Summer is zooming by! Back to school sales will be up in the next two weeks and then before you can blink, it will be back to Chi-beria and time to look forward to the holidays! July is the best time to get to work on the details for your company holiday party to secure the space, date and time that will ensure the highest turnout. After all, high turnout is what differentiates weekday Happy Hour from the event of the year. Not to mention, the holiday party can be a necessary event for dignity redemption for some that may have let their hair a little too far down the previous year.
So you’re ready to plan… what is the first step? The first step is to allow the budget and the culture to guide the event. With the influx of millennials into the workforce, competitive or creative experiential restaurant concepts are becoming increasingly popular as many companies steer away from the traditional and formal holiday party. Ping pong, bocce ball, pickleball, laser tag, shuffleboard, bowling and digitally enhanced golfing are just a few of the experiential gaming options that have surfaced nationally over the past few years in more upscale environments.
Once you have selected a venue that fits into your budget and culture, nail down the date as soon as possible! The first two weeks of December typically are the most ideal dates before the employees will begin taking personal time, making these the dates that fill up the quickest for most restaurants. Specifically, the first two Wednesday’s and Thursday’s of December will be filled in most of the desirable venues before Halloween. When those dates are filled, January is another great time for the holiday party. Everyone will be back from vacation and venues will have a lot more inventory options.
When budget comes into play, it is smart to have backup plans that are lower cost. Offices and tenant lounges are ideal as you won’t need to provide transportation and many caterers either have different entertainment options as a part of their packages or partner with other vendors they can recommend. If a new environment is important, another low cost option to explore is art studios. This is a great creative option that will be BYOB (bring you own beverages) and most places will allow you to bring in your own catering. Additionally, the take away painting will cover the need for any party favors!
Whatever the budget, venue or activity that is selected, the holiday party will always be a fun time that includes a moral boost and bonding between employees while thanking them for their hard work throughout the year.