It's that time of year again! The holiday festivities are upon us. While we make plenty of commitments to our family and friends for parties and travel, it's common to forget holiday fun and celebrations at work. Coordinating a holiday party at work may sound like, well, more work, but it could actually be a great opportunity to get to know your co-workers a little better and show some appreciation for all of the hard work you do the entire year. Here are a few tips for throwing a successful holiday party that everyone will want to add to their calendars.
--Get started early. Last-minute parties are never fun to attend. They're disorganized and often times, not enough people hear about it to help make it a successful event. Therefore, when planning your holiday party this year, make sure to get started early! First, confirm a date, time and place so that you can get send out save-the-dates as soon as possible. The earlier this invitation gets sent, the better chance you have for people to show up. If people know that there is a holiday party on the calendar, they will be less likely to schedule a meeting for that day or take the day off. Additionally, they are more likely to encourage their teams to attend. Typically, people tend to take a few days off for the holidays. Therefore, try to schedule a day and time early on or midway through December so more people will be in town. If you find it difficult to coordinate a date, create a Doodle poll with a few proposed dates and times to get an idea of what will work best for everyone.
--Get everyone involved. Once the invitations have been sent, the planning begins! If you have been identified as the organizer or are on a team with others to organize the holiday party -- you will want to include everyone if you can. Getting everyone on board makes it feel like a larger team effort and will allow everyone to feel like they have something to contribute. There are several things to consider when planning a holiday party, such as food and drinks, decorations, games and prizes, setup, and cleanup. Therefore, the best way to get everyone involved is to create a sign-up sheet that lists all of the needs for the party. Additionally, you can get an idea of how many people to expect, who is bringing what, and whether or not you need to bring more items or ask for extra help. You can even create a survey using Survey Monkey to determine everyone's top choices for food, dessert, music and games, and this way you can satisfy everyone's needs. If people are hesitant to bring food, they can help with setup or cleanup. For the livelier folks on your team, they can be the hosts for the games everyone will play, and their enthusiasm can get everyone excited. Bringing everyone together is key to making your holiday party a success, so the more involvement the better!
--Have a fun theme and contests, great for a bit of friendly competition. A favorite is decorating your office door with holiday themes like wrapping paper, snowmen and Santa Claus. However, for those of you who have cubicles, decorating your cubicle can also be a fun contest. You can even join forces with your cube mates to create your very own winter wonderland and really make an impression. If you do choose to have a theme or contest, make sure to let people know in advance so that they can coordinate with others and plan what they want to do. However, themes and contests for the day of the holiday party are just as great. One theme favorite is the ugly Christmas sweater contest. My personal favorite is the best dessert contest! A few games might include a fun office scavenger hunt, a word scramble, or even a game of holiday-themed bingo.
Overall, throwing a great holiday party for your office takes teamwork. You can even think of an event like this as a team-building activity where everyone can participate. So remember to start early and set the date, get everyone on board, and have a blast on the day of!