up the phone (or delegate someone to), and start inquiring about options for venues, activities, dates, times and everything else that goes into these things.

2.         Arrange Something In-House – That said, at this late hour it may be very difficult to find venues which can conveniently accommodate your group, regardless of the size – even if you’re planning an office holiday party or corporate employee team building activity in NYC, with plenty of restaurants, bars etc. to choose from. A more realistic option for you right now may be to hold something on-site, so look into doing that.

3.         Be Flexible & Imaginative with the Activity – As with venues, the best options for entertaining your group may already be booked. Be flexible here, perhaps by trying something new and untested. It would actually be better to not have any entertainment of ANY kind, if the alternative is not having an office holiday party at all.

4.         Invite Significant Others – At this point, your staff is very aware that they haven’t heard from you, and is probably none too pleased. Whatever you decide to do, it’d be wise not to further rock the boat; open the event to spouses and significant others (as you no doubt are aware, this is a hotly debated topic among holiday party planning committees – I am of the belief that people who are married / in relationships want to have their significant others come to holiday parties, and should be given at least the option of doing so).

5.         Postpone the Party Until January – Remember that “forgotten” holiday party I’d mentioned? The company eventually did do the right thing, and threw us a proper office holiday party – albeit in January. It was late, yes, but was still very much in the holiday spirit, and very much appreciated by us employees.

A last-minute holiday party is far better than none. Your staff is still holding out that they’ll have a holiday party this year – so should you!

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