5 Steps To The Perfect Office Holiday Party

By Stefanie Neyland, Small Business Content Developer at BizLaunch.com

December is finally here, and if you’re a small business owner that can only mean one thing: it’s almost time for the annual office holiday party. Office parties have become synonymous with the holiday season, and believe it or not, it’s probably the one time of year that your staff look forward to most.

While planning a holiday party may seem easy enough, you’d be surprised at how time-consuming it can be. The key to a successful, no-stress holiday party is planning; so here are five of our best tips to ensure yours is a very merry occasion for all.


1. Set a budget

When planning your holiday party, your very first consideration is likely to be cost. But remember: there’s a big difference between planning an affordable get-together and throwing a cheap party—and you don’t want to be doing the latter. While saving money is always at the forefront of every business owner's mind, instead of asking what’s the least you can spend, you should be asking what you can afford to spend. If you can’t spare the cash to put on a great party, consider waiting until you can.

If, however, you’ve got the funds to throw a full-on festive shindig, it’s still wise to set a budget. Come up with a price you’re willing to spend per head (say, $75, for example) and multiply it by the number of employees you have. If you have ten employees and $750 seems a bit too steep, cut the frills and rejig the numbers until you find a cost that fits. Saving money is important, but don’t let penny-pinching get in the way of giving your staff a great time.


2. Select a venue

You know what they say—‘a good venue maketh a great party’... Well, maybe they don’t say that, but it’s important advice to bear in mind when planning your holiday shindig. While hosting it at the office may come with tax advantages (if clients will be attending, your event is classed as ‘marketing’ and can be put through as a business expense), it might be an idea to host the party elsewhere to enable you to mingle with your staff and customers in less formal surroundings. A great idea is to reserve a table—or even better, a venue space—to provide maximum fun for all your guests and to allow them to really let their hair down.


3. Compile a guest list

What makes an awesome party? Awesome people, of course—and plenty of them. If you’re reading this it’s likely that your business is small, so to increase your guest list, allow your employees and/or customers to bring along a plus one. Your staff spend enough time working with one another during the week, so inviting spouses, friends and significant others will enhance the party atmosphere and introduce some fresh faces to the crowd.


4. Choose a theme

Try ditching the traditional Christmas theme and think outside the box instead. Choosing a fun theme for your office party not only makes the planning process much easier, but it’s also a good way to avoid leaning the event towards one religious holiday. Consider fun theme ideas that will help you devise a menu, dress code, music list and decor to make the party planning process that much simpler. If you’re somewhat of a traditionalist but don’t want to go with an all-out Christmas concept, consider something neutral such as a general wintertime theme.


5. Show your appreciation

The holiday season is the perfect time to stop, reflect and give thanks to the people we work with. As a business owner, you should try and take some time out to show your appreciation for your staff—not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but also because it will make them feel valued and will ultimately improve company morale, and in turn, boost your bottom line. This holiday season be sure to give credit where credit’s due.

By Andrew Patricio

December 04, 2013