Summer Is Almost Over, Start Planning Your Holiday Party
All summer long, it seems as if craft and decor stores are already stocked full with holiday supplies — a season that seems so far away. But now that summer is almost over, the holidays are right around the corner and we want you to be as prepared as possible.
Hosting a holiday party in Kansas City for coworkers, friends, or family is a great way to connect with people and create lasting memories. It will take careful planning and preparation to make your party a success, which can be stressful. At KCI Expo Center, we’re here with helpful preparation tips so that you can enjoy the party with everyone else this season.
Where to Host
For Small- To Medium-Sized Family Gatherings
As the planner, one of the first things you will need to decide is where to host the party. For a small- to medium-sized party for extended family or friends, a community center or meeting space will work great. Finding a space with ample room to let kids run around and play games while the adults can converse is important to remember. This setting also gives your guests the ease of coming and going as needed, and it gives you more flexibility in planning the party you want.
For Medium To Large Business Parties
For larger business parties, a meeting or banquet room would work best. The KCI Expo Center gives you a great space for a corporate holiday party in Kansas City with easy parking, technology-savvy rooms, proximity to the airport, and its adjacent location to the Holiday Inn KCI Airport Hotel. Many businesses choose the KCI Expo Center for their corporate holiday party because of the wide range of space options and decorating services.
If you choose to use a venue outside of your business or home, be sure to book ahead to ensure you can reserve the space. Holiday party spaces book quickly, with many reserved years in advance. We would recommend booking your holiday party space by September or October at the latest.
Celebrate the holiday season with a fun theme idea. Corporate holiday parties should feel anything but “corporate.” Having a theme for your holiday party will help employees enjoy the night and experience camaraderie between their coworkers. Think outside of the box with a pet holiday party, holiday movie-themed party, a ski/winter wonderland party theme, etc. Themes can unite a large group and make for a festive and memorable day your guests will never forget. Themes also help to inspire every other aspect of your party from creative decor, food, and activities for your guests at the celebration.
Casual or formal? Whatever you decide, be sure to communicate the attire expectations when inviting your guests and send out RSVPs so they do not feel out of place. Encourage your guests to get creative with their casual or formal wear. If you are hosting a more laid back social, consider making it an ugly sweater attire theme. Masquerade parties make for a fun twist to a formal setting. With either setting, a fun way to get people involved is nominating the best-dressed person at the event.
An easy way to set the mood for the party is with music. Choose between live music or set up your own music to play. Live music is a great option for a more formal and involved gathering. Research local bands that fit the style and theme of your party and make sure to contact them before the season gets busy and they are booked.
With today’s technology, there are more opportunities to discover the perfect music for the occasion outside of bringing in live musicians. Music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora have unique and pre-made playlists that fit any occasion. These holiday playlists range in categories from pop favorites to jazzy instrumentals. Ensure before the big day arrives that you check to make sure the proper technology is available to support playing your music over the speakers for all to hear.
Food and Beverage
Providing your guests all of the food and beverages for the day can be a big responsibility if taken on alone. You need to make sure there is enough food for everyone that also fits special dietary needs and allergy restrictions. To make things easier for you, consider a catering service for your party. If you decide to go with a theme, figure out a way to make your theme fit your meal and delicious holiday treats.
Make sure to include drink options that are both non-alcoholic and alcoholic so there are options that fit everyone’s preferences. When it comes to alcohol, you want everyone to be merry but also respectful of other guests. This is especially important for corporate and workplace holiday events. Controlling the amount of alcohol served at these parties will make for a healthier party budget and environment. To stay budget-conscious, many businesses opt for wine and beer.
You might need to break the ice a little at your holiday party, especially if many of the guests are new to the group (i.e. significant others, new co-workers, outside friends, etc.) The opportunities are endless to liven up the party with competitive activities, get to know you games or brain teasers that everyone will enjoy.
Ideas for your corporate holiday party include holiday movie trivia, gift exchanges, holiday-themed awards, and more. Give classic games a holiday twist, like playing the card game “spoons” with candy canes rather than the traditional utensils. If supplies are needed that require guests to bring their own materials, let them know well ahead of time so they aren’t scrambling and show up stressed to your festive party.
Planning a holiday party in Kansas City for your business or extended family can be daunting. It is important to ask for help when delegation is needed and start thinking about your plans now to organize a successful get together. Follow our tips to land on the nice list with your guests this upcoming holiday season.