It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to start planning your company’s corporate holiday party. During the holiday season, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa features over 2 million lights and animated scenes, a hallway full of gingerbread houses, special holiday-themed seasonal menus, plus the resort is celebrating its 25th Christmas in the Country spectacular this year. It’s a festive location to celebrate the season with family, friends and colleagues.
Home to many holiday parties each year, Grand Geneva’s event team put together its favorite tips on how to add some sparkle (and take out the stress) on planning a holiday office party Santa and even the office Grinch would be proud of.
- Timing is everything. Some companies opt to host holiday parties in January after the craziness of the holiday season. Others prefer to host lunches and dinners at the end of October, in November or early December to get ahead of the seasonal rush. While the holiday lunch trend is growing, evening events allow more employees to attend, but also be mindful to get a head start on planning as restaurants and venues start booking up fast during the holiday season. Some venues also offer early-bird discounts to help stretch your budget. The earlier you book, the better.
- Even Santa has some help. Depending on the size of your event, choose a small team of colleagues to help support the planning and execution of the party. Having support on venue selection, themes and menu planning is helpful to make sure no detail goes unnoticed.
- Get crafty with a cocktail. Adding a signature champagne cocktail or trendy non-alcoholic “mocktails” to the menu is one way to keep drinking levels down, while expanding the selection for guests to enjoy a specialty drink. Limiting the selection to wine and beer, or closing the bar early is another way to make sure no one calls out of work the next day.
- Give back. The holiday season is a great opportunity to give back to others and help those in need. Hosting a toy or food drive during your event is a nice feel-good gesture for guests.
- Deck the halls (or at least the tables). Depending on office culture and if it’s appropriate, most adults are kids at heart during the holiday season. Adding a fun factor like a surprise visit from Santa or festive table decorations is always a crowd-pleaser. Most venues are already dressed for the occasion, so perhaps plan a gift-wrapping contest for added fun. Who knew Bob from accounting can wrap a present in under two minutes?
- Build a sled. Yes, you read that correctly. Consider a unique team-building event instead of the traditional cocktail party. Some venues offer a variety of fun team-building options.
- Focus on the food. When putting together the menu, consider food allergies and special dietary restrictions. Discuss offering back-up options with your venue, such as gluten-free or vegan alternatives for guests. You can’t go wrong with having a selection and dish alternatives to cover all bases.