The holidays are no longer around the corner—they’re here! With the year coming to a close, that means there are a bunch of year-ending projects needed to be completed. You may be feeling like it’s too late to plan the party this year, but an office holiday party is just what the team needs to jumpstart on the new year. There is plenty of time to get a last-minute party together if you do it right. If you’re in charge of planning the holiday party this year, here are some simple tips to get the job done right.
Pick the Formality
How are you supposed to plan a party for everyone when there can be so many different personality types in the office? The first step to planning the perfect party is to pick the kind of party it’s going to be. Are you wanting to throw a small gathering during lunch hour? A formal dinner? A themed-party? The type of party you are wanting to throw is the cornerstone to planning the rest of your get together.
This is also important, so guests can plan their schedules accordingly and know the correct dress code. The key to having the most guests able to attend is giving them appropriate notice. A good rule of thumb for holiday parties that are after work hours is to inform guests at least a week and a half in advance; however, it is better to allow two or three weeks’ notice.
Choose a Venue
No one wants to have a party at their place of work. If you are hosting your company party out-of-office, the main consideration to take is size. For companies with a smaller staff, an intimate option would be to rent a private room at a nice restaurant. If your company has a larger staff, look for a bigger venue.
Venues like Jackson Terminal offer a large open area with room for buffets, seated or standing tables and even a band. Jackson Terminal also has a catering kitchen, so any food ordered will be served at its freshest. Whatever the size of your guest list, always make sure that your guests can fit comfortably in the venue, after extras like buffets, tables or whatever else you are adding to your party.
Set the Menu
Let’s be honest; food is essential to any party. Some might think it’s the most important part. Once you’ve chosen the tone and venue for your event, it’s time to choose what your guests will eat. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
- One Bite Hors d’ Oeuvres: Hors d’oeuvres are a great way to offer a small bite and foster conversation. Cocktail parties hosted in the early evening is the perfect setting for these appetizers. If you are planning an event and only offering heavy hors d’oeuvres, consider different bites that will meet multiple diet restrictions including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. This is a simple way to make sure each guest is well accommodated and can partake in the festivities.
- Classic Formal Dinner: When planning a menu for an event with a sit-down meal, consider providing stations, like a carving station or a salad bar. This gives guests the option to individualize their meals to cater to their own liking. Stay in the holiday spirit by offering a dessert bar filled with tasty treats like pies, cakes and cheesecakes.
- Smoky Mountain BBQ: For a more low-key affair, like a catered meal during lunch hour, barbeque is a great option. Barbeque is easy to serve and can be transported to any location. Include multiple sides and desserts to really make it a special event for employees.
- Holiday Healthy Gourmet: Holiday food is often heavy and unhealthy. If your event has dancing or lots of mingling, choose a healthier option for your guests so they feel full, but not stuffed. If you do want to add some sweet treats to the menu, no one would blame you.
Get the Help You Need
Planning a party can be hard, and sometimes you might need a little help. If you want your event catered, be sure to do your research on who is available in your area. Experience is key, so make sure the company has some. Be sure that your location allows outside catering because some venues have exclusive partnerships with caterers, where only a specific caterer or a specific list of caterers can work at the venue. Be sure to look into these factors when making plans.
Consider hiring a full-service catering service to help with set up and take down. Some ‘catering’ services will only drop the food off, leaving it up to the party planner or guests. Bartending services are also available for anyone looking to have their party during happy hour.
The holidays are upon us, but it isn’t too late to plan an incredible holiday party for all your deserving employees. By following these four simple steps, you can achieve holiday magic in no time. Remember, start with the formality or vibe you are hoping to achieve at your event, then work from there. So many resources are available to you, so the options are endless!
Need help assistance with your holiday party? AOC is the top caterer in the Knoxville area and has years of experience under its belt, or should we say apron. Each of its menus is customizable, and they can provide full bar services. AOC also owns several unique venues that are well equipped to handle any number of people or type of event. Call AOC today at 865-521-1300 or visit their website.
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