Ok, ok we know summer is just getting into full swing so you’re probably going to hate us for bringing this up, but all good planners need to think ahead so here it goes…have you started planning your company holiday party yet? Before you click the close button and I loose you forever as punishment for my transgression, allow me to give you 3 reasons why you should start thinking about it now:

Reason #1: The best venues book out a year in advance. The ones that aren’t currently booked up may only have a few non-weekday dates still available. One of our supplier partners recently told us that they only have one Friday left in December. We suggest companies avoid hosting holiday parties on Monday – Thursday nights to avoid the productivity dip that happens the day after a late night event.

Reason #2: You may be able to get an early bird discount. Think about it this way, a deposit paid on a venue today means they have your money in their coffers a full 6 months before the event. Additional cash flow might be incentive enough for them to offer you a rate reduction.

Reason # 3: Response time. It can be a very frustrating experience to reach out to suppliers for availability, quotes and contracts when you’re mid-panic and then be put into a holding pattern. Will you hear back in time? Will they provide the answers you need? Will it all come together in time? Ahhhh!!! Just thinking about it makes me cringe. During the slower summer months, suppliers are more likely to have the capacity to get you answers in a timely fashion.

Still with me? Great! To reward you for your event planning courage, dedication and tenacity, we will spend the next few weeks giving you expert tips, tricks, stories and ideas for your next holiday party. This is your holiday party planning resource guide and this is what it will cover (check back regularly, links will be updated):


Why Plan a Company Holiday Party

During challenging economic times, companies have to make difficult decisions about where to spend their money. Wasteful spending becomes a war cry and before you know it, the annual employee holiday party is cancelled over fear of stakeholder backlash. While understandable, this response is very short sighted and wrongheaded because we know employee engagement and workplace performance are intricately connected, whether your CFO wants them to be or not. In fact, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202% (Source: Gallup). Events are a critical environment for increasing employee engagement and subsequently impacting a company’s bottom line. Of course this is just one reason why a company should consider hosting a holiday party. There are so many other reasons we’ll outline here. Hint: use this as a guide for what to say to your boss if they decide to cancel your holiday party. Read more…

Holiday Party Planning: Why?

Source: Dale Carnegie

Holiday Party Legalities and Liabilities

Hosting a holiday party is challenging enough without worrying about what happens to your guests after they leave the event. But the reality is that in BC you are legally obliged to factor this into your event planning efforts. Sigh. I know. We feel your pain. There is no end to the details a diligent planner must consider. Don’t worry though, we’ve cot you covered with this basic overview of legalities and liabilities to consider when planning a company holiday party. Read more…

holiday party planning: legalities


Not Your Average Holiday Party

It’s time to make a change and follow the lead of some of the world’s most creative companies. Step outside of the normal holiday party mould and into the realm of experiential events that surprise, delight, incentivize and truly reward employees for their commitment. Keep ’em talking all year long. Bragging rights are allowed. Prospective employees will jump onboard when they hear how your company celebrates it’s team. We’ve got a few of non-traditional ideas to spark your imagination! Read more…

holiday party planning


Confessions of a Holiday Party Planner

Over the years, we’ve planned many corporate celebration events, whether it be for a company milestone anniversary or to simply celebrate employees for a year of hard-work. With these celebrations have come many lessons, ideas for next time, and of course, juicy stories. While we believe that what happens at the event should stay at the event, we’ve decided to open our diaries and share a few tales (without naming names of course) so that you can learn from our mistakes and avoid making the same ones. Read more…

holiday party planning: confessions

Source: lakehurst-images


Making Holiday Parties Fun with Activities

Did last year’s holiday party leave everyone feeling a bit lackluster? Are you trying to avoid a ho-hum experience this year? A change of venue may be necessary but it might not be enough to ignite the spark. Before totally scrapping your event formula, consider integrating an activity.  Activities create opportunity for playfulness, laughter, and conversation so are great icebreakers to set a positive mood and tone for your event. It is important to plan activities that will actually get your team participating and enjoying themselves rather than shrinking away with a “You want me to do what!?” attitude. Activities can be about just having fun with colleagues or can have a more meaningful purpose like giving back to the community you work/live in. Check out our holiday party activity ideas to make your next celebration the best yet! Read more…

holiday party planning: activities

Sage Advice

Need a little help planning your holiday event? Our Sage Advice service is an affordable hourly support service to help with all your event planning needs. You plan. We help.


Tara Boddington

Tara Boddington

With a decade of experience planning corporate and promotional events for top brands as well as sponsorship activations at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2010 FIFA World Cup, I have a passion for transformative environments and experiences. I want to live in a world where emails are short, obsessive attention to detail is seen as an asset not an annoyance, and libraries are cool places to hang out (yes I like to read actual hard copy books). I am also the Director of Sales and Marketing at Eventsage.

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