When you’ve proven yourself to be the host-with-the-most, you might suddenly find yourself responsible for throwing a large holiday party. But don’t panic! Throwing a large party requires careful planning and attention to detail to ensure that it’s a successful and enjoyable event for all attendees, but it’s totally doable. Here are the Do’s and Don’t of hosting a large holiday party to consider as you plan the event of the season!
Do Plan Well in Advance & Set Clear Goals
Start planning the event several months in advance to secure the venue, catering, and entertainment. Save yourself from the stress of last-minute preparations. Adequate planning and organization will result in a smoother event. It will also give you ample time to make necessary arrangements.
Don’t Neglect the Purpose
Understanding the purpose of the party will help you plan. If it is a larger family event, what kind of atmosphere will suit the vibe best? If this is a larger corporate party, always keep the primary objectives in mind when planning. Make sure the event serves its intended purpose, whether it’s for team building or networking with clients. (Note: For the latter, ensure you account for all expenses, including venue rental, catering, entertainment, and décor.)
Do Choose the Right Venue
Select a venue that can comfortably accommodate your expected guest count and be suitable for any additional tables and decorations you’re planning on. Consider the location’s accessibility and amenities. Choose a party style that aligns with the company’s culture and the purpose of the event. If table settings are up to you – here are Three Ways to Set Your Holiday Table for a little inspiration.
Don’t Exclude Anyone
Ensure that the event is inclusive and doesn’t unintentionally exclude certain groups or individuals.
Don’t Neglect Logistics & Safety
Ensure that transportation, parking, and signage are well-organized to make it easy for attendees to find and access the venue. Ensure the safety of your attendees by having appropriate security measures in place. This is especially important for large events.
Do Communicate & Delegate
Keep attendees informed about the event schedule, dress code, and any other important details. Use emails, invitations, and corporate communication channels. If someone offers to help – let them! You can’t be in all places at once, answering all questions and putting out any fires that may pop up. It’s always wonderful to have a great right-hand man. Plus, when it comes to cleanup, many hands make light work.
Do Carefully Consider Catering
Provide a variety of food and beverage options to accommodate different dietary preferences and restrictions. Ensure there are enough vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Always consider the dietary preferences and restrictions of your attendees, and have options for everyone.
Don’t Go Overboard with Alcohol
While alcohol can be part of the event, ensure responsible drinking and provide non-alcoholic options. Avoid overindulgence, which can lead to awkward and unprofessional behavior.
Do Provide Entertainment
Plan activities and entertainment that match the atmosphere of the event. Consider hiring a DJ, band, or motivational speaker, if appropriate. Entertainment goes a long way to combat awkward silences. It also helps promote conversation and can seriously enhance the mood of an event!
Don’t Overcomplicate the Event
Keep the program and schedule straightforward and well-organized. Avoid overloading the event with too many activities. For large family events, don’t worry about creating or forcing special moments with games or projects. Those will all come naturally in the right atmosphere.
Do Make Memories
Hire a professional photographer or videographer to capture the event. If it’s appropriate, a photo booth is always a fun way for guests to take home a souvenir of their evening. Share the professional photos and videos with attendees afterward. A photo and a thank you note is the perfect way to express gratitude to all attendees for their attendance and support.
By following these Do’s and Don’ts, it is very likely your event, no matter what size, will go off without a hitch. You’ve got this!