While most people are just getting into the swing of the summer with vacations and fun in the sun, you are already thinking about the holiday season. At the Regency at Dominion Valley, our catering and sales team is right there with you! Holidays are on our minds as early as June, so we can relate. Hosting a corporate holiday party is an essential part of the year at any business, no matter the size. It serves as a way to show your appreciation for your team for all their hard work and dedication throughout the year as well as a way to celebrate to the successes of the year and look forward to the opportunities in the coming year.
The task of planning your corporate holiday party is no small undertaking, therefore our catering professionals have come up with a quick and easy to follow checklist to help you get started!
1. The first rule in planning your corporate holiday party is simple, it’s never too early to start planning!
Pull out the calendar and review travel schedules for your top team members to identify a date that works. Don’t discount weekdays, most venues (including the Regency at Dominion Valley) offer specially reduced rates for hosting events on off-peak days (non-Friday or Saturdays).
2. Identify a Budget
In most businesses, the cost for your holiday party was already set during the budget process the year before. As mentioned in Step 1, choosing an off-peak day such as a Sunday afternoon or weekday evening may have you up to 50% off your room rental packages. Be sure to keep detailed notes regarding costs, so you can be ready for budgeted for next years event!
3. Secure Your Location
Once your date and budget is set, you can begin shopping for a venue. The size of your party will help narrow this selection. Many venues offer a variety of event spaces for hosting small and large groups, so be sure to ask minimums as well as maximum capacities. You may also want to ask how many events are hosted per day at these venues to determine how crowded or busy the venue may be on any given day. The Regency at Dominion Valley provides accommodations for as few as 24 to as many as 220 guests.
4. Send Out Invitations
The holiday season is busy for everyone so getting your event onto your employees calendar early is vital. You may want to start with a simple “Save the Date” invitation months in advance to get it on the minds of your employees, then follow up with a formal invitation a little closer to your event once you’ve completed all the event details.
5. Develop a Theme & Entertainment
Your event can take on any shape you wish depending on your willingness to plan and execute, the size and/or personality of your group. Identifying a specific theme for your corporate holiday party can help employees get excited about the event as well as create a memorable experience. Popular themes include Masquerade Balls and Casino Nights. You will also want to consider if you will have live entertainment such as a band or DJ or keep a more simplistic approach by developing an automatic playlist that uses the venues AV system. Themes can also carry over into the decor of the room from the centerpieces to linens. Your venue may be able to help assist you with these ideas by providing inspiration from previously hosted events and providing the names of preferred local vendors that may provide special discounts and savings when used as a referral.
6. Determine Your Alcohol Policy
While providing a complimentary event for your employees is key to a successful party, no employer is obligated to provide unlimited consumption. This is entirely up to your discretion, however, we’ve found that a majority of businesses provide a specified number of drinks to each guest through issuing “drink tickets” and then providing a “cash bar” for any additional beverages. While water, soda and coffee are provided on an unlimited basis.
7. Personalize & Recognize
Remember that this is the time to praise your employees and show your appreciation. It’s a good idea to have your top team members make a brief speech on the achievements of the year and set some goals for the coming year. Most venues, including the Regency at Dominion Valley, provide audio-visual equipment to help aid in these types of presentations.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and get excited about your corporate holiday party! Your catering representative from the venue you choose should be able to help you with each of these steps along the way. They are here to reduce your stress and provide insight regarding menu selection, party themes and so much more! Utilize them as much as you can and together, you will throw an amazing and unforgettable corporate holiday party!