Holiday Party Help is Here! Follow Eight Simple Guidelines

Posted on November 14th, 2018

Would it surprise you that 80% of all U.S. companies plan to hold a holiday party this year? Or, on the flip side, 90% of employees would rather take home a bonus than attend this function?

While it’s true that everyone is entering their busy season, it’s important to try and meld the two statistics reported above. Your company has money to throw an end-of-year shindig…but and this is a big one…you need to make it fun, exciting and appealing to the masses.

Here are eight tips that can help get your team’s creative juices flowing while planning and executing this important company event.


8 Holiday Party Parameters


  1. Switch thinking from your party to their party.
    Crowdsource ideas about where the party should be, who’ll be invited, when it will happen, and what’s the theme. Once everyone offers suggestions, provide an online link where employees can vote anonymously. The top vote-getter in each area determines the tone for the party and…voila…your audience is now engaged in the event outcome.
  2. Put together your budget.
    Your financial plan needs to include:

    1. Meeting space
    2. Guest room block
    3. Transportation to and from the party
    4. Food, going to have appetizers or a full-blown lunch/dinner
    5. Beverages, including alcohol
    6. Entertainment, hiring a band, DJ, karaoke or games
    7. Gifts
  3. Consider alternative dates.
    Give individuals at least 60 days’ notice; which means if you start your planning efforts today, your event will be held in mid-January. This may be a welcome relief to employees who already have several holiday events slatted in December. In addition, planning a party after a holiday is often when Michigan venues have increased availability which allows for better pricing.
  4. The number one consideration: alcohol.
    According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., only 48% of U.S. employers are planning to serve alcohol at their holiday function. Why? Two major reasons: Concerns about sexual harassment and drunk driving liability. There are ways to address this concern:

    1. Review the sexual harassment policy with all employees at least one week before the gathering
    2. Provide paid transportation options including chartered buses, taxi service or Uber/Lyft.
    3. Only serve beer or wine
    4. Issue a set number of drink tickets
    5. Include overnight accommodations.
  5. Choose the right location.
    Don’t hold it on site. Make the event special by holding it at a:

    1. Hotel
    2. Restaurant
    3. Bar
    4. Event Center or
    5. Casino

For guidance on other wonderful venues, contact our partner destinations.

  1. Plan fun activities.
    Here are a four tried and true ones:

    1. Scavenger hunt
    2. Ugly sweater contest
    3. White elephant gift exchange and/or
    4. Encourage people to bring and play board games
  2. Once everything is in place, send out invitations.
    For expedience rate, send them via email or via an event page.
  3. Give gifts.
    They don’t have to be over the top. Popular ones are Starbucks or movie gift cards, $25 Gift baskets or Personalized appreciation notes from the CEO. 

In conclusion, if you follow these eight steps, your party will be easy, fun and rewarding. The spirit of appreciation will be felt throughout the celebration and attendees will look forward to next year’s celebration!


That’s a Holiday Wrap from Meetings Michigan

Follow these eight steps, you’ll be on your way to planning an awesome event. Give us a call at 734.646.0791 with any questions about ways to spread more holiday cheer among your employees!