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32 Ideas to Make Your Holiday Party Better

32 Ideas to Make Your Holiday Party Better

Believe it or not, the holiday season is just around the corner. In 4-6 weeks, you will be in the throes of attending multiple holiday gatherings. If you are tasked with planning your company’s event and don’t know where to begin, take heart. This blog post will break down the essentials for you and make it easy for your committee to make decisions.

According to research by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.:

  • 80% of all U.S. businesses will have a holiday party this year
  • 67% will hold the event off-site
  • 33% will have the party on company property

Before establishing your event budget and buying decorations, it is important to determine where you will be holding this party.

Benefits of Onsite versus Offsite Venues






Everyone knows
how to get there




Turnout will be higher




Don’t have to pay for meeting space




Easy to forget about work




People who don’t want to attend can opt out easily




Minimal set-up & clean-up




Less liability risk





Present this to your committee and management. Determine which way your organization wants to proceed, but remember not to dawdle with booking the venue and other suppliers as this is a very busy time of year for everyone concerned.

Establish Budget Areas

According to Jeff Kear, Co-Founder of Planning Pod, a holiday budget should be split the following ways:

  • 50% for food and beverage
  • 30% for entertainment and/or employee gifts and
  • 20% for the venue

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these areas and how you can maximize your budget potential.

Food and Beverage

Here are choices from the least expensive to the most when it comes to food:

  • Potluck
  • Pizza and salad
  • Boxed lunch
  • Happy hour with heavy appetizers
  • Buffet lunch or dinner
  • Sit down dinner

Remember, that 50% or more of your F&B budget can be taken up by alcohol. It is important to establish a policy about alcohol consumption and stick to it. You have many options including: no alcohol, cash bar, ticket system or open bar. If you decide on an open bar, it will be difficult to assess how much your budget will be impacted until the event is over.


Here are a few ideas to get and keep your employees in the holiday spirit:

  • Play favorite holiday movies during the party on a projector rental
  • With that same projector and monitor rentals, host a holiday movie trivia contest. Divide employees into teams and give prizes to the 1st and 2nd place winners.
  • Host a scavenger hunt using a mobile app
  • Rent Virtual Reality equipment and set up an area where multiple people can play games
  • Set up a holiday photo area with a festive backdrop, lights and plenty of props. Have an iPad rental on hand loaded with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and tied to company channels
  • Book local talent, such as the high school swing choir or jazz ensemble to play
  • Hire a DJ or band and encourage dancing
  • If children are coming to the party, book a walking magician or face painter

Employee Gifts

If you decide to hand out employee gifts at the end of the party, be sure to give the same dollar value for each employee. Here are a few ideas from the least expensive to the most:

  • Set up a Secret Santa gift exchange where employees exchange gifts among each other within a certain dollar limit ($10-$15)
  • Coffee mug full of candy, tea bags and $5 gift card
  • Chocolate box
  • Poinsettia or Christmas Cactus
  • $25 gift card
  • 1-3 paid days off
  • 2 Tickets to a holiday play or sporting event
  • Tech gadget, such as a wearable or personal assistant
  • Rather than giving gifts, donate the entire gift budget to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen


Here are some traditional and not-so-traditional venue choices if you decide to move outside of the office environment:

  • Restaurant
  • Hotel
  • Empty storefront (you will need to rent chairs, tables, podium and sound system)
  • Art gallery
  • Museum
  • Bowling alley
  • Ice skating arena
  • Park
  • Manager or President’s home

Hartford Technology Rental is Your Holiday Party Vendor

Whatever your budget, we can provide you with very creative holiday offerings. When you are ready, give us a call at 888-520-5667 or request a quote online and we will help you plan a party your employees will be talking about for weeks on end!