How to Plan an Elegant Corporate Holiday Event

October 25, 2018
By: Marquee Event Rentals

When it comes to planning a corporate holiday event, our event rental specialists have 9 tips you’ll want to know! From creating your guest list to choosing your event location, we have you covered. Tables? Chairs? Food? Entertainment? Knock your event out of the park by following these best practices.

Corporate Event Planning Checklist

#1 Create Your Guest List
Confirm whether your guest list will include all employees or upper management only. Also determine whether spouses, top clients, or other guests are welcome.

#2 Set the Budget
Create a spreadsheet to track vendor bids, final costs, due dates, and supplier contact info. If possible, reserve 10 percent of the budget as a contingency fund for last minute additions such as unexpected costs, guests or awards. 

#3 Choose a Location and Set a Date
Contact venues as soon as possible, the best locations get booked up three to six months in advance. If your top choices are no longer available, consider a local community center, museum, or park.

Visit each location in person to avoid unpleasant surprises such as unkempt restrooms or insufficient parking. Take numerous photos you can refer back to when completing your event plan.

If you have a limited budget, the office parking lot can be a low-cost alternative to renting space elsewhere. You could event rent a climate-controlled tent and arrange for catering or popular food trucks.

Before finalizing the date, check with key staff members about vacations, family obligations, or other potential conflicts. The holidays are a busy time for everyone.

#4 Establish Your Event Timeline
Create a shared document outlining key dates and responsibilities. Assign one staff member for each task and include contact information for everyone involved, including vendors.

#5 Select Food and Drink
Ask the caterer to make recommendations based on the budget and number of guests. Before signing the contract, ensure there are options for employees with food allergies and those on a restricted diet.

If the party includes complimentary alcohol, consider limiting how much alcohol each attendee can consume by distributing drink tickets. Offer a hot cocoa bar for a fun, non-alcoholic option.

#6 Decide if Your Party is Casual or Formal
Decide on a dress code: casual, formal, or business casual. Don’t assume guests will know what “festive attire” means, or you may have attendees in cocktail attire mingling with people in “questionable” holiday sweaters.

#7 Make Your Office Holiday Event Special
A fun theme and whimsical decor will ensure your holiday party feels like a celebration and not a stuffy corporate meeting. The theme could be based upon a classic holiday movie, a company milestone, or in support of a local charity. An experienced rental vendor like our team at Marquee Event Rentals can provide tables with decorative linens, accessories, and lighting to complement your theme.

#8 Entertainment
A dance floor and a DJ always bring a party to life, but a photo booth or gift exchange are two fun alternatives. If families are invited, make sure there’s something for kids to do. Consider whether you need a host to welcome everyone to the party and distribute achievement awards.

#9 Get the Word Out
Promote the event date, venue location and dress code as soon as possible. Post flyers in the breakroom(s) or any where else employees gather. Send multiple reminders to ensure employees RSVP and know the cut-off date to submit special meal requests.

#10 Consider What Might Go Wrong
Create a plan for bad weather, who will step in if the party host or one of the organizers gets sick, or other last-minute changes.

The experienced event specialists at Marquee Event Rentals can help you plan a fun and memorable corporate holiday party. Contact us for a complimentary consultation with a local event specialist. Marquee Event Rentals serves Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.