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Celebrate your company’s accomplishments, bolster the company culture, and boost morale! A holiday party is an easy means to escape all those work worries and gather together to create a better overall workplace environment. When planning a party, the venue is what determines the rest of your details. What should you anticipate when planning an off-site party? Here are six major points our experts suggest you consider.

Know Your Budget

An overall budget will help steer you towards the type of venues available. It’s best to balance the budget with the cost of the venue and associated services. Consider all party costs – not just the venue rental. That includes entertainment, food and beverage, logistics rental, and staffing. Determine an overall budget before beginning a search for possible venues.

Save The Date

When choosing a holiday party venue, the event date is a key factor. This means that it is imperative to book the event as early as possible before your preferred date fills up. Waiting too long to reserve a date may cause a company to settle for a venue that isn’t at the top of your list. If you’re flexible about the date, however, you may find more options available.

Companies like to get holiday parties on the calendar well before the holidays – especially before their employees start taking off for holiday vacations. In years past, many companies preferred to host parties on either the first or second Friday or Saturday in December. This trend is changing, however, with holiday parties extending well into January of the following year.

Set The Mood

Before putting any firm decisions in place, think about what kind of party fits the company best. What do people want? Formal or a more casual event? Is an indoor party the way to go, or do people like an outside option? Are you hosting a dancing crowd or a more relaxed group? Getting all these answers will help your party take shape quickly, allowing you to move forward easily.

Pre-defined options also help narrow the focus. This way, you can take polls faster while limiting the number of off-the-wall suggestions. Not all participants will get their first choice, but everyone will be on board if you come up with a popular solution.

Details, Darling!

Some venues are truly full service, like our Castle; others are more bare-bones. Thus, it is helpful to understand what the venue supplies and what you need to source yourself. Yes, the venue probably has tables and chairs (although these may need to be rented, too), but what about decorations? Do you need to supply or rent these yourself, or can the venue help line everything up? Don’t forget audio/video needs; will you need to rent a computer, projector, screen, or even a microphone and speakers? If the event is outdoors, what about heat lamps? (Even San Diego can get chilly in December.)

Party Snacks Won’t Cut It

A bad dining experience might be the only thing your coworkers remember about your holiday party if your food choices flop. When reviewing possible venues, find out which food and drink options are available. According to our experts, these are the questions to ask: Does the venue have on-site food services, complete with kitchen and servers? Or does a catering service need to be brought in? Alcohol will probably be part of the mix, and most venues will provide it, but how much does it cost? Will the company offer an open bar, or is a cash bar more appropriate for your budget?

Food and beverage costs can account for a fair percentage of your party expenditures. Make sure to include this on your list when you’re evaluating venues. It will help to know whether the venue provides these services (and at what cost) or whether you need to use a separate caterer.

Wow The Crowd

You’ve got the food, decorations, and a stunning venue, but it’s awfully quiet… Jazz up the party with some music, either in the background or upfront for dancing. Take into consideration that not all venues can accommodate all types of entertainment. A single DJ with all his equipment only takes up ten square feet of space. However, booking an eight-piece party band will require much more.

Looking for a little something extra? For more family-oriented parties, try booking magicians or caricaturists! Face painters will be sure to delight kids of all ages! For the adults, offer casino games or a photo booth. Outdoor events are perfect for late-night lawn games. Just check with the venue that they can accommodate the entertainment selected.

If this all seems a little overwhelming, reach out to our talented coordination team!

With a few simple questions answered, we’ll take care of everything. Your party planning experience will be a breeze, and your coworkers will marvel at how you pulled it off with such ease.