5 Keys to Hosting a Successful Company Holiday Party
With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about those company holiday parties and all the good times, and entertaining stories, they bring.
If you’re the one responsible for planning and pulling off one of these seasonal gatherings, it can be a bit of a daunting task - where to host it, activities for guests, what to serve, and many more concerns have likely crossed your mind.
But worry not, with many successful company holiday parties under our Spork Bytes belt we’ve compiled five keys to help you host your best party yet!
1. Choose the Proper Venue
When venturing outside of the office for your company party it’s important to choose a locale that can accommodate your team, plus guests, and provides the right vibe for the event.
We’re very fortunate here in Portland to have a wide variety of event spaces to fit just about any size, budget and theme you’re looking for. Some of our favorites include:
The Evergreen (618 SE Alder St., Portland, OR 97214)
Blockhouse (1988 Northwest 18th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209)
Castaway Portland (1900 NW 18th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209)
Lechon (113 SW Naito Parkway, Portland OR 97204)
24 Fremont (2393 NE Fremont St, Suite C)
2. Serve Good Food & Drinks
This may seem like a no-brainer but the cuisine and libations being served can oftentimes make or break your party. Good quality food has the ability to bring people closer together while a unique blend of alcoholic beverages will set the mood and help keep the conversations flowing.
There is a wide variety of delicious restaurants throughout the Portland area that will provide a unique culinary experience for you and your guests. From homemade pasta dishes to authentic street tacos and everything in between, the options are nearly endless.
Remove some of the work and check out our hand-curated list of preferred restaurant partners to cater your event.
Complementing the food should be an easy and fun bar experience for your guests. Most venues offer bar staff and cocktail options as part of the event hosting and servers are also available through Spork Bytes, just ask your Concierge.
There are also local services such as My Bartender who will provide a unique and unforgettable experience for your guests so you can rest easy knowing a team of true professionals is handling everything from ice to crafting artisan cocktails.
3. Party Rentals
Just as the venue, food and drinks help set the mood, how you decorate the space will also determine the overall vibe.
Is there a particular style you’re going for - formal vs casual?
Do you have a specific theme - ugly sweater, white elephant?
Once you have an idea of the look-and-feel you’re trying to create, you can coordinate with an event rental company to arrange things like a sound system, tables, chairs, linens, dishes, glassware, decorations and just about anything else needed to put together a memorable experience.
One of our personal favorites is the award-winning The Party Place. With more than 50 years of experience putting together unique events of varying sizes, they know what it takes to create a one-of-a-kind setting.
4. Activities for your Guests
Leave the boring office games behind and bring some fun and entertaining activities for your guests to partake in.
Holiday-themed activities like a white elephant gift exchange or ugly sweater contest are always entertaining while games such as poker and group trivia will ensure things get interesting!
Some other fun activities could include tastings - beer, wine, cheese, spirits, desserts - and if you’re looking for something really memorable (and permanent) then a tattoo artist could even be hired.
5. Coordinate Successfully
Two keys to any successful event are planning and coordination. With a little of both, your company holiday party will go off without a hitch. Some final helpful tips include…
What is your vision for the event? Make a list of everything you would like to see and share that with your venue, caterers and rental companies. They’re the professionals so let them help you execute your vision.
Create a timeline. Share it with everyone. This will help your vendors with their planning and gives your guests an idea of what they can expect and when.
Ask for help, especially on the day of the event. Don’t be afraid to ask for some assistance to help alleviate stress. This can be a member of your internal team, someone from one of the vendors, or both.
A good party ends when everyone gets home safely. Using services such as Uber Events or Lyft Events provide a quick and easy way to gift rides for your guests so they get where they need to be without incident.
With a little planning, the holiday party season doesn’t need to be overly stressful. If you’re looking for some help pulling off the ultimate company party let us know - we’re here to help bring you and your team together over good food.