Five Tips for Hosting a Successful Holiday Office Party
Business Etiquette Advice for the Festive Season
Tip 1 – Clear as mud
Uh-oh, don’t you hate going to an event where you’re not quite sure when, where, or how to dress? Do your guests a favour, when making your Christmas or holiday get-together invitations, ensure they are clear and specific. It’s not being anal. People would rather know exactly where they’re going, who to RSVP to, whether they can bring guests, parking options and dress code etc.
Tip 2 – Host with the most
Don’t just smile and say hi to your guests. That is not hosting. Appoint some key people to act as ‘official hosts’. This is especially important if clients and guests outside the organization are attending. Good hosts not only greet people at the door, take care of their coats, get them some food or drink but more importantly they introduce them to other guests or colleagues.
Tip 3 – Best laid plans
Good parties don’t just happen. From Tip 1 and 2 it should be obvious that some planning is needed. Establish a game plan with your team prior to hosting any event. Assign roles for everyone in the organization. Everyone who isn’t an official hosts needs to be coached in taking on the role of un-official host.
Tip 4 – Win win event
Decide what outcomes you want and what outcomes your guests would like. The whole idea is to build stronger relationships for your company and to introduce clients to other guests so that they can build connections.
Decide in advance, who your guests would benefit from getting to know better. Assign unofficial host duties to make sure these introductions happen. And if you know that certain guests are more introverted, make sure you team them up with a colleague that is more extroverted to get them mixing and keep a friendly eye on them.
Tip 5 – Ounce of prevention is worth a 6 pack of cure
Things can go sideways at any party. I’ve heard horror stories from managers and HR professionals about the one person in their organization that got out of control. Some people feel a bit of anxiety in social business situations so they may fortify themselves with an extra drink or six and end up dancing on the table.
Having a little pep talk and contingency plans in advance for all staff can help them police themselves and guests to avoid disaster. Make sure you have plenty of tasty non-alcoholic beverages on hand, taxis available and designated drivers. It’s easier to nip things in the bud than having to do damage control afterwards.
Great business events and holiday parties don’t just happen. By adopting the host mentality and a little bit of planning and foresight you can be sure to meet your goals. This way your team and all your guests will enjoy themselves at your events this holiday season.
Posted by Terry Pithers – Canadian business etiquette expert and fun party connoisseur & planner