It’s that time of year again; time to start gearing up for the holidays and holiday events! You don’t have to venture far to get into the holiday spirit. Stores are currently filled with everything from Halloween décor to Christmas trees and it’s only mid-October. I think it’s safe to assume that if the retail trends are any indication of hospitality trends, holiday party venues and restaurants are probably already booking for the holidays. Don’t get left with the scraps, start planning your holiday event now!
Selecting a Venue
Before calling on venues, be sure to know what you need. How many people will you be hosting? For small groups, do you want a private room or is general restaurant seating sufficient? What time of the day is ideal? And, most importantly, what’s your budget? Do you want entertainment? When reviewing your options, also consider location, parking options, festive décor, and staffing. In addition, be sure the menu offers items that all guests will enjoy.Another consideration is timing. Most holiday events occur on Friday and Saturday evenings. If you are able to be flexible, maybe select a day during the week instead to avoid the big crowds.
Get Creative; Explore Other Options
Besides the obvious places to hold you holiday event, like hotels and restaurants, why not consider alternatives? If you live near water, you could take your group out on an evening cruise. There are also night clubs and piano bars that host holiday parties and provide built-in entertainment. For smaller groups, there are art galleries of all sizes that rent out event space. Or, if you’re feeling extra wild, there are mystery theatres and escape rooms!Even if you opt not to host in an alternative venue, consider incorporating some sort of activity into your holiday event. From scavenger hunts or cookie decorating to photo booths and raffle prizes, activities build a sense of community and create memorable events!
If your holiday party is after business hours, consider allowing guests to bring a date. And, while online invitations are more efficient, they can feel impersonal. Why not go old-school and drop your invites in the mail (or slide them into company inboxes)? Be sure your invitations are specific – who is invited (i.e. “you and a guest”), time and location, attire, etc. There’s nothing worse that showing up to a Halloween party in a costume when it isn’t a costume party!Will you be serving alcohol at your holiday event? If so, consider contracting with Uber or Lyft event services and indicate the option on your invitations. Guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness and you will rest easy that your guests all made it home safely after your party.Planning for a holiday event doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it should be fun! So, don’t sweat the small stuff.