Five Tips for Planning a Flawless Holiday Party

Ready or not, 'tis the season of holiday party planning. While the festivities are sure to be packed with plenty of fun, ensuring they go off without a hitch can oftentimes feel a bit daunting.

If you've been tasked with planning this year's corporate holiday party, read on for a few tips to ensure a seamless planning process.

Plan Ahead

Sure, the holidays may feel like light-years away, but don’t let the calendar fool you. While you may be looking forward to gathering the team for the annual holiday party in December, planning should really be in full-force months ahead of time.

Keep in mind, along with company parties come festivities with friends and family, an increase in travel, and personal and professional commitments. Getting a head start on the planning process ensures that your guests will have the opportunity to clear their schedules effortlessly, and the same goes for your must-have list of venues and vendors.

Establish a Budget

It may be a breeze to plan a memorable holiday gathering when the sky is the limit. Unfortunately, however, the sky is usually not the limit when it comes to budgeting for these annual festivities. Having a set price tag in mind before the planning even begins is arguably the most effective way to ensure financial expectations are established and met.

With so many moving pieces to a flawless holiday party, it's easy for any planner to get carried away in one department. Perhaps the entertainment you've been hoping to book is finally available to tackle this year's festivities – with a hefty price tag, of course. Having a set budget in place will help you decide if splurging in one area will actually be doable in the long run. Budget now – thank us later.

Build a Vision

You may have a concrete date and a set budget in place, but what will your event actually look like? Before tackling the nitty gritty details, having a vision for the festivities is key to ensuring things go according to plan.

For instance, do you want guests to let loose a bit and have a great time? Will your event be tailored to impress this year's list of high-profile clients? Will the vibe be formal, or festive and casual? All of these details play a key role in helping to select the right venue, entertainment and more for the big gathering. Begin asking yourself these questions as soon as the planning begins, and you'll be well on your way to executing a flawless evening for all to enjoy.

Choose the Right Venue

Nothing sets the tone for a holiday party quite like guests' surroundings. Considering factors such as guest count, food service (will you offer buffet or seated dining?), entertainment, weather and more can be major clues for the type of venue you should seek out. Perhaps you'd like an event venue with indoor and outdoor accommodations that allow for winter unpredictability. On the other hand, maybe creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests is of utmost importance.

Whatever your needs may be, selecting the right venue can easily make or break the flow of the evening. When choosing, consider elements such as space flexibility, staffing and catering options, and A/V equipment availability. And remember – venues can fill up extra quickly during holiday season. Book soon!

Encourage Input

While you may be in charge of planning this year's gathering, that doesn't mean you have to go at it alone. In fact, welcoming input from guests can be a helpful way to ensure they'll have the best time.

Consider sending out a company-wide survey to vote between two catering options, or run some entertainment packages by a colleague for additional insight. As the saying goes, teamwork really does make the dream work.

Feeling ready to tackle this year's holiday party planning? We sure hope so - and we’d love to help! Learn more about booking your holiday event with McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento by visiting our website,

Have your next event at McClellan Conference Center.