Category Archives: office holiday party

12 Annual Staff Party Ideas that Gets Your Planning Started (and Finished)

red carpet entertainer with guests at masquerade themed charity galaEmployee appreciation events can be held any time of the year, leaving the door wide open for event themes. From a small summer office picnic to a large holiday party, the list of annual staff party ideas is a long and creative one. These annual staff party ideas are only the start of an endless list of themes and ideas that coordinate into an incredibly memorable event.

Once the theme is chosen, every detail should be carefully chosen and coordinated into an annual staff party that is the source of many water cooler conversations. The annual staff party menu (especially the main dishes), entertainment (contact an entertainment agent for the right entertainers that can put the event over-the-top), and décor should all be selected to fit with the event theme.

Country Fair

A country fair is a fun event theme because it comes with so many opportunities for entertainment—with food and entertainment! The possibilities for country fair themed entertainment are endless: cotton candy, jugglers, tarot card readers, magicians, popcorn, bands, and even stilt walkers add unexpected touches of fun to any company event.

Throwback Diner

This theme is a big hit with employees who appreciate the amusing atmosphere of a 50’s diner. Recreate the feel of a day at the malt shop with delicious sweet treats, 50’s entertainers, diner décor, and a band that ties it all together.

Traditional Holiday

For companies hosting winter holiday gatherings, a traditional holiday theme is a comfortable way to warm employees’ hearts and hands. This employee appreciation event can be a small and cozy gathering with carolers and traditional holiday dishes or a larger family gathering with Father Christmas and his many elves.

Red Carpet

Employees feel the appreciation when companies roll out the red carpet, and this is a theme that takes that gratitude to the next level. This theme requires all the touches that make employees feel like VIPs. It starts at the door with a high impact greeting, continues with a full feast, and includes all the touches of a star-studded event.

Holiday Characters

For an amusing change to the regular holiday office party, add characters to the party line-up. This one-of-a-kind holiday party theme can be customized to the office tastes or can included into a themed party. Entertainers like the Grinch, Scrooge, Toy Soldiers, or Father Christmas himself can take holiday party entertainment to a whole new level.

Tropical

The tropics can be the perfect break to a cold winter or a fun celebration of summer. A tropical employee appreciation event can feel like a getaway from the typical workday with steel drums, tropical drinks, and fun tropical décor.

Around the World

An around-the-world event is a popular theme with numerous ways to entertain. Staff members enjoy the chance to indulge in tastes and entertainment from around the globe; everyone can enjoy the benefits of a wonderful employee networking event.

Trivia

For a competitive and fun twist, host a trivia night or bring an entertaining game show to the party. This office party fun also comes with the opportunity for fun teasers that make guests want to come to this exciting event. Before the day of the event, send out sample trivia questions that build anticipation for this big contest.

Carnivale

A carnivale theme is a bright celebration with colorful décor, refreshments, and entertainment. A staff appreciation party with this festive theme should be nothing less.

Showtime

office holiday party entertainersDinner and a show is a great way to gather and socialize off the clock. For small offices, plan an outing to a popular theater and restaurant. Larger offices can bring the show to the employees by hosting a holiday show or a main stage entertainment act. This one-of-a-kind party entertainment can create a buzz that lasts far beyond the one-day event.

Sports Day

A sports-themed employee appreciation event brings everyone together to celebrate a local sports team—or just to celebrate a favorite sport. The big game can be celebrated with the best sports-themed dishes and a big screen.

Kentucky Derby Gala

This annual staff party theme is a wonderful way to thank employees for staying in the race. This event calls for numerous photo opps with jockeys, big entertaining hats, and refreshments one would expect for a day at Churchill Downs.

Small Office Holiday Party Ideas that Make a Big Impact

small office holiday party with man and woman laughing in front of Christmas treeIt’s holiday office party season in Chicago, and not every holiday party has to have a huge guest list to make a big impact. Mix up your company holiday party this year and avoid the same boring pot luck event; instead use these holiday party ideas for small companies that can make a festive impression and create an atmosphere of (fun) office good will.

Comedian

If you want to make your office holiday party a jolly occasion, hire a comedian that can customize their act for your crowd. Don’t just settle for the office clown; select a high-quality comedian (or contact a professional that can connect you) that gives your office staff the “inside jokes” that float around the office until next year.

Game Show

Bring out the holiday and competitive spirit of your staff for a true holiday bonding experience. Add a game show to the office holiday party program for an experience your employees’ll talk about well after the holiday season.

Holiday Show

The holiday season is a hectic time for companies; it’s hard to find time for a company holiday party, but a break from the holidays can be just the ticket you and your employees need (together). Purchase tickets for a local show, or bring the holiday show to your workplace.

