Time to start thinking about your company holiday party! Are you ready to plan a bash your employees will be excited to attend. There are a ton of ways you can get creative and inject some real holiday spirit into the event. Your party is a great opportunity to get together with your team, enjoy each other's company, and let everyone know how much you appreciate their hard work over the last year. These ideas can help you make it a party to remember.
1. Pick a Theme
Want to turn a ho-hum get-together into a memorable one? Give it a theme. Even a standard drinks-and-catering party becomes a lot more fun when everyone is wearing masquerade masks or Hawaiian leis. You can pick about anything as your theme (just make sure it won't raise any eyebrows in HR). Here are some ideas:
Door prizes make a welcome addition to any company party. Who doesn't love winning something? Think about what kind of prizes fit your budget and what your employees will appreciate most. A few tried-and-true ideas include:
Plan some fun games to help your employees loosen up and get to know each other. Activities that require working together are especially great for building a sense of team spirit. Here are some ideas you can try:
Encourage your employees to make their own unforgettable moments by setting up a photo booth for your party. Many Photographers will set up a professional photo booth but if that is not in your budget, improvise by making your own. Create a festive backdrop by decorating a piece of butcher paper or a white sheet. A string of lights makes a nice touch, too. Have plenty of fun props on hand (Santa hats and tinsel are mandatory), and get ready to strike a pose!
5. Giving Back to the Community
You can hold a food or toy drive with your employees and even include your clients. Volunteer as a group at a food bank, soup kitchen or toy drive. Take the group out for a casual dinner and drinks and get into the true holiday spirit of helping the less fortunate in your community. This will go a lot farther than an employee secret santa exchange.
6. Have a Potluck
If you would like to keep your party casual this year, consider having a potluck so your crew can show off their cooking or baking skills. Potlucks are budget-friendly, and there are always a wide variety of delicious foods for everyone to sample. Having a sign up sheet with categories makes sure that they will be a variety of dishes and your employees can show off their cooking skills.
Have your main meal catered, and ask your employees to bring in their favorite sweet treats and hold a “Best Dessert” contest.
7. Bring in Some Entertainment
Talent is always looking for places to perform and why not at your Holiday Party? Musicians, magicians, or jugglers? Entertainment can take your event to the next level, especially if you hire a performer or band that lines up with the theme of your party. If you're planning to book any entertainment, do it well ahead of time, so you don't have to scramble to find someone a week before the event.
8. Switch Up Your Gift Exchange
Having a Secret Santa gift exchange can be fun, but let's be honest - it gets a little worn-out year after year. Try changing things up with a white elephant gift exchange, where everyone brings a gift that's strange, funny, or unusable. Other fresh ideas:
Your employees will appreciate a great office party, they'll may also enjoy a day out of the office even more. Getting a change of scenery and doing something enjoyable together is often the best way to build camaraderie, so take the afternoon off and go somewhere with your team. Active outings, like hiking or ice-skating, or a trip to a local attraction are usually a fun way to spend the day. If you're planning to include alcohol in the day, consider following up your outing with a visit to a bar. That way, anyone who doesn't want to drink will be able to opt out of the second part without feeling excluded from the main event.
Are You Inspired to Throw a Great Holiday Party This Year?
Whatever your budget, company culture, and employees are like, there's a holiday party idea out there that's perfect for your team. Use this as a starting point to spark your creativity.
Still not sure what kind of party you should throw? Poll your employees! They'll appreciate that you care about their opinions, and they'll enjoy the party more if they get to have some say in what happens.
Don't forget, the best gift of the season is spending quality time with others. Foster a sense of goodwill and friendship at your party, and it will be sure to be a memorable one.