It's August, and we get it, the last thing you want to think about is planning the perfect holiday party. Truth be told, we'd be right there with you if we didn't have first hand experience at so many of the 'last minute holiday parties' we've attended. It's true, too many people fail to plan their holiday parties until the last minute, end up hosting their event on a Tuesday afternoon at the office (no one wants that), and ordering pizza! Before you know it, you have one of the world's worst holiday parties on your hands.
OK, that escalated quickly...we'll bring it back down. Even if you’re not one of those people who decorated for Christmas in October, planning ahead for your holiday party is incredibly valuable. In fact, waiting until fall is likely waiting too long. Need a good reason to start planning now? We'll give you four!
Book The Best Venue
Every other detail related to your holiday party hinges on booking your venue sooner than later. You can hardly ask your guests to save the date or book any of your vendors until this crucial step is taken care of. Besides that, booking a holiday party venue in most markets can be nearly impossible if you wait until just a few weeks before the party.
The best locations are going to fill up quickly, sometimes years in advance, with corporate holiday parties and other holiday events. Starting this process early will help everything else fall into place, so get started now. Here are some lists our team put together of top event venues in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco!
Guarantee The Guests
The holiday season gets really busy for everyone. With relatives flying in, end of year projects at work, and those seeking to flee to Jamaica and escape all the holiday craziness, the odds are that the people on your guest list will have lots of other obligations to fulfill during that time.
To guarantee you'll have people show up, you'll want to give your guests as much notice as possible. That way it makes it to their calendar before awkward Aunt Selma's last-minute visit does. Getting guests to commit early will also help you get a good head count, which most vendors and venues ask for, so everyone can properly plan for it.
Scoop Up The A-list Vendors
Assuming your holiday party includes food, which it definitely should, and assuming you want good food at your holiday party, and not luke-warm flatbread and basic veggie trays, then you’ll need plenty of time to secure your rockstar caterer. The same applies to all your other vendors, by the way. If they're good, you can rest assured they'll be busy, and if you wait too long...they might be TOO busy for you.
Our pro tip here is to connect with your A-list vendor line-up early, even if you're not ready to sign contracts and send checks, just so they're aware you want to work with them again! Many vendors have warm lead lists and can do the work of following up with you when their own calendars start to fill up to ensure they still have room to fit your event in.
Dazzle With Decor
A great holiday party really comes down to the little details–the decor, right music, theme, ambiance, lighting, activities, etc.
If you want to plan a party that people are going to remember you can’t do it all last minute. You need time to work out all those little details and get everything just right. Not only does this help everything go smoothly day-of, but it also lets you add little elements you'd never have time to consider when you're rushed.
So, if you’re going to be having a holiday party for your company, team, family, or a large group of friends, then you need to start planning now!