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Strategize for a Successful Holiday Office Party

The holiday season is quickly sneaking up on us, so let the party planning begin now. Numerous details must fall into place, including the little things that partygoers hardly notice (if it’s done well!) 

This year, think strategically. What do you want to achieve? Will your event be singly focused on showing guests a good time or a multifaceted one featuring employee recognition, accomplishments or a guest speaker? Let your objectives be your guide.

Contemporary holiday parties might include:

  • Entertaining employees
  • Entertaining clients or special guests
  • Team-building
  • Encouraging socializing
  • Recognizing employees, partners or accomplishments
  • Incorporating a charitable component

What can you achieve within your budget? Well, you can spend a lot and maintain an air of modesty just as you can spend modestly on some level of formality. From modest to generous budgets, you can accomplish your objectives within your means by getting guidance from venue staff to set the right tone, plan the space, and select appropriate amenities. University of Delaware Conference Services has a variety of unique venues in Wilmington, Newark and Lewes, Delaware, along with experienced professionals who help you work through the details of your event planning.

Consider how you want guests to feel and what the vibe will be. Establish this with your invitation style. Guests will also appreciate being given a clue as to how to come dressed, from “business casual” to “black tie” formal. Talk to your event manager about entertainment and audiovisual needs for music, a slideshow or a guest speaker, along with lighting and décor—components that essentially set the mood.

Size matters! A large event can be lively and create opportunities for people who don’t normally interact at work to meet and mingle. Combine smaller work groups or business units to create one large gathering. On the other hand, a small party allows co-workers a chance to leave the “shop talk” behind and get to know each other on a social level. Divide up a large workforce into smaller, more intimate gatherings.

Make it special. Have the boss or another high-level employee greet guests and guide them through phases of the event, right up to thanking everyone for coming. This will personalize your event and make it more memorable.

Should you choose to offer alcohol, your budget and the style of your event might call for an open bar, a cash bar, or a bar limited to wine, beer and soda. One current trend is to serve a signature cocktail (which could be made non-alcoholic) to support a theme or add a bit of fun to the party.

If your holiday party is purely entertainment for your group or something more strategic, let your objectives shape the event, then rely on an expert to handle all the details. University of Delaware Conference Services offers unparalleled service by expert event planners at unique venues throughout Delaware to ensure your event runs just as planned.

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