Half the battle of planning a holiday party is figuring out where it’s all going to take place.
When it comes to planning your party, you’ll want everything to run smoothly and go off without a hitch – you do want to be able to enjoy it too, after all. A big part of ensuring a successful gathering is choosing the perfect party location from a variety of party venues. Picking a party location that has the right vibe, a big enough space, and great amenities can make or break the party you’re planning. Narrow down your choices using these steps and you’ll have the confidence you need to put down the deposit in the right place for your event.
In these uncertain times, it is also important to make your employees aware of the party planning process. Send a save the date or invitation and gauge their interest. Keep in mind different peoples’ comfort levels. Are they interested in being inside? Or would it be better to host an event outdoors when the weather is nice? Ensuring people will come to the event is just as important as choosing the party location.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when checking off party location ideas:
1. Size matters.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better in this scenario. Obviously, finding a venue that can fit your entire group is important – you don’t want your guests feeling cramped and unable to move around the room. However, being in a room that’s simply too large can feel empty and too sparse. Sometimes when a venue is too big, it can throw off the decor – make sure that when everything comes together it will look nice and be functional for a party at the same time. But, with the pandemic still posing a threat, you may want to think about getting a larger venue, or holding it outside to ensure the safety and health of your team. With a larger venue, you can keep groups farther apart and if the weather is nice, being outside can help keep things spread out.
Are you incorporating team building into the event? If you are, you might want to check with your event planner before booking a space to make sure there is enough room for the activity.
2. Pick up on the vibes.
One of the most important things about choosing a venue is picking up on the atmosphere. Is the room big and barren? Does it feel impersonal and uninviting? The ambiance of a room can definitely influence the mood when it comes to throwing a party, and some venues are just not meant for the type of gathering you might be planning. This is why it’s a very good idea to actually see the venue in person before making any decisions. Make sure that when you walk into the venue, it feels like the right place for your group.
The same goes for a venue outdoors, is there a good place to hold an activity? Are there tables they can sit at or will those need to be provided? Put your employees first. Especially in these times, ask them what they are comfortable with. It may be beneficial to send out a survey to gauge how they are feeling about the event.
3. Location is key.
A fancy black-tie affair in the city? Sounds fabulous. Something more low-key and casual on the countryside? That’s great. However, keep in mind that your employees come from all over, and the one commonplace that everybody knows is the office. That being said, some folks might not want to travel too far from home to come out for a work party.
Finding a place with a convenient location for all (or at least most) will help keep your attendance number high. It’s probably a good idea to find a venue that’s somewhat near the office because you’ll know that most people may have the capability of getting there. If you do choose to book a venue in a more populated city area, make sure that it’s accessible by public transportation. Nobody wants to put themselves through the stress of city street parking before the night even begins.
If your team is from all over like ours is, it may be a good idea to look into a virtual or hybrid event to get everyone together. If we’ve learned anything over this past year, it is that teams don’t necessarily need to be in the same location to accomplish great things. Ensuring that you can bring your entire team together is the point of hosting a party whether it is for a company anniversary or annual holiday party. If virtual is the right fit, then you may not even need a party location rather a time that works for everyone and a fun activity to do.
4. What’s included?
Some venues will offer all the amenities you might need – from audiovisual requirements to tables, chairs, dishes, and silverware to food and drinks. If you’re working with a tight budget, finding a venue that includes it all might be your best bet when trying not to spend more than you can afford. However, sometimes you have to put in the time and do the research – make a list of the different party location ideas you’re interested in and what they each offer so you can compare them. This might be a huge deciding factor when finding the perfect party location. Some places will include servers and bartenders as well, so make sure to ask about all of the options.
If you are hosting a virtual or hybrid event, make sure you have activities that are planned for guests. This can be as simple as a happy hour, or you could include some fun and engaging activities to get everyone involved. However, if you are doing an activity that requires a kit that needs to be sent to employees or they need to get supplies prior to the event, make sure to send them a detailed list of what they will need or will be receiving prior to the event. No one likes to be surprised the day of.
5. Don’t forget the details.
Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big impact on how an event will fall into place. Is there accessible parking, or will your guests need to bus in? This might be a turnoff for some, while others might prefer the fact that they don’t have to drive. Does the venue have good reviews? Make sure to do some searching around the internet to find feedback about the service and quality of the venues you’re interested in.
Again, if you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid office party, make sure you send them the details in advance. What will they need? What will they be receiving and when? Send guests the link to the event in a timely manner and ensure they add it to their calendars. Inform them of the activities they will be participating and get them excited to join in on the fun.
Once you have your list of party venues that have all the things you want, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and feel confident about your decision. After all, booking the space will take a huge weight off your chest! You can finally envision the party and plan around the constraints of the room. It doesn’t have to be a challenge if you just take each part of the planning step by step!
And if you can’t get together in person for your office party, remember a virtual holiday party can be just as fun as in-person. Forget the party location, all you need is a link!
Check out our preferred venue listings in your area to see if any of our suggestions catch your eye. And as always, if you need help planning your holiday party and want more ideas on the perfect party location, contact us for support. Take a look and see if any of our activities would be a good fit your team no matter where you are: