Tasked with planning your company’s holiday party? It can be quite daunting, after all – you and your fellow employees work hard all year long, and now it’s time to celebrate your success with a bang! But how can you plan the perfect company holiday party? Lucky for you, putting on amazing events on the South Shore is what we do best here at Saphire Event Group!

Although weddings are our specialty, we plan and execute a variety of events across the South Shore at our three award-winning venues Saphire Estate, The Villa, and Avenir. Read on for our tips on how you can give your colleagues the gift of a company holiday party they’ll never forget!

Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme for the company holiday party can be as easy as Santa choosing his favorite kind of cookie. Why? Because your theme is already established – after all, it is a holiday party! Don’t feel pressured to have an over the top motif that is evident throughout the entire course of the event. Keep it simple with some classic holiday music, decor, and other festive touches. If you do want to go above and beyond, choose some elements that you can weave throughout the evening to create a cohesive look and feel. Want something classic that isn’t tied to a specific holiday or religious belief? Go with a winter wonderland theme using lots of silver and glittery touches. Feeling a bit silly? Try an ugly sweater party or something else that will give your coworkers a giggle. Of course, starting with a beautiful venue doesn’t hurt!

Holiday centerpiece floral display
Nicole Ellen Photography
Create a Guest List

This seems like an obvious one, but there’s a lot to consider when throwing a company holiday party. Do you invite employees only? What about their spouses and families? This will most likely depend on your budget and the size of the venue. If you’re a company that does a lot business with clients, consider extending an invitation to them as well. Hey, it’s the holidays – the more, the merrier, right?!

Choose the Right Entertainment

Depending on how you want the evening to go, entertainment is crucial for any event. If you’re hosting a smaller cocktail-style party, a solid playlist might be the way to go. Just make sure you choose the right tunes for the kind of mood you want to set. You can’t go wrong with some upbeat holiday-inspired cocktail music. Try searching different stations on music streaming services, and always listen to more than the first number or two that plays. One rogue song can totally put a damper on the festive holiday mood!

Party guests on the dance floor
Black Thumb Photography

If you’re hoping for more of a high-energy soiree, consider hiring a DJ or a band that has played this sort of event before. A company holiday party is totally different than a wedding (remember, you have to see all these people back at the office on Monday), so ask your entertainment provider what they recommend. An experienced professional can make or break your event, which is why at SEG, we have our own preferred vendor lists for each of our venues (check out Saphire Estate, The Villa, and Avenir‘s lists) that we suggest to our clients. In addition to their advice, make a “definitely yes” and “absolutely not” song list, especially if your goal is to get (and keep!) the guests on the dance floor. You might want to consider throwing in one of the boss’ favorite tunes while you’re at it 🙂

Select Your Menu

People who come to a party are usually looking for two things: a great time, and great food! Again, this is where selecting the right space is essential. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the venue is. If the food is less than desirable, it can definitely leave a sour taste – pun intended! – that your guests won’t soon forget. When reaching out to locations, ask if there are any opportunities to sample the food. At SEG, we serve some of our delicious hors d’ouevres during weekend tours so that clients can get an idea of our culinary offerings. Ask if your venue offers a tasting prior to the event so that you can sample their dishes. For the main menu, Saphire Event Group offers both a plated and station package for holiday parties, where you get to select from a list of options. Consider choosing some menu selections that are a bit heartier – after all, it is wintertime! (Our personal favorite for a holiday party? The Grand Finale dessert station is always crowd-pleaser!)

Winter dessert table
Nicole Ellen Photography

Another festive way to get the party started is to choose a wintery signature cocktail to offer at the bar. One quick search of Pinterest turns up a slew of seasonal libations that are sure to impress your guests, like this Poinsettia Cocktail or a Winter Wonderland Holiday Cocktail. We recommend to sticking to a drink with only a few ingredients, as it may be more cost effective (many venues will charge an extra fee if they need to special order alcohol that isn’t normally on-hand at the bar). You can also pick up some inexpensive holiday cocktail stirrers or paper straws to add a jolly garnish!

Holiday signature drinks
Brooke Larke on Upsplash
Bring the Fun

Depending on the length of your event, you may need to fill the time with some activities throughout the evening. There are many companies that rent out fun items like arcade games, mini golf courses, casino tables, and more!

One item that always gets the people up out of their seats is a fun photo booth. Ask your entertainment if they have equipment that would be available to rent, or research local photo booth companies – they seem to be everywhere nowadays, and with good reason! Photo booths are easy to operate, can be totally customized with your company’s branding, and it gives your employees something to take home and always remember the awesome time they had.

Guests in a photo booth with props
Shannon Matos Photography
Give a Festive Favor

While providing your colleagues with an evening out is certainly a gift enough, consider sending them home with a little sweet treat as a token of the evening. Contact a local bakery and see if they can put your company logo on a decorative sugar cookie, or continue the winter theme with a branded tube of hot chocolate mix that they can enjoy when they get home, like the one seen here.

Hot chocolate favors
Nicole Ellen Photography

Now that you’ve got some festive ideas on how to reward your employees for their hard work this year, you just have to get started! Saphire Event Group has three venues located conveniently on Boston’s South Shore, with spaces that can hold anywhere from 220 to 350 people for a seated dinner (with a dance floor!). Contact us today to begin the planning process!

Featured Image: Angelina Rose Photography

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