Work holiday party invitation on a plate

Planning a work holiday party isn’t easy, even if it’s something you volunteered to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun in the process. From nailing down a date and budget to selecting the menu and activities, there are lots of moving parts when holiday party planning. Fortunately, we have plenty of work holiday party ideas to help you take this year’s bash to the next level.

10 Tips for Planning the Best Work Holiday Party Ever

Work holiday party: man pouring champagne into his friends' champagne glasses

Your holiday party is a big moment, so it’s no surprise you want everything to be as perfect as possible. With so many details to organize, having a go-to plan can keep everything on track. 

Whether you’re planning a holiday happy hour at a local bar or hosting a corporate party at the office, here’s how to approach the party planning process like a pro. You can also check out our event planning checklist (timeline included) to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

1. Assemble a Party Planning Team

Unless you’re part of a small team, organizing a company holiday party solo can be a real challenge. If possible, assemble a team of volunteers to help you throughout the process.

Call upon team members with event planning experience, or those who simply love the idea of coming up with party ideas. At least a month before the event, schedule a meeting to organize roles and responsibilities and enjoy the benefits of working with a team. Not only are there more hands to help, but together you’re also more likely to come up with exciting ideas and interesting activities.

2. Determine Your Party Budget

Most companies have some budget set aside for a work holiday party. Talk to whoever is in charge of finance to understand the available budget and how to access those funds.

Work with the budget holder to organize how you’ll order and pay for goods, how much you can spend on specific elements (like the venue, catering, gift cards, etc.), and how to optimize resources to create an incredible holiday bash. Remember, you don’t need a ton of money to have a ton of fun. If your funds are limited, explore our favorite budget-friendly holiday party ideas for inspiration.

3. Decide Between an In-Person or Virtual Holiday Party

Work holiday party: entrepreneur having a video call with his colleagues

Unlike office holiday parties of the past, which typically took place in the actual office, these days many teams work on a remote or hybrid model. If that’s your company’s situation, consider hosting a virtual event instead so you can celebrate with team members from around the world.

If you happen to work close by or in the same space, an in-person holiday celebration is a wonderful way to gather and enjoy the bonding experience. If you’re planning a work holiday party for a larger company, you might even double your fun with a virtual party for remote workers and in-person gatherings in cities with clusters of workers nearby. Don’t miss our list of virtual holiday party ideas to ensure a fun-filled time even when miles apart.

4. Choose a Holiday Party Theme

Winter Wood Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

While a theme isn’t a must-have, it can help your holiday celebration feel more special. There are plenty of holiday party themes, depending on your team, budget, and activities. Be sure to choose a theme that feels inclusive and promotes the celebration of all winter holidays, not just Christmas.

You could host an elegant winter wonderland-themed ball with a formal dress code and send out invites like this gorgeous Winter Wood invitation. Or perhaps you want a casual get-together where you wear your best festive sweaters (or ugly sweaters!). Plan a gift exchange party with a Secret Santa or white elephant exchange. Host a winter-themed murder mystery dinner for a spooky twist on the season or a holiday movie watch party. The options are endless!

5. Choose the Party Date and Time

When you’re organizing any event during the holiday season, getting the timing right is crucial. You don’t want your party to take place too late in the season when everyone’s busy or too early when they’re not in the festive spirit yet.

For a corporate holiday party, hosting the event during working hours on a workday makes a lot of sense. You’re not asking team members to give up their weekend or time outside of work hours. That said, in some cases, an evening party or weekend gathering might be more appropriate — especially if you’re extending an invitation to your coworkers’ families too.

6. Select a Venue

As with any party, there are numerous event venues you could choose from — and you also have the bonus option of using your on-site office space if you have one. Naturally, your budget will often dictate which type of venue you choose.

Consider the type of party you’re hosting and which space would suit it best. Plan an on-site experience at an escape room, ice skating rink, or karaoke bar. Host a festive wine-tasting event at a local vineyard, book a dinner at a favorite neighborhood restaurant, or book a community center for a festive, family-friendly celebration.

7. Send Out Your Work Holiday Party Invitations

Gift-Wrapped Drinks Invitation

Design: itsibelli

Once you have most of the essential details planned, have fun prepping your party invitations. Our collection of holiday party invitations offers something for everyone.

Each of our online invitations will help your guests get into the holiday spirit, whether you’re hosting a casual get-together or a sophisticated bash. Choose a design (like this Gift-Wrapped Drinks invitation), customize the colors, layout, and wording, and invite your coworkers via email or text.

8. Organize Your Event Catering

As the event planner, you must consider what everyone will eat. For a work holiday party, there are so many options for casual and formal celebrations alike.

You could host an office potluck and ask everyone to bring a meal or a dessert like a gingerbread house — take a look at these potluck invitations and party ideas to get your creativity flowing. Hire a food truck or organize a pizza delivery to the office. Ask a corporate party caterer to work their magic on delicious appetizers, or make a reservation at a restaurant where everyone can choose their own dish. 

As with your party theme, make sure your catering menu is inclusive and offers options for various dietary requirements.

9. Plan Your Party Entertainment

Ugly Sweater Party Invitation

Design: Carmia Jordaan

It’s not a party without holiday cheer! An easy way to create a fun vibe is with some party entertainment in whatever format that might be.

Prepare some holiday party games like a scavenger hunt or a round of trivia alongside a festive music playlist. Set up a photo booth and encourage people to take photos together. Organize some festive team-building ideas to strengthen bonds. Host an ugly sweater contest (and invite colleagues with this Ugly Sweater Party invitation) or a holiday cookie decorating competition. There are so many wonderful options, so consult with your party planning committee to narrow them down!

10. Enjoy the Festivities

After all your hard work party planning, make sure you take some time to relax and enjoy the experience alongside your coworkers.

Our party planning checklist removes the guesswork and will help you get organized well before the day of the party. Check in with your event team and any vendors before the bash, and remind everyone to bring along their gifts for a gift exchange if you’ve planned one.

‘Tis the Season for a Fabulous Holiday Office Party 

Taking on the role of event planner for your work holiday party entails lots of responsibility, but it’s also incredibly rewarding when you see how much fun your coworkers are having. Use this guide to help you get organized, stay on track, and find some fresh ideas on how you can sprinkle some magic into this year’s holiday celebration.

With a party as special as the one you’re planning, it deserves invites to match. Use our customizable digital business holiday party invitations to spread the word about your celebration and get your coworkers anticipating the big day.