How to Make Planning this Year’s Office Holiday Party Easy with Online Tools

The thick of fall is fast-approaching.  This means it’s time for the annual holiday party planning season. It’s also time to consider using online holiday party planning apps to make your event planning life easier.

The corporate holiday party has become an expectation in most workplaces. While company holiday parties can vary greatly, the idea is usually the same. Companies have used holiday parties to reward employees for another successful year at work. While holiday parties have always been around, online holiday party planning is a new trend. With a variety of online event management tools, it is easier than ever before to plan your holiday party online. We’ve compiled some helpful tips to consider when deciding to choose online holiday party planning. We’ve also decided to include some general tips about holiday party etiquette.

Online Holiday Party Planning – What Makes It A Good Idea?

Before deciding to plan your holiday party online, first you should consider the tools available. Event management apps now allow you to handle everything from digital invitations, to online holiday party RSVPs, to guestlist management and seating charts, and contact tools like mass email programs. While some aspects of holiday party planning, like choosing an event space, are often still easier to handle in traditional ways, moving your invitations, communications, and organizations online are easier than ever before. Here are a few key areas to consider handling with online tools:

Online Holiday Party Invitations

There are now a number of sites that offer great custom features for designing your own online holiday party invitation. Since holiday parties are often less formal than other events like weddings, an online holiday party invitation is an easy way to reach out to your company’s employee list and ensure everyone has the necessary info ahead of time. Remember to consider the tone of your event when designing your invitation. Your digital invitation should reflect the theme and tone of the event itself.

Online Holiday Party RSVP

Much like online invitations, online RSVPs allow you to easily collect attendance info for your entire staff. Using an online RSVP service often includes easy guestlist management tools. Some online RSVP tools also include seating chart features if that is another necessity for your event.

Photo and Social Media Integration

Much like the now-popular specific Instagram feeds for weddings, social media integration has become an important part of the holiday party experience. Consider creating event-specific hashtags or channels for your company’s party. This lets employees share photos and video. It also provides an opportunity for recruitment for future employees down the road.

Holiday Party Etiquette

Corporate holiday party etiquette is flexible, given the formality or informality of different companies.  However, there are a few ground rules you should keep in mind:

Attendance Should Be Voluntary

While many companies use holiday parties for teambuilding and office bonding, no one should be required to party. In fact, mandatory holiday parties often lose the casual feel that make them a successful corporate tool in the first place. While you may strongly suggest or incentivize attendance, keep it voluntary. Either way, there are some great online event management apps for monitoring attendance and creating a guest list, regardless of attendance requirements.

Set Expectations for Alcohol Consumption

Often satirized in movies like Office Christmas Party, holiday parties should not be sloppy drunken situations. That’s what college was for, right? However, since alcohol is usually standard for office holiday parties, there are some steps to take to ensure a responsible, HR-compliant party. Hiring an external bartender as opposed to allowing employees to self-serve is one step. Providing safe transportation alternatives like shuttle buses or taxi or Uber packages is another. Many companies also limit alcohol consumption by imposing a deadline on the bar service. These steps are important to avoiding a holiday party disaster that hurts your company instead of helping it.

Keep it Non-Denominational

In order to ensure everyone feels welcome, corporate holiday parties should remain non-denominational. Allowing employees of different cultures and backgrounds to feel comfortable is key to maintaining the comraderie and relaxed atmosphere that ensure a successful business holiday party.

These are just the ground rules, but there are some helpful guides for considering other aspects of holiday party etiquette on the web too!