It seems that annually the holiday parties’ start earlier and earlier. This implies that the planning needs to initiate even earlier! California businesses are always watching our dimes, but that doesn’t signify that we can’t hold a holiday party for employees and still keep within the budget!
Whichever your party budget, it will provide you well to show your gratitude for your workers’ year-long efforts in some tangible and merry-making manner; to rejoice together in a social rather than business atmosphere. This goes a long way toward making workers feel valued and allows them to bond with one another – a good step toward team building and improving morale.
That’s why we brainstormed on the way you can host a party and engage the team. If you follow some simple rules, there is a way to party hardy and have a great time.
Regardless if you hold your holiday party on or off company facilities, there are many techniques for you and your employees to have a frolicking great time without “breaking the bank.”
Below are 20 Wonderful Holiday Party Planning Guideline for having a Budget Friendly Company Holiday Party.
1. Begin planning now.
Everybody knows the key to saving money is to plan ahead and be organized, and for California businesses, it is no different. Now is the time to choose what kind of party you’d prefer. Do you want to have a dinner party at a big fancy ballroom or an informal gathering at the office? Consider your guest list. Will employees’ spouses be attending? Keeping the party on the smaller side is more than likely going to save you money. Do you want to provide everything, or do you want to go potluck? Many venues and top event coordinators book years earlier, so act now, no matter how strange it may seem to be thinking about a holiday party this early.
2. Set the date right away.
“Premium” days in the month of December quickly fill out on food caterers’ calendars.
3. At-the-office mid-week Luncheons.
Catered foods range in cost and many caterers themselves have a number of menus with a range of selections and prices. Given that this is during the work day, it goes without saying it’s for employees only, so the guest count would not be as high as if it were an evening event.
4. At-the-office Mid-week Afternoon Mixers.
Bring in a multi-disc player sound system and play some popular holiday CD’s, or tune your company radio to a local station that plays non-stop holiday music. Bring some party photos of employees and display them on your company bulletin board. Chartering a Party Bus to do a loop run of local lights and holiday venues can be a great way to spice up an evening for not to0 much additional money.
5. Have a “Dessert Bake Off” contest.
Not all people bakes, but those who do normally love to share their goods with friends. Make it a team effort (and reduce your financial burden) by requesting them to bring a favorite dessert to share. Make scorecards by each dessert and the winner gets a gift certificate, or a paid day of rest, or lunch with the boss.
6. Off premises parties.
Ask your employees and their “significant others” to the Boss’ home. At-home holidays parties have a “cozy and warm” feel to them, and can make socializing more comfortable and fulfilling. Holding a party at your home can also be a little a lot easier on the wallet than a restaurant or banquet hall party. Regardless if you serve brunch, lunch, dinner, or cocktails, make sure the quality and taste of the food and drink is superior; this will add credibility to the party experience. Because it is at a private home, you would also have the ability to furnish your very own alcohol and not have the added expense of a bartender, just make sure to seek advice from your insurance company regarding liquor liability. Most policies have a nominal credit add this type of coverage for an event at your residence. If alcohol is part of your plan, give consideration to providing a safe ride home program where you will arrange for a charter bus to give employees a ride to their homes, public transpiration hubs or to local hotels. When planning holiday parties, this can mitigate your corporate liability even further.
7. Have the Caterer Just Drop it off.
As an alternative to having the expense of a wait staff and bartenders, just have the caterer bring everything, set it up, then leave. Arranging for them to return and pick up their tools on the next regular business day will keep delivery costs to a minimum.
8. The Big Party.
If you do choose to go “whole hog,” and hold your party at a banquet hall, there are some ways to hold down costs. Parties held on any day but Friday and Saturday are generally less expensive.
9. Have a “Wintertime” party.
In January and February, the prime dates aren’t loaded and you might just get more value for your dollar. Consider the holiday season from early November until mid to late February and you will see all sorts of new possibilities open. If you do decide to have a “wintertime” party after the traditionally thought of times, make certain that you tell your employees before the traditional holiday season so they don’t think you just tried to “skip out” on the party.
10. Ordering from the menu saves money.
For many catering businesses, their chefs properly plan menus to inspire, stay balanced, and remain within a specific budget. When starting from scratch, often times, a great suggestion becomes much larger of a process to execute than planned. This creates additional expense to the caterer and therefore is passed on to the client.
11. Do your best to make an accurate head count.
Calculate how many guests you have and plan for that many. Think about issuing “tickets” to the event based on the RSVP so that you don’t have people who did not RSVP showing up at the event.
12. Buffets or food stations?
Produce some fun interaction with a great Chef Manned Action Station.
13. Have a signature cocktail with beer and wine.
Full bars come with their price tag. As an alternative, come up with a great holiday cocktail that will please your guests and keep the price tag in check. Consider offering “drink coupons” where you are able to assign everyone a one or two drink maximum. This will also limit your alcohol related costs.
14. Butler Passed Hors d’oeuvres.
People are less likely to throw away food this way. If you just put food out on a table and give them plates they tend to fill up the plate but don’t eat all of it. , if you have servers walk around with trays they are more likely to eat what they take.
15. Simplicity equals Elegance.
Sometimes less is more, so focus your budget on the most important parts.
16. Festive and fresh décor sets the tone.
A couple of decorations and centerpieces can go a long way. It’s another great team building exercise that allows for some great creative outlet.
17. Use a theme.
Having a theme guides you prioritize what you buy. If you focus on a particular theme and stick to it, you won’t waste money on things that don’t fit that theme.
18. Plan a Potluck.
It’s the oldest tradition of Holiday Gatherings. Consider using this to augment some company provided food such as having a desert potluck or a salad potluck where the company provides part of the food and the employees provide the rest.
19. Do nothing.
Save the budget for a great Summer Party! Sometimes, a holiday card and a small gift will go further than a holiday party.
20. Crash someone else’s party!
Seriously. Many associations have holiday parties that allow you to bring your employees as long as you pay their way. This makes great sense for smaller companies to not only have an elegant and very upscale atmosphere for their party, but is also a great way to network.
The holidays in California should be a joyous and fun time, a time of generosity and as much generosity as one can muster. With that in mind, reward your employees with a joyful holiday party as a solid way to reveal your appreciation for their yearlong efforts. And leave that bah-humbugging to someone else.
No matter what you do to enjoy the holidays this season, keep these pointers in mind for your next party, and you can throw a successful, safe, and enjoyable event that everyone will love.