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How to Plan the Perfect Work Holiday Party

If you're in charge of work holiday party planning, this blog is for you. Read on for the do's and don'ts of planning your upcoming holiday party activities, straight from Confetti's CEO, Lee Rubin!

#Work-Life Balance
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As the end of the year approaches, it's time to deck the halls, approve the budget, and start planning your company holiday parties! While the task of organizing a holiday event may seem daunting, don't fret! We have the holiday party planning tips that will help.

From avoiding the common obstacles to embracing new ideas, we'll help you create a memorable experience for every department. Whether your team is fully virtual, in-office, or a blend of both, we've got you covered with activities to foster team spirit and spread some holiday cheer. Let's dive into the art of planning the perfect work holiday party that will have everyone talking well into the new year!

The Do's and Don'ts of office holiday party planning 🎄

Before you get to your holiday party checklist, here's an overview of the basics you should consider for company party planning!

1. Do understand the most popular times ✅

When it comes to the holidays, plan ahead. Great minds think alike, so the dates you have in mind for a holiday party are probably being considered by many others as well. 

Survey the team on their availability to ensure you’re finding the best time for the maximum participation. FYI, the end of November into the first week of January is the classic holiday party timeline, so you may run into a lot of scheduling conflicts. Whenever possible, anticipate date popularity and plan ahead.

2. Don't try to book events that are inconvenient for different time zones ❌

If you are asking folks in inconvenient time zones to participate, give them a perk like being able to start work late the next day, or give them a gift card to treat themselves to breakfast.

Make sure you’re taking anyone who’d be joining this event into account - if you can’t find a time that works reasonably for everyone on the team (meaning not crazy early or crazy late) consider planning a second event for your international members to make sure everyone has an opportunity to join in on the fun.

3. Do ship your materials in advance to avoid any issues ✅

No one is immune to the chaos of holiday shipping, I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. 😅

If you’re planning an experience with a shipped component, like our Classes with Kits, be sure to plan ahead as much as possible so you don’t run into delayed shipping or higher shipping fees, etc.

Trust us, these hands-on experiences are worth it! Finalizing your shipping items early is a way to ensure everyone gets to enjoy the experience.

How to get started 👉 When you book one of our Classes with Kits, we'll collect your address form and handle all of the shipping for you!

4. Don't stress about doing everything equally ❌

Equality is great and something to strive for, but it’s not worth your stress, especially at the busiest time of year.

Something to remember when being a party planner for distributed teams is that more than likely, you'll never make 100% of people happy, especially when it comes to managing the expectations of those in the office and those joining from home.

  • So what if someone can’t receive a package? Send them a DIY supply list and a stipend, and let your event coordinator know in advance. (Our BYO experiences are perfect solutions for this!)
  • Are your employees in the office doing a wine tasting? Treat your virtual folks to a wine tasting too! Our Hybrid experiences allow in-person and remote employees to experience their event together, even if they're not in the same room.

Effort is key here. People want to know you care, but most good folks aren’t going to give you a hard time on the little details.

5. Do provide experiences over gifts ✅

I really believe in this one, and there are just so many community & team building opportunities that come from experiences that gifts just can’t match. Gifts are either a hit or a miss, and when everyone receives the exact same one, it’s often a miss.

Research has shown that people often derive more happiness and satisfaction from experiences compared to material gifts. Here’s why:

  1. The "hedonic treadmill": This idea suggests that the happiness derived from material possessions is often short-lived. People quickly adapt to new possessions and return to their baseline level of happiness. In contrast, experiences can provide lasting memories and emotional connections, leading to greater long-term satisfaction.
  2. Social connection: People report greater feelings of connectedness and joy when they share experiences with others.
  3. Unique memories: Experiences create unique memories that can be recalled and cherished over time. This emotional attachment to memories can contribute to greater life satisfaction. 
  4. Reduced comparison: Material possessions are often subject to social comparison, where people compare what they have to what others have. This can lead to feelings of envy and dissatisfaction. Experiences, on the other hand, are more unique and less prone to direct comparison, reducing the likelihood of envy.

At Confetti, our experiences lead to all sorts of positive outcomes, from creating something with your hands, learning new skills, and making new friends. Everyone can walk away with something good from the experience, even if it wasn't their original cup of tea. 

For example, if you get invited to a cooking class and you’re not the biggest fan of tacos, you might:

  • Learn new flavors or types you do enjoy 🌮
  • Bond with a coworker from Marketing when you realize they have the same type of dog as you🐶
  • Join a new Slack channel with your fellow peers named after the hilarious 2-minute taco opera that the instructor performed - the list (and laughs) goes on. 

As the saying goes - "Collect moments, not things."

6. Don't stress about planning your party in December ❌

This might sound surprising, but January holiday parties are super popular. December (Q4 in general) can be such a whirlwind for companies that it’s so difficult to find the time or everyone seems to be out of office on different days, etc. Having your holiday party in January gives your team something to look forward to in the new year, it allows you to be more intentional about bringing the team together if your Q4 was nuts, and it’s an amazing way to kick off Q1 with a bang. 

7. Do consider charity team building ✅

The holiday season is all about giving back, which makes charity team building a great choice for holiday celebrations. Being able to do something that brings your team together while also doing good is such a win-win in our book. However, if you’re doing a charity-based experience, make sure its mission aligns with your company's values and is properly vetted ahead of time.

How to get started 👉 Plan your office party with an event from our Charitable Team Building Collection. P.S. If you're giving green this year, Plant a Tree Donations make excellent party favors!

Here are some experience suggestions broken down by department:

Using feedback from our Confetti Customers, here are some suggestions for experiences that are perfect for capturing team dynamics and echoing elements of their roles in a festive celebration!

Of course, you can choose any experience depending on the feedback from your team, but if you’re going in without any information, these types of experiences are a great place to start:

1. Best experiences for C-Suite

2. Best experiences for HR & Admins

3. Best experiences for Legal & Finance

4. Best experiences for Marketing

5. Best experiences for Sales

6. Best experiences for R&D

7. Best experiences for Ops

8. Best experiences for Customer Support

9. Best experiences for the large groups or the entire company

Add some Confetti to your celebration 🥳

Company holiday party planning is no easy task. Whether it's a virtual cocktail-making class, round of office olympics, or a festive arts and crafts experience, our experiences make sure that your work holiday party is not just another mundane annual event, but an engaging celebration of team camaraderie and shared success.

Book your corporate holiday party with Confetti. Contact [email protected] to get started today! 
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