Holiday Party Hosting Dos and Don’ts

Holiday Party

Everything you need to know to make your holiday party a smashing success!

As we all know, I have worked A LOT of holiday parties. And by A LOT I mean hundreds probably. I’m what some would call an expert in the field of holiday parties, and I have seen many good things and A LOT of bad things. I can usually tell if the party is going to flop or be a smashing success long before your first guest walks in. Let me help you. Take this list and run with it you little holiday party planning elf. You’ll be glad you did!

Do have holiday themed beverages available.

Whether you choose eggnog or winter lager or red and green jello shots, do something festive and fun that your guests would like to try. Then if they want something else, let them buy if your budget it limited.

Don’t have an open bar.

I can promise you, an open bar means trouble. If it’s not financial trouble, then it’s guests trying to chair surf or Jim from accounting getting arrested for belly flopping in the fountain across the street.

Do get creative with desserts.

If you don’t have a large budget, get creative using Christmas cookies as your centerpieces. Or create a large dessert display at the end of your buffet. Pretty and edible is a great combo.

Don’t try to save money by skipping dessert.

I know it seems weird, but every holiday party I’ve seen without some form of dessert has been a complete failure. Guests were disappointed and left early. Don’t tempt fate. Save money elsewhere or you’ll be sorry.

Do thank your employees.

Even if you can’t give out some kind of holiday gift, stand up and thank the people who work with you day in and day out. It’s the best time of year to show your appreciation.

Don’t drone on for 45 minutes.

People want to party. Don’t waste half their party talking about things they don’t care about, especially if food is staring them in the face. Make it short and sweet for all our sakes.

Do provide some kind of entertainment.

Whether that is music or a fun company slideshow, make sure there is something more than just chatter. Silence can kill a party faster than anything.

Don’t try to have the venue come up with entertainment last minute.

Venues typically can’t pull music out of thin air. It involves IT, audio equipment, plug-ins and sound check. None of which you want happening during the party. Just plan ahead. It’s worth it.

Do provide a thank you gift.

If you can, a parting gift big or small is always appreciated by attendees. Some companies go all out with tvs or bluetooth speakers. Maybe a company jacket or even just a gift card is always welcome.

Don’t use the table centerpieces as your thank you gift.

Usually centerpieces are cheap or are flowers that will die. Don’t force your attendees to take one unless they want it. It just looks like you forgot the real gift.

Bonus: Don’t give out gifts to only a few attendees.

If you are giving out gifts make sure you have enough comparable gifts to give to everyone you invited. Holiday parties are not the time to have a raffle that will leave half your guests feeling left out or disappointed. Just don’t. It’s tacky.

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