WHAT NOT TO DO AT YOUR HOLIDAY EVENTS
THANKSGIVING IS UPON US, AND THEREAFTER, HOLIDAY EVENT SEASON WILL BE IN FULL SWING. LET'S BE HONEST: THINGS ARE A LITTLE TENSE AFTER THIS ELECTION. THE HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR MIGHT BE FUN FOR SOME AND MAY PUT OTHERS IN AN EMOTIONAL TAILSPIN. SINCE EVERYONE IS PRETTY KEYED UP, IT'S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO GET IT ALL RIGHT. TODAY WE OFFER TO YOU A FEW HELPFUL TIPS FOR WHAT NOT TO DO AT YOUR HOLIDAY SOIREES, TO BE SURE THAT THEY GO OFF WITHOUT A HITCH.
DON'T ASK YOUR STAFF TO WORK THEIR OWN PARTY
Not cool, man, not cool. But surely, you wouldn't be so cruel, would you? Everyone deserves a break, especially at the holidays. If your holiday event celebrates your clients or other guests and not your company staff, make sure you've planned something for them, as well. Hire a nice crew of other staff for any client or fundraising events. Then help your own people feel valued, supported, and celebrated by making sure that they have their own awesome wind-down before the holiday hiatus.
DON'T HOST THE EVENT AT YOUR OWN HOME
We know you are much more professional than this, but sometimes reminders are helpful. Your spectacular home (or yacht or penthouse suite) might seem like a good place to host a big, fun holiday event. However, things can get out of hand and people can forget their manners. Don't end up like this hedge fund manager who got fired after having an extensively rowdy 4th of July party this past summer. Keep the tone celebratory and the location neutral.
DON'T HAVE BAD ENTERTAINMENT
image via youtube.com
Just remember: not everyone can be Marty and Bobbi Culp, so choose wisely.
Since this is supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year," having fantastic entertainment at your event is totally key. Make sure whoever will be taking center stage will, in large part, determine the tone and level of enjoyment for your guests. You can do it any way you want: a DJ for dancing, an awesome band, a hilarious standup comedian, an acrobatic troupe--whatever--just make sure it's good.
DON'T HAVE A CASH BAR
Cash bars are a bummer. No one likes them at weddings and no one likes them at any other kind of event, either. If it's not in your budget to have a full bar, just have wine, beer or a couple of signature cocktails--anything is better than guests having to fork over to have a little booze. People like to let down their hair this time of year--be nice, help them do it with ease.
DON'T SKIMP ON THE FOOD
This should be the A#1 priority. Everyone wants to eat a great meal when they come to an event. Whether you choose cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, a buffet meal or a formal plated dinner, it's imperative that everyone gets fed. (Click that link to read our recent post about event food). In this case, less is not more. *Do take note of any special diets you might need to be aware of. Sometimes guests have medical conditions or religious beliefs that make certain foods prohibitive--be sure you know what they are before you plan the food with your caterer.
DON'T LET ANYONE DRIVE HOME INTOXICATED
Especially since you didn't have that cash bar, it may not be appropriate for some attendees to get home under their own steam. You can have a system in place to check if guests are compromised, but the better thing is to provide transportation so there are no risks. Have a car service, designated drivers, and / or Uber available just in case a few people forget their limits. Also, have plenty of good and interesting non-alcoholic beverages available for those who are sober and want to stay that way.
DON'T FORGET THE DRESS CODE
If you're having a formal affair, don't forget to let people know that you're expecting them to show up lookin' fancy. If you want people to be casual, it would be unfortunate for everyone to end up wearing ball gowns and tuxedos because you didn't tell them otherwise. If you have a special theme like a masquerade ball or the Mad Men era, be sure everyone has plenty of time to buy ornate masks or skinny ties and pencil skirts. Don't make it overly complicated, though, everyone has enough on their plate already this time of year.
DON'T DELIVER BAD NEWS
The holidays are for staying happy and positive as much as possible. If you can't do it for real, fake it. At the very least, even if you have to give some bad news in the future, don't spoil the fun now. We've heard tales of some bosses and hosts getting a little too hammered and blurting out about redundancies or businesses about to collapse, so if you're hosting, keep your wits about you. Anything that smacks of negativity will go over like a lead balloon at a holiday gathering.
DON'T FORGET THE GIFTS
Whether it's a swag bag, bonuses, or carefully chosen individual gifts, 'tis the time of year for special presents. Don't make the mistake of doing something that feels too small (like a $5 Starbucks card) or too grand. You want gifts that are just right--like this lovely gift-wrapped feline here. Don't forget to give special perks to people who were particularly special or went above and beyond for you this year. Extra-beefy tips for service people and vendors should also be part of your budget for your event. Everyone wants to feel appreciated.
THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR PEARLS OF WISDOM FOR NOT HAVING A CRAPPY HOLIDAY EVENT. WE ARE SURE THAT YOURS WILL BE STELLAR, BUT IF YOU'RE AT ALL WORRIED ABOUT HOW YOU'RE GOING TO PULL IT ALL OFF, WE'D LOVE TO HELP.