Tips for Throwing a Holiday Office Party


waiter pouring champagne at a Christmas party

With the proper planning, an office holiday party can be a memorable, exciting event to help workers feel valued and appreciated after a long year of hard work. Here are our top tips for throwing a holiday office party that guests will remember fondly.


Choose a Convenient Location

Do your guests a favour by picking a location for the party that is easy for them to get to. Choose a location close to the office, club or meeting space, such as a local restaurant, function centre or other familiar local venue. Avoid having an office party actually in the office — nothing will kill the celebratory mood quicker than a party room that looks like it’s about to host a board meeting.


Don’t Be Light on Decorations

Invest some of your time, energy, and money into decorating the party venue so that the atmosphere actually says, “PARTY!” Decorations don’t have to be expensive, as many party supply stores and websites have inspirations for budget party decorating ideas.

Your holiday party is a once-a-year affair, so make it a special occasion by creating a space that looks the part. If it’s a Christmas party, make sure you have a Christmas tree and create some ambience with twinkling lights.


Wine and Dine

Make sure that your food and drinks menu caters to all dietary needs. It’s always a good idea to have a wide range of vegetarian selections available, which can be eaten and enjoyed by all.

Consider adding a line at the bottom of your party invitation instructing people to advise you of any special dietary needs they might have, so you can plan in advance.

If you plan on serving alcohol, be sure to provide plenty of soft drinks and juices for the non-drinkers and designated drivers to enjoy. Lastly, be sure there’s plenty of everything to go around. Nothing is worse than a party with a lack of refreshments.


Cocktail Style

For a fun and classy affair, a cocktail party is a classic office party idea. Guests tend to enjoy an occasion when they can sit or stand around smaller tables and enjoy fine food and wine, as well as having room to move around and mingle.

This free flowing atmosphere is relaxed and festive and is great for events with many people, as office parties tend to have. Don’t forget to plan some sort of music element, which will enhance the cocktail party atmosphere and set the tone of the event.


Dressing for the Occasion

Guests always appreciate knowing of any dress code requirements or recommendations beforehand, so they can plan outfits in advance and avoid being over or underdressed.

For holiday office parties and end-of-year seasonal gatherings, “business casual,” or “cocktail” attire is usually the standard dress. To ensure your staff can relax and enjoy the fun, save the formal attire requests for when the company celebrates some kind of milestone with a gala affair.


Getting To and From

It’s always a great idea to have pre-arranged transportation both to and from the venue for your guests. This information should also be included on the invitations. This way your guests have the option to have a few drinks and really enjoy themselves, rather than having to worry about driving and how they will get home again. Most people nowadays will pay for a taxi, so if everyone chips in it becomes affordable.

Charter buses are the least expensive way of moving a large amount of guests, but if you want to arrive in style there are many stretch limousine companies out there that can seat around 20 at a time.

For your next holiday office party, consider a waterfront venue with Doyles Bridge Hotel. With lots of natural light, and bi-fold windows overlooking Mordialloc Creek and its boats – it’s the perfect setting for your function. Speak to our experienced event coordinators for more information