Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 Smart Tips to Plan Your Office Christmas Party

The Christmas Office Party is coming up in a few weeks and the honor to set it up has been given to you. Whether you are organizing your first Holiday party or your 10th these tips will help you plan a successful event.

10 Smart Tips to Plan Your Office Christmas Party

1. Establish your Holiday Party Budget
Things are tough and that can mean no money, $100 or $1,000 for a Holiday event. So, check to make sure office expectations match your budget reality.

2. Date & Location
Date – This is less of an issue when events are held over lunch or in the office. However for out of office Christmas and Holiday parties, get your invitations out as soon as possible so people know to save the date.

In office parties save money and can be a benefit when co-workers have long commutes, while out of office locations can be had for great rates and often make the event feel like more of a celebration. If you book with a hotel, see if you can have them donate prizes to your event. Remember, it never hurts to ask.

3. Who will attend your Christmas / Holiday Party?
Determine whether it will be employees, employees and dates or employees and their families. If you include families, remember to have events and a coloring or activity station for the kids. This will help make the event more enjoyable for everyone.

4. Holiday Party Theme
Is there a holiday party theme or is it a social holiday gathering? Themes could be Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Winter Wonderland, Happy Holidays, etc… this could help you define prizes, party favors and decorations.

5. Holiday Party Activities
Divide your holiday party in sections; beginning, middle and end, this you allow you to plan activities. For most Christmas and Holiday parties, you have a social time, the meal, after meal activities like holiday gift exchanges or games, Santa and presents or party favors.

Mix in Christmas trivia games, Caroling, printable Christmas games or a family game like Find Santa’s Reindeer as possible options to keep the event flowing.

6. Holiday Party Invitations
Once you have the basics decided, sent out your invitation. You can do an online invitation, general email or send out your own. Note with the busy holiday season, the sooner you send the invitation the better.

7. Holiday Party Decorations
You budget will help you decide how much to spend on decorations, but on of my favorites is stacks of wrapped presents. If you do this get cheap wrapping paper and do 80% - 100% solid colors (red, gold, silver and green) and a few designs if you want. This will help colors and designs look great. Add ribbon to the top of the stack and let it fall over all the presents.

Another great idea is a holiday photo stand in (photo), they are silly but also fun and memorable for co-workers, spouses and kids. They help make the event an "event."

8. Planning the Holiday Party Menu
While pot-luck events are fine in the summer, I suggest you have the event catered and try to have at least on wow food item.

9. Party Favors & Employee Gifts
Depending on you budget you may want to a small holiday gift. Check out these various Christmas party favors.

Check with the boss or president of the company to see if you are you in charge of getting gifts? Just know what is expected of you, that way you are sure to succeed.

10. RSVP's, Prep Work, Party Time
Last go over your RSVP's a week before the event to confirm numbers, two days before the event make sure you have all decorations, food, music and party supplies ready to go and make any last minute changes if needed and finally Have a great Holiday Party!

Final Note of Advice - Keep some items a secret.
And here is why, often if you share everything and something falls through people get disappointed. However, if you share only a little and then surprise them and over deliver; then they tend to enjoy the event more.

Sarah - The Party Game Ideas Lady
Party Game Ideas your source for Christmas Games

* Party Game Ideas may receive compensation if a purchase is made thru one of the linked items noted in this blog.

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