Dreaming up unique holiday party ideas for your colleagues can take a lot of time and energy, to the extent that it can be tempting to give up and opt for an average theme – ugly sweater, masquerade ball, and Secret Santa seem to be go-to’s for the season. Though this is an easy option and will demand little of your time, our advice is to steer clear of these overdone themes and instead impress your coworkers with something unique. If you want to plan an event that really stands out, builds anticipation and will have your team talking for months, we recommend going with something less common and putting your event planning skills to the test. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with a few ideas we think you’ll love. Read on for some event planning inspiration!

A Seasonal Excursion

If you want to plan a unique holiday party for an adventurous group of employees, consider getting everyone onboard with a daytime excursion in the snow. Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing are great activities for guests of all fitness levels, and is perfect when followed with marshmallows and hot chocolate around a winter bonfire. Don’t let the day end there! Show off your event planning abilities by booking a venue for dinner so that your guests can warm up and socialize after some cool outdoor time. If your holiday season takes place in a warmer climate, take a page out of Go Daddy’s book. This web domain company rented out an entire Major League Baseball stadium for its employees, complete with live performances, a ferris wheel and fireworks!

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Image Source: RPTA

Holiday Getaway

If you have some significant cash to put aside for your unique holiday party, we love what Hootsuite did for their staff at the year-end. Employees packed a bag for a staff retreat to Harrison Hot Springs and celebrated to the creative theme “80s/90s neon winter camping”! This is a great way to bring your team together to spend some quality time and leave the stress of work behind.


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Image Source: Northwest Rafting Co.


Iron Chef Competition

Planning a unique holiday party for a diverse crowd of culinary gurus and microwave connoisseurs is an exciting opportunity. An Iron Chef competition is a great way to get everyone involved, regardless of their level of culinary experience. Cooking schools are a great option. In Vancouver we’re big fans of The Dirty Apron Cooking School, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) and the Miele Centre. If you’d prefer a less competitive environment, we recommend what Samsung recently did at their L.A. studio. Led by Food Network’s Chef Marcel Vigneron, the event treated guests to a ‘Cooking for Two’ culinary experience – this had a wow factor, practicality and an experience all wrapped up in one!

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Image Source: cdn.vinology.com

A Unique Holiday Party Fail-Safe

If one of our suggestions above doesn’t catch your eye, or isn’t a fit for your audience, err on the side of caution and choose an exceptional venue – art galleries, museums and warehouses are guaranteed to impress your audience. Take some inspiration from Google, which hosted a holiday office party at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) complete with an Andy Warhol theme, and DE Shaw (a hedge fund) rented out the New York Public Library as a holiday party venue!

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Image Source: blog.socialtables.com


Sage Advice

 The most important thing when it comes to unique holiday party planning is to read your audience. Take into consideration your guests’ interests, hobbies and lifestyles to set yourself up for success in your event planning. Putting on a holiday event specifically tailored to you team will make them feel appreciated and they’re like to enjoy the event all the more for it!


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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