10 Tips for Planning an ‘After-Work’ Holiday Cocktail Party
After a long day at work, the last thing any of us want is more stress. However, you would probably welcome a chance to relax after work with a nice cocktail and delicious food! Getting together for an evening in Boston should be fun and easy and we have some tips to help make that possible.
Why You Should Host a Holiday Cocktail Party
- A relaxing place can lead to other enjoyable conversation and may even help spark fresh ideas for work or life outside of work.
- Giving co-workers an opportunity to bond builds community. And what better time for community than during the holidays?
- Getting to know the people you see every day can enhance everyone’s sense of trust and respect for each other.
- Cocktails, appetizers, community – a winning combination for a successful after work holiday party!
- Send out invitations. Everyone should know to pencil the party into their calendars. This gives them a chance to find babysitters or rearrange other plans as necessary. These invitations can be sent through email or internal memos. Also mention that this is an informal party, where people can come and go as they please.
- Encourage leadership to attend. Staff is more likely to pop in for a drink if their boss will be there. Again, this type of party isn’t meant to have a “you must attend!” feeling, but instead, to serve as a place for people to get to know each other better. Casual conversation amid the holiday atmosphere can only lead to a positive experience for all!
- Make the location easily accessible. Our Boston catering team can help host the party somewhere in the office or at a reserved venue nearby. Don’t make attendees stress over getting there. If employees have to take a short walk to the location, that’s ideal. A little fresh air on their way to a nice warm, welcoming destination will put them in the perfect mood to celebrate. Ideally, guests can leave whenever they like and take their normal commute home afterward!
- Set up an open concept venue space. We would recommend using high boys to accommodate people standing and talking. Scaling back on formal seating lets everyone know it’s ok to just stop in to say hi. If you do prefer to offer seating, think about using chic lounge furniture. Guests would feel very special sitting and sipping their signature cocktail while talking with a co-worker in the bright holiday vibe.
- Serve hors d’oeuvres only. Make sure guests are aware that our Boston catering team will only be serving small bites. That way, they can plan to eat before coming or to a share a meal with others afterward. Certainly though, they can look forward to delighting in the comforting tastes of the holiday season.
- Expand the bartending. If the party lasts only a couple of hours, do not make your guests spend 20 of those precious minutes standing in line at the bar. Instead, have your catering team set out a premixed signature drink on trays for attendees to take as they come in the door. You could also have multiple bar setups throughout the venue, including our trendy Lucite bar carts. If you only have room for one bar, have three bartenders there to move the line quickly as they serve cocktails, beer, wine or nonalcoholic drinks.
- Offer a small momento of the party. Guests would love to get a cool decoration for their office desk, maybe an ornament with the company logo. Maybe you could offer them a delicious Artisan holiday cookie to take home to their kids or spouse. The idea here is to offer a thank you to those who took the time to attend and share in building the work community.
- Have the corporate mascot join the party. This will keep the party low-key and fun. Guests will probably take a few selfies with your energetic mascot, and there’s nothing wrong with employees who offer free marketing through their personal social media platforms.
- Have an after work holiday party hashtag. You could even stream the hashtag Twitter feed on a blank wall of the venue using a rented projector. This would encourage conversation and help people find their creative holiday spirit.
- Ask the CEO of the company to write a small thank you note for attending. Employees will feel appreciated for their contributions inside and outside the office. It’s also a nice gesture to encourage holiday cheer.
We would love to talk with you about other ideas you have for your after work holiday party. We can customize appetizer menus and signature drinks and can coordinate with our partners to create the informal evening you envision. Please call or email us – we are happy to help!
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Timothy Seeberg is the Director of Major Events at BG.