Planning a holiday party that everyone will enjoy can become very expensive – especially if you want your party to stand out from all the others.
Eve Ultra Lounge is the perfect place for anyone planning a holiday party on a budget. Our venue décor is clean and understated making it the perfect backdrop for any holiday theme. Our horseshoe bar opens onto the main dining room, making it the perfect place for guests to mingle or network, away from the noise yet close enough to participate in the party.
Our menu is diverse, sure to please every palette. We can also create specialty drinks to reflect your business or celebrate the host/hostess, which is always a great touch.
When it comes to entertainment, no one does it better than Eve Ultra Lounge. From Aerialists to notable rock bands, we have connections with known artists that fit into any budget.
At Eve Ultra Lounge we make planning a holiday party easy by providing an event planner at no extra cost to you.
Remember, a successful holiday party is dependent upon good planning. That’s why we have put together these 10 steps to planning a holiday party your guests will remember.
1. Choose the right type of holiday party for your budget:
Your budget will help you decide whether your holiday party will be a luncheon, cocktail reception, buffet or sit down dinner and what day of the week your party will be held.
When setting your budget consider these factors: Will your party be for employees only or will you be inviting other people who you do business with? If your party is for employees only, you may want to have your party during the work day to ensure that everyone participates. In this case a luncheon may work best and will be the least expensive of your options especially if you do not serve alcohol.
If you are inviting outside business people, you would likely be better off with a cocktail party to allow for those guests to participate without the need to take time off from their work. This is a slightly more expensive option but can still be quite affordable.
If you are planning a holiday party for friends, family and businesses colleagues, you would do better with a Friday cocktail party or dinner; a Saturday dinner party or a Sunday luncheon to increase the likelihood that the guests you invite will be free to attend. This will likely be the most expensive of the three options.
Whichever option you choose, set a budget and stick with it.
2. Selecting a date and time for your party:
The most common dates chosen when planning a holiday party is the second week in December. This is important to know, especially if you are planning your first holiday party. Most companies set the date for their holiday party right after Labor Day so if you want to ensure that those you invite are able to attend, set your date early and send out save the dates as soon as you decide.
In the event that your party might be competing with other parties being thrown by the same circle of business people, don’t be afraid to plan your holiday party during the first week of December which is the least popular time for a holiday party. In extreme cases, where the circle of guests you plan on inviting will also be invited to established parties, consider throwing a post holiday party in January and call it a “winter” reception.
3. Establish your guest list:
Your guest list will influence the type of party you throw. Most companies only invite employees. Others invite employees and business associates. Still others invite employees and their spouses. Knowing who your guests will be can help you decide the time of the event and whether or not you will serve alcohol at your party. Some employers prefer to host non-alcoholic luncheons if they expect their staff to return to work after the event or if there will be children at the party. Knowing your guest list is one of the most important steps in planning a holiday party.
4. Book your venue/caterer early:
Choose your venue or caterer at least two months ahead of your party as quality venues tend to book up early. When choosing a venue, try to choose one that has experience with holiday parties and can offer you everything you need without having to enter into separate contracts. This is especially important if you are planning a holiday party for your business because most of the planning will be done during your normal business day. Entering into separate contracts for venue, food, decorations, beverages and entertainment can drain your time and cause you undue stress. Dealing with separate vendors for separate items also raises the chance that something will go wrong which is why we recommend planning a party using no more than two vendors.
5. Send out invitations with a clear RSVP date:
Even if your guest list is limited to your employees, sending out invitations is proper protocol and will ensure that everyone on your guest list knows they are invited. For holiday party invitations, the sooner they are sent out the better. Most people’s calendars become very busy during the holiday season. An invitation should have the date, time, address and RSVP date clearly visible so your guests can plan their time. Since most people use digital calendars, email invites work best, however, if your party is formal you might want to mail invitations followed up by an email.
6. Choose a theme for your party:
With so many holiday parties taking place in a short time frame, choosing a theme will certainly help your party stand out. Remember to capture the theme with your “Save the Date” and invitations so that your guests know what to expect! For luncheons and cocktail parties, stay away from asking guests to wear costumes. Let the décor and food capture your theme instead.
7. Create a program for your party:
A written program will be helpful to ensure that your party runs smoothly especially if you are planning to have speeches and awards. The program should outline every component of the event with the time the component will begin and end. Start with the time of arrival and end with the closing of the party then fill in all the components in between such as: speeches, employee recognition, gift exchange, food service, entertainment, dessert and anything else you have planned. Make sure that anyone who is participating in the program has a copy at least one week before the party (especially those who are giving speeches and any special guests). Having a tight program will make your holiday party run smoothly and save you headaches.
8. Decide what your alcohol policy will be and stick to it:
Holiday parties are a time for rejoicing in the accomplishments achieved throughout the year. Many people choose to serve alcohol to enhance the festivities. While serving alcohol helps people to loosen up, it can also be expensive. Some hosts decide to limit alcohol consumption by providing drink tickets to their guests or serving only one signature cocktail. Drink tickets and signature cocktails help hosts stay within their budget and also helps reduce the likelihood of guests over indulging.
Even if you choose to limit alcohol consumption at your holiday party, it is a good idea to have the number of a local cab company handy in the event that a guest needs a ride home. While the host is not expected to pay for the cab, you might be able to work out a discount with the cab company as an added bonus for your guests.
9. Gift bags:
Gift bags are the perfect addition to any holiday party. A festive bag containing chocolates, splits of wine or sparkling cider or a gift card from a nearby coffee shop or restaurant will make your guests feel special. Gift bags should never replace yearly bonuses, but instead be a “little something extra” as part of the party.
10. Employee recognition:
Planning a holiday party that contains an employee recognition ceremony is a great way to build moral. It also gives staff incentive to do well throughout the year. Recognition can come in the form of a plaque, gift card or any useful gift. Whatever you choose to give, make sure you include it in your budget and have the gift available at the party so that your employee can begin enjoying it right away.