With a large company payroll, managing your holiday company party budget gets more complex and sophisticated. The goal of a successful holiday party remains the same, and expectations for a fabulous company holiday party are high, even when trying to be strategic about expenses incurred during holiday party planning. However, it is possible to minimize your expenses and make the most out of every dollar in your budget, as long as you are realistic about the amount needed in your company party budget, and how you manage your holiday party details:
Book your venue during the off-season
If your company holiday party does not need to be held during the traditional holiday season, book your company holiday party during the off-season after the holidays. Venue rates tend to be lower (as well as the rates of other vendors as well), and the amount of available dates tend to increase. In the same way, book your venue during the off-season and during the more affordable venue times, such as a Friday evening, Sunday or weekday night.
Want to decrease the amount of the expense for drinks and refreshments? Hold your company holiday party between meal times, and serve appetizers at the party. If you serve alcoholic drinks, limit the amount “on the house” for your employees—or if you want to eliminate your risk and insurance costs, don’t serve alcoholic beverages at the party.
Manage the guest list
If you need to trim the guest list to match your budget, be tactful. Plan your company holiday party during company hours (such as a luncheon) or shortly after the end of the work day, with a tactful invitation for employees only. Another tactic is to limit the amount of guests each employee can RSVP. Whatever avenue you choose, carefully word your save the date and invitations to eliminate any future misperceptions.
Be conscientious about giveaways
If you plan to give gifts to your guests and you want to minimize your expenses, be strategic about gifts and be smart. You don’t want to give from giving a large gift to nothing, but you don’t need to give a gift to every person. Look at your past history of gifts, what you can afford this year, and strategically pass out those gifts accordingly. If you’ve never given out gifts in the past, remember your giveaways don’t have to be large—just appreciative in nature.
Don’t skimp on the things that count
You may be trying to limit your expenses, but you don’t have to look it at your company holiday party—and your employees don’t have to feel like they are taking the cut. Invest in strategic purchases that make the party special: impactful lighting, memorable entertainment that keeps your employees entertained, Father Christmas for your youngest guests, décor that makes a statement, a holiday show that can stand alone without hiring any other entertainers—touches your guests remember and appreciate. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in selecting and hiring entertainers; an entertainment agent might have ideas that make sense with your budget, or might know how to selectively hire acts that make the most of company holiday dollars. With a little bit of time, effort, and strategy, your company holiday party can be the hit you’ve dreamed of—on the budget you’ve been given.