We have all been to an office holiday party that has everything but cheer and joy and creativity.

This time of year many offices, clubs and organizations are looking for ways to show their gratitude towards their teams by throwing them a great party. 

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These holiday parties are a chance for colleagues and friends to relax and enjoy some quality time bonding outside of the day-to-day that usually brings you all together. 

So how do you throw a great party that those in attendance will still be talking about next December? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Venue

Pick the right place. Having the right venue is ultimately the backbone to any successful event. 

You have to be able to accommodate your numbers and provide an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. Having an office party at the office can be great (and affordable) but there are also many upsides to hosting your holiday party away from the office – like no clean-up for you!

Consider local businesses that already have food and liquor licenses to avoid bringing in an expensive catering bill. Great spots downtown with private rooms for holiday functions include The Mint, Swans Pub, The Fernwood Pub, Bard and Banker and Canoe Club

For smaller groups look into places like Lido where you could have a table right along the water or even book out the whole place. 

Activities

There is nothing worse than bringing your entire team together just to see everyone uncomfortably standing in one corner of the room. 

Having a few activities planned can be a great way to infuse some energy into any party. The trick with having activities planned is to be flexible. You can’t force a company-wide round of ‘Who Am I?’ if no one seems interested! 

Some of our favourite holiday party games include having a white elephant gift exchange, a scavenger hunt leading up to the event.

Trivia or karaoke rentals are great ideas for a more adventurous team. If you are really into planning, consider a few obstacles courses that will work in your event space. 

Another great way to make a holiday party a little jollier without activities is to create a theme. Think about popular movies or TV shows that year, puns, tinsel town or everything that glitters. 

We have seen some great ugly Christmas sweater parties in the past, and it also serves as the perfect icebreaker for large groups. 

Come together for a great cause

The holiday season is all about being thankful and giving back. What better way to bring your team together than by all contributing to a worthy cause together this season?

Some of our favourite initiatives are office-wide toy drives or a canned food drive. Collect your donations in the week leading up to the holiday party and invite a representative for your local charity out on the night of the party to collect the donations and even say a few words.

Consider local organizations that your company and employees may be familiar with such as the BCSPCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Our Place, The Mustard Seed Food Bank or Santa’s Anonymous

One thing you want to make sure of on your list (and check it twice) is to send a friendly reminder to staff about any policies regarding alcohol consumption. 

Everyone just wants to have fun this holiday season but safety never takes a vacation!