Father Christmas

If you need a larger-than-life character for passing out gifts, either to staff or for employees and their families (add elves for an unforgettable family holiday gathering), bring in nothing other than the fantastic Father Christmas. Choose your Father Christmas carefully; nothing but the highest-quality holiday characters can play the part.

Holiday Treat Fun

Holiday treats are a mainstay of the season, and can be a fun and interactive holiday party activity for a small office party. Decorate cookies together, swap recipe cards (for treats or healthy recipes), or bake a fruit cake perfect for a competition (or as a fun fruit cake launching competition).

Piano Duelers

For the perfect main stage holiday show, hire piano duelers that can add to the festive atmosphere. Treat your employees and their guests to this enjoyable holiday party entertainment—with all the fantastic elements of a holiday outing (such as a delicious meal!).

Tasting

An interactive holiday party is more than a one-time event; it’s an anticipated and appreciated experience. Take your office mates out for a cheese or wine tasting (if you choose the latter, be conscientious of their transportation needs after) at their favorite restaurant or destination.

Carolers

Nothing can add a touch of the holiday spirit to an office holiday gathering like carolers. Don’t subject your co-workers to just any group of bad singers; sub-par singers may give everyone a laugh back at the office, but it doesn’t add the intended festive atmosphere you’re trying to achieve.

Jazz Lounge

An office holiday party with a creative theme is a memorable date that’ll make employees look back on their calendars fondly. No office holiday party theme is more Chicago than a jazz-themed holiday; go all out with a wonderful venue and fantastic jazz singer belting out wonderful holiday tunes.

Holiday Party Entertainment Ideas for Every Crowd

Just like the holiday count down (you know two turtle doves, three French hens…), the days are counting down to your holiday company party—and the chance to book one of these awesome holiday party entertainers. The next question is “which entertainer is right for your holiday party?”

Carolers

Entertainment is what gives your party atmosphere. Carolers are the source of the holiday spirit. Perfect for a holiday party with a vintage or traditional atmosphere, carolers give your party background music or a main act that’ll get your guests in the holiday mood.

Interactive Entertainment

For a more active holiday party, consider adding interactive entertainment to your company holiday party. Think cookie decorating, a comedian who includes the crowd in a personalized act—the possibilities for holiday party interactive entertainment are endless (just ask an experienced entertainment agent who can explain your options).

Subtle Entertainers

A diverse company holiday party calls for a subtle holiday theme—and corresponding entertainment. Contact an entertainment agent who can select the right entertainer, such as the Spirit of Winter, holiday soldier, Scrooge, or Grinch, that fits with your party atmosphere.

Artists

An artist may not be the first holiday entertainer that comes to mind, but an artist can add a fun touch to any holiday party. Think of your artist as a fun photo booth. If you’re including kids in your company holiday party, hire a professional face painter that the kids’ll flock to.

Show

If your company holiday party is geared more toward a relaxing afternoon (or evening) away from the workplace, give your guests a memorable classic show, musical entertainer, or a dueling piano act. Talk to the pros to decide what show is right for your holiday party.

10 FUN Office Holiday Party Planning Tips

office holiday party entertainersThere are more than just three letters that separate a fun office holiday party from another boring company holiday event that your guests feel compelled to attend.  We’ve been part of many, many company holiday party planning processes over the years—everything from selecting a holiday party venue and event planning to booking holiday party entertainment—and here’s what we’ve seen that sets the enjoyable holiday parties apart.

  1. Hold your office holiday party at a unique event venue that makes your guests WANT to come and entertains them (i.e. museum, aquarium, etc.)
  2. Utilize these tips in your holiday party planning to select an ideal venue for your party. If your party is for a location in another city, contact a local event planner to select the best venue for your event.
  3. Use a holiday party theme to create a cohesive event.
  4. Establish a theme with invitations (electronic or paper) designed with the same colors and elements of your theme.
  5. Create holiday party atmosphere through your menu, décor, and entertainment.
  6. Don’t overlook one detail that ties your details together into one cohesive event.
  7. If your company holiday party is an event for families, don’t forget to book children’s entertainers (i.e. Father Christmas giving out presents, elves, face painters, etc.)
  8. Use entertainers to serve food and mingle with guests to create an atmosphere.
  9. Don’t feel you have to manage your office holiday party planning all alone; use an event planner or contact experienced professionals (i.e. caterers, entertainment agents, etc.) and ask for recommendations that tie everything together.
  10. Be careful when hiring entertainers; look for experienced, reliable professionals that come highly recommended (or ask an entertainment agent for dependable, quality entertainers).