I originally posted this last October, but I thought it was worthwhile to update since (like this time last year), I am in the midst of planning the office holiday party for the nonprofit where I work.
For those of you who gripe about seeing holiday decorations in the mall earlier and earlier, I understand that sentiment, but you seriously need to start planning holiday parties yesterday. Well, at least if you live in a market like DC.
This time last year, I was just starting to work on the annual holiday party. This time of year, venues are booking up fast, caterers are as well. But more importantly, so are people’s calendars – which is the one part of planning holiday parties that is trickiest to work around. This year, I booked the venue back in August, finalizing the contract in September. So I felt WAY ahead of the game. But then September and October got REALLY busy and even though I had the venue locked up, I wasn’t really doing much of anything else. Time to play catch up!
Since holiday parties are a giant scheduling conflict, if you haven’t already started, do yourself a favor and start planning now, while you still have some venue and vendor options. Make sure you get on your VIPs schedule now – whoever your VIPs are.
This can also be applied to dinner parties and other events at home. You might not need to worry about getting a caterer, but it’s worthwhile to start figuring out calendars and working with other hostesses to make sure you’re not overlapping.
While I was most concerned with getting our venue locked up (and our venue this year is a restaurant – we’re doing a buyout – so we don’t need to find a caterer too), I’m still working through some other vendors we’ll need to bring in. I’m currently contracting the entertainment and need to work on transportation and favors. Not to mention the decor and menu!
If you are planning a holiday party, here are some resources to help you:
- How to make your office party less of a disaster – you know there’s always a risk of this happening, this post has some practical suggestions.
- Holiday party themes & ideas – Make your holiday party stand out!
- Holiday party favors – Great advice (if I do say so myself) on office holiday party favors (and whether you need them)
- Office Party at Top of the Town – Photos from our company holiday party, planned by yours truly!
And if you are starting to plan (and are looking to save some money), here are some resources:
- How to save money on food & beverage for events
- How to save money on an event venue
- How to save money on lounge furniture rentals
- How to save money when serving alcohol