Holiday parties are great opportunities to show your employees how much you appreciate them, but they can also be overwhelming to plan, especially during what is usually a busy time of year for small businesses. Here are some tips on planning a successful event that will benefit both you and your staff.

  1. Start early. The best thing you can do to ensure a successful holiday party is to start planning early. Decide what kind of event you want to hold, whether it be a cocktail party, dinner party, or something else entirely. Think about where you would like to hold the event, and if you’d prefer indoor or outdoor settings. It is almost never too early to start planning.
  2. Choose an appropriate date. It’s important to choose a date that works well for your employees. If you plan on hosting a holiday party, consider scheduling it after the end of the year so people will have more free time. An online poll is one of the best ways to ensure the party is held when the most number of people are available.
  3. Decide how casual you would like the event to be. There are several different kinds of holiday events you can throw as a small business, ranging from a fancy dinner party to a casual lunch with coworkers. Reflecting on your company style, budget, and employee preferences can help you decide how formal or casual to make your event.
  4. Pick a neutral venue. Hosting a holiday party at the office or in your workspace might make it difficult for you and your team to let loose. Pick a neutral venue that is not associated with your line of work so that attendees can get into party mode.
  5. Pick a theme. ​​Choose a theme for your event that reflects what you do as a company. This helps guests feel comfortable and engaged with your brand. A fun theme might be “Holiday Cheer” or “Winter Wonderland.”
  6. Set up an easy RSVP system. If you plan to host a holiday party, make sure everyone knows what day and time it is going to happen so they can let you know whether or not they can attend. You should also set up an online RSVP system where people can sign up to let you know if they will be able to attend. This will help you avoid having to contact each employee individually to find out who will be attending.
  7. Include your team in the process. Allowing your staff to pick the theme or venue, asking them how to improve the event, and making them the focus of your planning decisions will help them feel appreciated and involved in the process.