Once again, it is time for holiday parties. While everyone is downsizing and looking for new ways to cut costs, a holiday party at a lower price may not be a good answer. The following list of useful tips will help and assist you in creating a pleasant and successful holiday cheer.

1. The Venue

Choosing a good venue needs a lot of thought. If you choose your venue too big, your guests will feel lost. Choose a venue that is too small and not all guests will fit in. But size is not all that needs to be considered. If you want to have people remember that event forever, choose a venue that is not a typical place for a holiday party. Be creative. Would you remember a party in a barn, an airplane, a mall, the zoo, an indoor pool, an airplane hangar, a theater, a railway car, or an old historic church building? You see, there are other places than hotels and restaurants.

2. The Party Theme

Not every holiday party needs to look like a mall in December. Find a theme that makes it interesting to come to the event. It sounds much more interesting to visit a party with a theme like “Jungle Christmas”, “Santa’s laboratory”, “Party under the Sea”, “Dude Ranch”, “Out of the Box”…

3. The Decoration

Once you’ve found a great theme, think about the decoration that supports the theme. You can create your own labels for bottles, rent trees, collect large boxes from surrounding retailers, borrow some cattle (though that might cause some problems….), free lab coats for everyone with the company logo and rubber gloves (who said your employees are thrilled with getting yet another company t-shirt as a Christmas bonus?), rent an “electric cow” (the rodeo thing…), dress up some cardboard Rudolphs with lab coats and goggles, or strap some reindeer antlers to the borrowed cows. Dress up the waiters as Santas or mad scientists. In other words, turn your venue into a stage set for a fun time by making it match the theme. Place single-use cameras on the tables, so your guests can take pictures for their memories. And don’t forget good lighting. Creative lighting will contribute much to the atmosphere.

4. The Music

To find the right music for your event, you have to visualize your guests. See the event through your guest’s eyes. While a string quartet might fit great to your theme, the result may be that your guests fall asleep. If you get bored with DJs and bands, try a cowbell orchestra, a square-dance lesson, or a barbershop quartet.

5. The Entertainment

While music is usually a big part of a great evening, music should not be everything. What makes and breaks the evening is the number of different diversions and surprises. This state offers some of the best entertainers you can find in this country. Invite a comedian, magician or mentalist to your event, and your guests will have something to talk about. Good magic entertainers will not only produce the CEO on stage, they will also integrate your guests in the stage performance and make them heroes. This is a perfect treat for persons that work hard and well.

6. The Drinks

The best holiday gift you can give to your guests is preventing them from driving after they have been drinking alcohol. Provide enough low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks, for both underage and non-drinking attendees to have plenty of options. Display these options as prominently as the alcoholic beverages. Using smaller cups help your guests to keep their alcohol servings to an appropriate size. Create little stickers like “designated driver” or “I enjoy non-alcoholic drinks” that drivers can wear during the party. Have your guests sign up for alternate transportation at the beginning of your event in case they decide to drink. Provide a “check-in” for car keys. Collect and tag each guest’s car keys, and at the conclusion of the party, only return keys to designated drivers. And stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party is over.

7. The Food

The theme, date, and place will make the ultimate difference to the type of food you will decide to serve. A mouth-watering buffet is sure to keep people’s attention, not to mention help their bodies absorb the alcohol they consume. Especially high protein and carbohydrate foods like meats, cheese, veggies, breads, and light dips are very good. They taste great and do not make your guests thirsty. Make sure you have options available for alternative diet needs.

8. The Analysis

After every event, do an “event analysis.” Write down what was good, what went wrong, what you would do differently next time, and who the vendors were that made your life easier.

Planning for a successful event requires a tremendous amount of effort, time, and energy. Every event is different and if you want your holiday party to be unique, you have to be bold and make a leap. If you don’t have the time, talk to some events planner about your ideas. They are in business to help you.

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