Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to planning your office holiday party? If you always choose the same restaurant, banquet hall, or ballroom at the same ritzy hotel downtown, it may be time for a change. Yes, it’s possible to ditch the stale sugar cookies and lame DJ without adding to your stress. Don’t worry, Blue Ribbon has you covered!
Here are our top 5 tips for helping you plan an unforgettable office holiday party without all the muss and fuss:
1. Choose a Unique Venue
There’s nothing like a change in scenery to bring a party to life. So forget about the usual choices, get creative, and think about non-traditional venues that will really WOW your guests. Museums, art galleries, and outdoor locations supply their own character, ambiance, and eliminate the need for a lot of expensive decor.
Outdoors? But “baby, it’s cold outside!” Maybe, but consider the possibilities. You could rent some outdoor heaters or choose a venue with fire pits and set up a s’more roast. With plenty of hot drinks and places for guests to warm their hands, everyone will have an unforgettable experience. And we’ll be happy to rent you enough premium restroom trailers, complete with heat and hot water, to accommodate your guests.
Of course, the best venues book up early, especially in Washington DC, so make sure to plan ahead. If you have your heart set on a particular venue and they’re booked through Christmas, fear not! You could do a post-holiday brunch the day after everyone gets back to the office. It will be easier to book a fabulous venue after the 25th and who doesn’t love omelettes and mimosas?
2. Choose an Unusual Theme
A theme can be fun if enough of your colleagues are into theme parties. Pulling off a truly unforgettable office holiday theme party requires buy in, so do what you can to increase buzz around the office. The best part of choosing a theme is that you can use it to inspire marketing ideas during the last month of 2017.
Hosting an ugly sweater party or elegant white Christmas party? Get a group photo and create a fun social media campaign. This has the double effect of creating great visuals for your clients to share with their network and giving your company a chance to show off your light-hearted side.
Another fun and festive holiday theme is doing a white elephant gift exchange. Invite everyone to bring a wrapped gift with a $25 minimum. Then sit back with your eggnog and watch everyone fight over the Awkward Family Photo 2018 Calendar. Hilarity will ensue, guaranteed.
3. Find an Event Coordinator
Okay, now for the really low stress advice. Many professional venues have event coordinators, so be sure to ask about this when booking your venue. If this is not an option, it could be well worth the investment to hire an actual event coordinator or to delegate this task to someone in the office.
Remember that this is your party too. You don’t want to be rushing around dealing with last-minute details the day of the party or triaging the usual challenges that arise like the employee who took the open bar concept a little too literally. Don’t add party coordinating to your plate. You want to reserve plenty of room for dessert.
4. Leave the Food to the Caterers
Your office holiday party should be about celebrating hard work, so make it all about your employees and colleagues. Potlucks can be fun, but they can also be stressful both for planners and guests. Rather than expecting Irma in accounting to bring her standard batch of peanut butter and chocolate fudge, think about how nice it would be to enjoy food no one felt obligated to prepare.
Get a catering company or local restaurant to handle the food and drink. Catering is easy and with a wide range of pricing available, catered food can fit within almost any office holiday party budget. Offer a lunch buffet from one of the “healthier” fast food chains, such as Panera, Founding Farmers DC, or the Protein Bar. Or if you want to do something more elegant for less money, order an assortment of fancy desserts or hors d’oeuvres with a limited number of cocktails.
5. Give Back
An office holiday party is the perfect opportunity to spread some cheer even as you celebrate with your colleagues. You could throw a toy drive for a local charity or set up a giving tree with gift tag wishlists for families in need. For a larger charitable giving campaign, ask for donations from local businesses and have a silent auction where all the funds are donated to a local charity. This is a great way to get the whole community involved too.
What are your office holiday party plans this year? We’d love to hear about all of your quirky ideas!
At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, we love the holidays and we love to make our clients holiday parties extra special. If you have a big event coming up, request your custom quote today. Let us show you how we can help you beat the stress this busy holiday season.