It happens every year - you have a full 12 months to prepare for the office holiday party, but find yourself scrambling to plan the event when December comes. Fortunately, it’s easy to pull together a party that will be even better than last year’s. Just follow our tips to create a memorable experience that your team will always remember.

  1. What Do You Want to Say?

    Ask yourself what kind of message you want guests to leave with at the end of the night. Is it a “thank you” for a year of hard work? A reminder of how fun the corporate culture can be? A chance to relax and get to know each other better? Then, once you’ve determined your message, plan your holiday party around meeting these goals. For example, a “thank you” to employees might be an elegant dinner, whereas a fun night could be some Christmas karaoke.

  2. Work With Your Budget

    A memorable holiday party in NYC doesn’t have to cost a lot of money - in fact, the spirit of the season values experiences over money (just ask Ebenezer Scrooge!) An outdoor tour of holiday light displays followed by some hot chocolate by a crackling fire costs very little to do, and will be much more memorable than the standard appetizers and DJ-style party. If you do have extra money in the budget, consider a small gift that employees can take home. This will allow them to remember the party long after it’s over. 

  3. Think Outside the (Christmas Present) Box

    Everyone loves dinner and dancing, but there are many more ways to celebrate the holiday season. Use a bit of ingenuity when planning (or hire event professionals in NYC to help you out with brainstorming holiday ideas and themes.) Also remember that a holiday party doesn’t have to necessarily focus on Christmas. The Washington Business Journal suggests several out-of-this-world ideas for a holiday party theme, like a Coachella festival or a tribute to the 1980s. Uniqueness is the key to leaving a lasting impression on your party guests.

  4. Include Everyone in The Festivities

    The holidays are a time for loved ones, and this can extend to the office party, as well. Show your staff that you recognize the people in their lives by inviting plus-ones, or even planning a kid-friendly event like an afternoon with Santa Claus. Events like these create lasting family memories, and show employees that you care about more than just the work they do. Also, remember to use exclusive language in invitations and signage to make everyone feel welcome by referring to the event as a “holiday party.” It’s a gesture that will be remembered positively by guests.

  5. Get Feedback From Others

    When in doubt, ask. Chat with some of your long-term employees about what they liked at last year’s holiday party. Ask if there’s anything they’d change, or a fun new idea they’d like to see. Not only will the night itself be memorable, but employees will appreciate having their voices heard as part of the planning. Also, speak to your party planner about what some of the biggest requests are from other companies planning their holiday party this year. Be open and adaptable to trying new things, whether that be a unique dish from the caterers or an unlikely location for the festivities.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to create an office holiday that is even better than last year’s. In fact, you may find yourself continuing to raise the bar higher every year, but that’s not such a bad thing, is it? (Your employees will surely love it!) So, get planning and prepare for an unforgettable office holiday celebration in New York City.