The holiday season is a beloved time of year for many. Cookies, hot chocolate, colorful lights, and gifts all help your employees get into that festive holiday spirit.
When it comes time to impart that holiday cheer into the office, you certainly have no shortage of options. If you’re looking to move beyond throwing the same boring catered lunch and well wishes, create a memorable experience that shows your employees that you’re here to celebrate them. Here is how you can liven up the party and bring some exciting holiday cheer to your company.
Why should you host an office holiday party?
Office holiday parties are not just an excuse to eat candy canes and drink eggnog with coworkers. Believe it or not, there are many benefits of throwing a holiday celebration for your employees. Check out some of these reasons why you may want to consider celebrating with your office this holiday season:
Boosts morale: It can be hard to keep employees motivated toward the end of the year. With deadlines, stress, and the feeling of burnout dragging everyone down, a holiday party may be just the thing to keep everyone motivated. This gives the office something to look forward to as well as a break from their typical routine. Putting employees in a good mood will help increase productivity while supporting a positive working environment.
Shows your employees you care: Throwing an office holiday party is a great way to say “thank you” to your employees for all their hard work. Everyone will appreciate the time and effort that went into making sure they have a nice time to relax and enjoy time spent with coworkers. You could even go the extra mile and hand out awards such as “Top Performer” and “Team Leadership” to recognize individuals for going above and beyond.
Gives employees a chance to mingle: During a regular work day, different departments may not get to interact with one another very often, if at all. Depending on the size of your company, there is probably a chance that not everyone knows each other, despite all working for the same people. Office holiday parties can fix that! Encourage everyone to mingle with staff from all departments. If you have a small office, this is a perfect time for employees to just catch up with each other and share some laughs and great food.
Creates a sense of community: A holiday party is something everyone in the office can look forward to and enjoy together. Employees can share memories with each other and reminisce on their time with the company, while also making any new staff members feel welcome and part of the family.
Showcase your company’s success: Let your employees know that your company is healthy and thriving with a holiday party. Celebrations at the end of the year convey a bright future.
What's the ideal office holiday party length?
Coming up with a timeframe for your epic holiday party can help your employees know what to expect prior to the celebration. It can also make it easier to decide which entertainment options work best, who’s attending, and where your party should be located. While there is no right or wrong answer, some options may be better for you.
If your office party is only for employees, hosting it during an hour lunch break could be ideal. Employees will already be in the office and won’t have to worry about missing it due to personal conflicts. An hour will give everyone enough time to take a break from work and get put in a good mood to finish the day. However, if you are looking to host a larger party with more attractions and activities, an hour may not be enough.
You may decide to invite clients and strategic partners for your company, or you may allow your employees to invite their spouses, kids, and family friends. These are also factors in how long your party will be and when it will take place. If children are there, a shorter event earlier in the evening may work best. If it is only adults, three or four hours (or longer for the party animals) would allow for plenty of time to mingle, eat, and play games.
Where should you host a holiday party?
Figuring out the right length for a holiday party may also depend on the location. A shorter party will work great being hosted in the office. Believe it or not, having your holiday party at the office may even be a tax write-off.
Want to take the party off-site? If the weather is nice, having a party at the park could be a breath of fresh air. It won’t feel crowded and you’ll have more space to spread out and invite family and friends. A restaurant or a bar is a great choice if you don’t want to cater food. People will be able to eat, drink and mingle easily. Looking for something kid friendly? An arcade is a wonderful option to keep everyone engaged and occupied through the many gaming opportunities. (Or you could consider arcade game rentals and transforming a party room into an all-out gaming space!)
Nine unforgettable holiday party ideas you can try this year
Now that you have the venue and length all set, it is time to start planning your entertainment! Elevate your party by including exciting games and themes that will keep everyone in a cheerful mood. Create the perfect holiday bash with these unique corporate holiday party ideas:
Ultimate gaming party: Allow your employees to de-stress and chill by bringing some games to your holiday party. Double shot basketball, shuffleboard, ping-pong, pool, and darts keep guests of all ages and backgrounds moving and invested. The team-building aspect is priceless, too, as employees cheer on one another from the sidelines.
Retro 80s theme: Obsessed with shows such as Stranger Things or Halt and Catch Fire? You can make your venue or office look like they’re right from the studio set. Guests can step right into the role by playing the classic Dig Dug arcade game. If that isn’t enough, pair it with the beloved Pacman, Galaga, or Frogger games for a full arcade that Dustin would treasure! To add a little more kick to your retro theme, consider decorating with oversize backdrops or massive Rubik's cube props or add our Retro Carpet!
Strike a pose for an unforgettable souvenir: Most team members don’t have too many opportunities to take photos together. Let your guests decorate their desks (or take home) memorable photos with a tried but true Vintage Photo Booth. You could also rent a green screen to fully customize the backgrounds (selfies welcomed)! Check out some of Phoenix Amusements’ green screen borders and backdrops for more inspiration.
Sports bar theme: If football or basketball are dominant topics in the office, holding your holiday party at a sports bar would be a great way to get everyone into the team spirit. Your employees can cheer on one another while playing games such as foosball, putting challenge II, or pool. While there may already be some games there, you can fill in the blanks with any classic sports arcade game.
