What to Avoid When Planning a Corporate Holiday Party

What to Avoid When Planning a Corporate Holiday Party

Planning a company holiday party can be a fun and festive endeavor, but there are some common pitfalls you should avoid to ensure the event is enjoyable and appropriate for all attendees. After 10 years of helping companies entertain and create activities for their guests both onsite and virtually we have noticed a few things to steer clear of when planning a company holiday party:

  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption:
    • Avoid making alcohol the main focus of the party. Overindulgence can lead to unprofessional behavior, accidents, and potential legal issues.
    • Consider offering non-alcoholic beverage options to accommodate all employees, including those who don't drink alcohol. For example, we offer a mocktini for our guests who want to be festive or are under age.
  • Inappropriate Themes or Decorations:
    • Be mindful of the holiday theme and decorations. Avoid anything that could be considered offensive, controversial, or exclusionary. 
    • Ensure the theme and decorations are inclusive and respect the diverse cultural and religious backgrounds of your employees. For example, unless specifically requested, we never use Christmas themes for our events. We like to stick to winter or religiously neutral themes. Our most popular decorating ideas are the Grinch Cake  or the Ugly Sweater Cupcakes.
  • Exclusive Guest Lists:
    • Avoid creating a guest list that excludes certain employees or teams. Ensure that all employees are invited and encouraged to attend.
    • Be sensitive to employees who may not celebrate the holiday and provide alternative options if they prefer not to participate.
  • Overly Extravagant Spending:
    • While you want to create a memorable event, avoid overspending on the party. This can create resentment among employees, especially if the company is facing financial challenges.
    • Set a reasonable budget and stick to it.
    • Some of our clients have opted not to have a party at all but rather send each of their employees a Sweetology Cookie or Gingerbread House Decorating Kit  or Gift Box as an affordable gift option. 
  • Inadequate Planning and Organization:
    • Don't wait until the last minute to plan the party. Inadequate planning can lead to logistical problems, poor attendance, and a lackluster experience. This is particularly true if you are planning a virtual event where you have to ship items in the mail.
    • Create a detailed checklist and start planning well in advance.
  • Ignoring Dietary Restrictions:
    • Be mindful of dietary restrictions and allergies when planning the menu. Ensure there are options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with food allergies. At Sweetology we have gluten free and vegan options for some of our decorating kits.
    • Communicate with caterers or food providers to accommodate special dietary needs.
  • Lengthy or Boring Speeches:
    • Avoid long and boring speeches or presentations during the party. Employees want to relax and enjoy themselves, not sit through lengthy talks.
    • If you need to make announcements or speeches, keep them brief and engaging.
  • Invasive Activities or Games:
    • Be cautious about planning activities or games that may make employees uncomfortable or put them on the spot. Not everyone enjoys forced participation. One way of avoiding this is to add a competition element to the activity where you have gotten volunteers in advance.
    • Opt for activities that are optional and inclusive. For example, when we host our virtual events we make sure that we do not put anyone on the spot with decorating or ice breakers.
  • Neglecting Employee Feedback:
    • Don't forget to seek input from employees about their preferences for the party. Surveys or informal discussions can help you plan an event that everyone will enjoy.
    • Take feedback into account when making decisions.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can plan a company holiday party that fosters a positive and inclusive atmosphere, promotes team bonding, and ensures that everyone has a good time.

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