The office holiday party is back.
After years of scaling back holiday parties – or letting go of them altogether – many companies are beginning to understand the value of keeping a festive tradition alive. As corporate bottom lines rebound, an elegant holiday party is the perfect way to celebrate a great year and improve employee morale. Here are our tips for planning a successful and productive office holiday party:
Office Holiday Party Tip #1: Take it Off-Site
Most corporate event experts agree that taking the corporate holiday party out of the office is the best way to go. Today’s companies expect employees to work hard and give 100 percent during the workweek. When planning a holiday party, it’s important to take employees out of their routines and create an environment where everyone can unwind and enjoy themselves. A one-stop event venue makes it easy for your event planning team and can offer a festive atmosphere for employees.
Office Holiday Party Tip #2: Use a Restaurant
Hosting a holiday party at a restaurant can be both cost-effective and convenient. The right restaurant allows companies to avoid the hassle and cost of renting linens, decorations, chairs, and more. And regardless of popular beliefs, a buffet isn’t always the way to go. At Lightfoot Restaurant, many banquet clients are surprised to find out how cost effective a three-course sit-down dinner can be. Our catering manager is here to help you plan every aspect of your event.
Lightfoot offers three gorgeous banquet rooms that seat anywhere from 12 to 120 guests. Our most popular space for office parties, the stunning Sheridan Room, boasts seating for 120 and space for 150 in a cocktail setting. For smaller groups, we offer more intimate spaces. And to keep costs down, Lightfoot never charges room rental fees as long as a minimum food and beverage expenditure is made.
If the need arises, the entire restaurant can be rented out for an event, creating an amazingly fun, celebratory atmosphere. Please keep in mind, though, that if you are considering a full restaurant buyout for the upcoming holiday season, we recommend that you contact our management right away. The larger the event, the more important it is to book early.
Office Holiday Party Tip #3: Get Creative with Scheduling
Early to mid-December is naturally the most popular time for holiday parties, leaving the weeks leading up to Christmas jam-packed with parties and activities. At Lightfoot, the holiday season is always bustling and jubilant, and we welcome corporate parties throughout the weekdays and weekends.
To save a little on the party budget and to take some pressure off of their employees’ schedules, many companies are now opting to schedule winter office parties during the weekdays (starting at five p.m.) or in January, outside of the December peak season. While Friday remains the most popular time for an office party, Thursdays are now coming on strong, too. Parties during brunch or lunchtime are also a great idea for decreasing costs, and as an extra treat, you can give your employees the rest of the afternoon off.
Office Holiday Party Tip #4: Raise a Glass
Alcohol at office parties has been a hot topic over the years. At Lightfoot, we encourage responsible alcohol consumption at all times, and we know that many companies want to offer festive libations at their events. We offer a full range of wine, beer, and spirits, but an open bar is certainly not a requirement. Many companies opt for wine and beer only, and we encourage fun non-alcoholic options – like holiday punches and “mocktails.”
With craft cocktails becoming more and more trendy, offering a signature cocktail as a welcome drink is a fun way to start any event. Our catering manager will work with you to come up with the best fit for your company’s beverage needs.
Office Holiday Party Tip #5: Go Beyond the Menu
Great music sets the tone for a delightful evening. At Lightfoot, we can help you meet your music needs with our list of recommended vendors – from jazz trios to full bands.
Many companies are also adding a charity or public service component to help make their events more meaningful. Food and clothing drives are popular, and lots of companies are setting up card-making stations for service members as a fun way to get creative and give back.
Planning Your Office Holiday Party is the Key to Success
If an office holiday party is on your company’s to-do list, start planning now. It’s the perfect time to get the best date and the best deal. Holiday reservations have been coming in over the summer and fall is the high point for corporate event planning. The holiday season will be here before we know it, so don’t delay in getting that office party booked.