Glow games: Nothing enhances a room with a Christmas tree and holiday lights like LED games. Glow games like LED Pool Tables, LED NBA Hoops and LED Shuffleboard enrich the atmosphere. Other games like Skee-Ball and Electronic Darts already have a glow to them and pair well with each other. Regardless of your theme, these flashing games are sure to bring joy.
Carnival Theme: Who doesn’t love going to a carnival or county fair? Bring the carnival to you by renting a traditional Ring-toss, MegaWire, or Whac-A-Mole. You can truly transport your guests into the experience by adding in a popcorn machine or hot dog roller and bun warmer as food options. Move this party outdoors for extra room to move around or bring in even bigger games, like the Football Toss.
Casino Night: Kick up this classic theme a few notches including an MC who keeps the night moving! With games like blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, and money wheels, your guests can move from the cubicle to the Last Vegas casino floor. Most think that casino night is part of a more formal event, but you can let loose and get casual, too.
A Christmas Carol Karaoke Party: It won’t be a silent night when your guests step up to sing all night long. From classic carols to new favorites, a Christmas carol karaoke party engages everyone in singing their old time favorites that all will enjoy. Use the Karaoke Machine as a Digital Jukebox to get the party started, then transition into a fun evening belting out crowd favorites. With more than 30,000 songs to choose from, your guests will certainly find their favorite hit.
Holiday party by decade: Take a trip back in time with your company along for the ride. Think about hosting a party with a specific decade as your theme. Whether your guests will spend all night disco dancing, wearing poodle skirts, or singing to *NSYNC, everyone will enjoy the unique theme and entertainment.
Holiday party ideas during COVID-19
Planning a company holiday party may already be stressful, but now with Covid-19 and the restrictions that come with it, you may feel even more overwhelmed. How do you show your employees appreciation while keeping everyone safe? You can still spread holiday cheer while minimizing the spread of germs. Here are some tips that encourage employee health and well-being:
Offer hand sanitizer station: If you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands, hand sanitizer is the next best thing! Put in a few hand sanitizer stations to create easy access for your guests.
Offer games that allow for social distance: Games such as air hockey, foosball, and ping pong are wonderful multiplayer options to keep individuals at least 6 feet apart from one another. If you want a single player game, go with games like Pacman, Pinball, or Skee-ball. People can stand apart but still cheer together!
Keep the guest list to just employees: Keep your headcount down by inviting only your employees. Not only will this open up space and allow for social distancing, but it can also help if you’re on a budget.
Keep the party short so guests aren’t lingering around for too long: Make the party fun but efficient. To keep the celebration short, hold it during lunch hour. Encourage guests to mingle, play games, eat yummy food, and leave when they’re done.
Consider holding the holiday party outdoors: You won’t be constrained by walls when hosting your event outdoors. Games and tables can easily be spread out and there will be more room to social distance.
Require masks: To help control the spread of germs, masks are one of the most useful and easy items to use. They won’t get in the way of gameplay and you can even order masks with your company’s logo or name on it. If you have any questions on mask requirements, check with your local health authority.
Consider temperature checks for entry: Temperature checks are a quick and easy way to prevent anyone who is sick from entering the party. Non-contact thermal scanners are a fast and efficient way to add an extra level of precaution.
Provide pre-wrapped food/drinks: Skip the buffet or open food options to avoid people gathering in one area and touching the same utensils. With pre-wrapped food, everyone can easily grab what they want without worrying about touching the same surfaces.
For more information regarding helpful social distancing and event hosting information, check out the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and tips. Before any event, make sure to contact your local health authority for specific guidelines in your area.
Holiday party tips when you're on a budget
Don’t break the bank while throwing your party. There are plenty of ways to host a unique and memorable company event without going over budget. Your employees won’t even know that you got amazing deals to save money. Take a look at the best company holiday party ideas that will provide you with great savings:
Hold your event midweek: Before you book your venue, remember to compare prices of not only different locations, but different days of the week. You’ll likely find that prices for weekends are much higher than weekday evenings or even midday soirees. Your employees may also be more flexible with weekday evenings as their weekends may already be booked.
Celebrate in January: December can be busy, stressful, and overbooked. Wait until January to celebrate so your employees won’t feel overwhelmed with their obligations -- and you won’t feel the budget crunch. It will be a perfect way to kick off the new year and turn it into a team appreciation event. Many venues are also less expensive during this time since there is less of a demand for renting an open space.
Decorate your office: Office holiday decorations can give your work space that warm and cozy feeling. Instead of spending money on a large venue, you can turn your office into a winter wonderland. You may want to initiate a potluck meal, gift exchanges, and karaoke to make sure everyone switches gear from work to celebration. Put up a Christmas tree, Menorah, lights, snowflakes, and candy canes to really set the mood.
Plan your ideal office holiday party with Phoenix Amusements
With the holiday season approaching, you’re probably thinking about what your company party is going to look like this year. Here at Phoenix Amusements, we want to help make your party exciting and unique. Let us take care of the entertainment so you can focus on planning the best party to thank your employees. After all, the holidays are all about showing appreciation to one another and spending time together.
Customer service is of utmost importance to us; we would love to talk and guide you through picking the perfect entertainment for your company party. Contact Phoenix Amusements today to get started. We can’t wait to hear from you!