Planning After-Holiday Parties

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It’s already December and you’re starting to get a little overwhelmed with everything you need to accomplish this month.  There’s the holiday shopping, decorating, making travel plans…and that doesn’t even take into account the pile of party invitations on your desk from clients, colleagues and friends.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s likely your employees are, too!  Adding another thing to your plate and theirs with a company holiday party might not seem like the smartest idea right now.  However, you know how important it is to the morale of the company to have a holiday get-together, so what do you do?  The best answer might be to still have your party, but to hold it after the holidays are over.  Why?  Read on for more information and some ideas!

Why After the Holidays are Better

It will be more affordable  Just imagine being able to get all of your party decorations at the post-holiday sales!  It’s likely you will be able to decorate your party location for half the price of what it would have cost you before the holidays.  Try going into department stores or specialty shops that sell holiday decorations and look for wreaths, lights, floral arrangements and other decorations that will brighten up your holiday party.  Just because you’re having it your bash after the holiday doesn’t mean you can’t still decorate in the holiday tradition.

Your party-goers will have more time to attend  Most people already have weekend plans for each weekend in December.  Unless you want to have your party on a weekday (when most people are recovering from the previous weekend), you probably won’t be able to find a time when the majority of your employees or clients will be able to come to your party.  When you hold your party after the holidays, it’s likely that the majority of your guest list will be able to make it.

There is more availability  Have you ever tried booking a banquet hall or party room for the second or third week in December?  Unless you made the plans months in advance, you’ll probably find that you’re either out of luck or that your choice of dates and times is extremely limited.  After the holidays, you’ll find that there is much more availability and you’ll probably be able to pick and choose the dates and times that work best for you and your guests.

What Plans You Need to Make Now

Decide what type of party to have  There are a variety of different types of parties you can have.  Large parties with clients, employees and everyone families, small parties with employees only, dinner parties, bowling parties and much, much more.  The challenge is having a party that the most people will have a good time at.  One of the easiest and best ways to determine this is to ask your employees.  Have a meeting or distribute a survey to find out what type of bash they would like to attend this year.

Book a location  Even if your party isn’t until February, it’s a good idea to book your location now. Look into restaurants with party rooms, banquet halls, bowling alleys, fun centers and hotels.  Be creative!  If you have your party at a location that already has entertainment, you won’t have to worry about coming up with things for your guests to do if the conversation starts to get strained.  If your location doesn’t have entertainment, consider hiring a comedian, a magician or some other type of entertainer to get the party going.  Also, don’t forget decorating with festive linens, holiday greenery, Christmas lights, chair coverings and table settings if you’re allowed to bring in outside décor.  Many of these items you can get for a very good deal if you purchase them after the holidays!

You might also want to consider having the party at your home or office.  The plus side to this is that you probably already have that location decorated from the holidays and you can just leave up the lights and wreaths and Christmas tree for another few weeks until you have your party.  Opening up your home to your employees is a great way to show them how much you care about them and it will give you the opportunity to introduce them to your family if they have not already met them.  Having a party at the office can be fun because you’re changing the dynamic of the workplace, making it more fun and laid back.  You can also turn this type of party into an open house and invite clients and potential clients over for some post-holiday cheer.

Fun Ideas

In our quest to come up with a fun party idea for our own staff this year, we were lucky enough to get some ideas from a local doctor’s office.  Dr. Gene Stohs of Women’s Health Care Center (you may remember him as one of our Best Dressed winners this year!) told us about how each year, their staff office party is a surprise.  The staff knows when it is taking place so they can make arrangements to attend it, but they never know what they are doing.  We thought that was such a great idea that we stole it for ourselves!  We told our staff to reserve a Tuesday night from 6 pm until 11 pm, but that’s all they know.  Of course, we can’t tell you what we’re doing because it would ruin the surprise, but make sure you ask one of us after the holidays are over to see what we came up with!
We’ve had a number of fun events over the years for our staff party.  One included a fancy get-together at a swanky bar.  Each of our staff got to visit the salon beforehand to get their hair and makeup done and we all donned evening gowns to celebrate the holidays together!  Another year, we took the VIP Limo out and visited local bars and restaurants (all clients, of course!).  This was practical as well as fun because none of our staff had to worry about transportation that night and could just enjoy themselves.

A good idea we’ve come up with is to have two separate parties during the holiday season.  One is more of a family affair, so those of us with children can invite them along and spouses and other family members are welcome.  We go somewhere that is fun for the kids (like a bowling all or a place with rides and games), but that is still enjoyable for us (anywhere that has food always gets the thumbs up from our staff!).  Our other party is for just the staff and usually involves a night out on the town.  We always love doing this not only because it gives us two chances to celebrate together, but also because we’re not trying to cram everything into one event.  One of the events is usually held during the holidays and one afterward.

If you have some good stories about the type of party your office held this year, please let us know!!  We’d love to mention it in next year’s holiday party series!!
Your office party should be an enjoyable chance for everyone to have some fun and get to know each other a little better.  By holding your holiday party after the first of the year, you can ensure that your guests will be able to attend and that they won’t think of your party as just one more holiday obligation.  Plan early and you’ll find that having your party after the holidays will save you time, money and quite a lot of stress.

Visit these great companies to help get you make the most of your holiday season!

Christmas Decor – We hang your Christmas and New Year’s lights so you can have the time to enjoy them!

Sun Valley Lanes – If you haven’t been bowling for a while come check out the most fun a family can have!

Hollywood Bowl – Can we be your BFF?

Wunderosa Winery – Free tasting happening all the time come check us out.

Petal Creations – Santa wants to know if you’ve been naughty or nice?