Second Story Blog

Throwing a Holiday Party?

Are you planning a company party for the holidays this year? Whether your staff is large or small, getting together to celebrate the season should be a highlight of every year.

Here are some ideas for making your celebration one that people will tell others about:

Raffle tickets with prizes. Hand out raffle tickets to all your guests when they arrive, and have drawings throughout the night to give away prizes like event tickets, gift cards and larger items like grills or coolers.

A local band. If your budget allows, book local talent to provide entertainment for the evening. It’s a great way to make the night more special, and it can really liven up the atmosphere.

Themed attire. Encourage everyone to get on board to wear Christmas sweaters, formal wear, Christmas movie costumes or apparel of another theme to kick the fun up a notch. People will be excited to see what their co-workers come up with!

Food truck. For a less traditional way to provide food, consider arranging for a food truck to take care of the eats. This option, however, will make the most sense if you don’t live in cold winter weather!

Photo booth. A party is hardly that without a photo booth, so offer people an easy way to remember the occasion with this feature, props and all.

Musical chairs. Give this classic game a holiday twist by using Christmas music for each round. A little friendly competition will make for a memorable evening for all who participate.

Competition of sweets. Have a gingerbread house or cookie decorating contest for guests, providing all the ingredients necessary. Let the best competitor win at the end of the night!

Popcorn and Christmas movie. Put on a classic movie like Elf or White Christmas that guests can enjoy intermittently or from start to finish, with popcorn and other goodies nearby for munching.

Gift unwrapping. For a team or department party, bring gifts wrapped several times over and pass them around, unwrapping one layer at a time. You could also try unwrapping them with oven mitts or do the traditional steal/keep gift game.

Scavenger hunt. Provide guests with a list of tasks to complete throughout the night, with an incentive for those who complete it before the night is through. For example, have participants pose with someone wearing a white beard or drinking eggnog!

As for locale, consider some creative places to house all the Christmas cheer:

CEO’s home. This option is ideal for a smaller crowd and will really help connect employees to the man or woman in charge. It’s likely to create a sense of family and coziness that people will remember.

Airbnb. Booking an Airbnb property is unique, and it offers a homey feeling without the hosts feeling stressed about having so many people at their house.

Progressive party. Also best for a smaller group, you could have fun in multiple locations. Have guests, for example, meet for appetizers and drinks at a local bar and then meet for dinner, dessert and dancing at a more private spot.

To make it especially enticing for people to come, show that you’ve thought about the little things: invite significant others to join, provide a babysitter stipend for parents (and equivalent for those without kids), and offer a transportation service for safe travels home. You could even arrange for a catered breakfast if people will be staying at a nearby hotel overnight. For employees who work remotely, send them a gift certificate and generous gift to show how much you care — or offer to fly them to your location and be part of the festivities.

Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention promotional items. Send guests home with personalized aprons, mugs, popcorn bowls, chocolate or small gift baskets to remind them of the great time they had. Above all else, enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the holiday season!