By Judy Healy
The holiday season is fast approaching. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and give thanks to your employees. Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning your staff holiday party.
1. Know your spending limit
Before you can begin planning you need to know your parameters. Have a clear understanding of what you can afford. All of your party’s components – venue, food and beverage, décor and entertainment – depend on this key piece of information.
2. Choose your venue
Keeping in mind your budget, decide on what location suits your social gathering best. Would a restaurant work well or should your party be held onsite at your office? Many restaurants have separate sections for larger parties so you can still be a part of the lively atmosphere but enjoy a private area. The weekends will be filling up quickly so if it is a restaurant you desire, call now to reserve your spot.
3. Create atmosphere
The atmosphere can be equally inviting at the office by making some simple adjustments. The key to holding an office party at the office is creating a different look and feel. Dim the lights, move some furniture around and add some sparkle.
4. Ask and you shall receive
Talk to your suppliers to find out what the decor and food and beverage trends are this year. Every supplier has their own spin on the holiday traditions and they can help you make your party seasonal and uniquely different.
5. Create engagement
The holidays are filled with festive music so bring the music to life with live entertainment. Consider hiring dueling DJs or interactive musicians like adding a bongo player to play along with the tunes on your dance floor. Either way it can provide engagement with your employees.
6. Be prepared
As a business owner you are liable for your employees’ actions so be properly prepared with taxi chits and/or securing a hotel room for the night should someone not be able to drive home.
7. Bring a guest
Consider allowing your employees to bring a guest. By sharing the staff party with someone special, it deepens their enjoyment and makes the party more meaningful.
8. Give locally
The holidays can be an especially difficult time for those in need so encourage your guests to bring canned goods, winter clothing or a new children’s toy to your party. Giving back to your local community is a benefit everyone can enjoy.
9. Have fun
Keep the mood light, festive and joyous. It is a party after all.
10. Give thanks
’Tis the season to celebrate your company’s success and to recognize your employees’ individual and collective contributions. Raise a glass and give thanks to the people who make you look good.
Cheers to 2012!
Listed is a monthly feature in Toronto Business Times. Judy Healy is an instructor at the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University.