Putting on a good holiday party for the company has become more of a challenge in recent years. Just like any party, you have to worry about accommodating people and making them happy. Normally, this means ensuring you have a good choice of activities, the right decorations, and great food. Recently, however, making the party accommodating to everyone involved has become a priority for a lot of small businesses and large companies alike. In today’s changing culture, political correctness is something to pay attention to in order to have a corporate holiday party that is welcoming and avoids unnecessary tensions.
This can be a challenge to company party planners who do not know what is required to make a party accommodating. Thankfully, it is not too difficult to make sure your party is welcoming to everyone regardless of faith, ethnicity, age, gender, etc. More importantly, you can still have themed parties or special get togethers as long as you put more attention on who is attending and what they expect from the party itself.
This all starts with knowing what to call the party. Should it be a Christmas party? Holiday party? Something else entirely?
Here are a few different options you can take to create a company-appropriate party that will put the focus on the festivities of the season.
Option 1: Play It Safe
The holiday season has become somewhat of a war of words. While some people still prefer the old “Merry Christmas,” others have made the conscious effort to be more inclusive with their seasonal greetings. “Happy Holidays” has become the go-to greeting in order to try to accommodate anyone of any faith or walk of life. If you are looking to put on a holiday party that represents the same spirit of inclusivity, it does not hurt to call it a holiday party.
This approach, while not perfect, allows you to keep the party festive for the holiday season while making it broader in terms of the specific celebration. The use of “holiday” also lets people know that the party is meant to be celebratory of the general season instead of a specific holiday.
The trick to using this option is to create a party that actually fits the broader, changing holiday theme. Short of trying to accommodate any and all religious celebrations during this time period, the best approach is to keep things festive without basing it in religious traditions. Think about the spirit of the holiday season beyond anything else. This is the time to get together, enjoy the company of family and friends, and celebrate what matters most.
Option 2: Get to Know the Party Guests
There is nothing that says you can’t throw a traditional Christmas party for the company. In some settings and for some companies, this would be completely appropriate without causing any issues. Regardless of the specific religious celebration, Christmas or otherwise, if you feel an event-specific party is warranted, you need to know your party guests.
Get to know what they expect of the party. To be as inclusive as possible, make sure a holiday-specific or religious-themed party will not exclude anyone from enjoying the experience. A bit of casual conversation ahead of time as you plan the party will give you the information you need about potential party goers to plan accordingly.
As you begin to promote the party, state the theme clearly so no one is surprised when they attend. This way, they will know what to expect, what to bring, and what friends/family members can attend as well.
Option 3: Create a Themed Party
While traditional Christmas and holiday parties are the norm this time of year, there is no reason you can’t have a different type of party altogether. If you want to try to avoid all of the political tensions that come with the season, create a different type of party. Themed parties are a great way to do just this.
The beauty of this approach is you can have any type of theme you want. One safe option is to have a theme connected with the company itself. If you want to avoid the association of more work during the party, however, try to think outside of the box.
Once again, try to gauge the interests of potential party goers. You can reference pop culture, musical tastes, hobbies, or anything else to create the theme. Once you have the theme set, plan the party around the main idea.
Costumes are always a great way to allow people to live the theme of the party. Keep decorations and activities connected with the theme as well. The more you give guests an immersive experience with the theme, the better.
Option 4: Celebrate the New Year
If all else fails when trying to please everyone with your next company holiday party, skip ahead to the next one. Jumping one week ahead allows you to celebrate the season with friends, family, and coworkers without making it about a religious celebration. Since the New Years celebration is more inclusive, this might be the best option to consider for replacing the traditional holiday festivities.
You can take the typical approach to planning the New Years party itself. Banners, hats, blowers, confetti, all make for great decorations. Timing wise, the closer you can have the party to the actual day (ideally New Years Eve) the better. If you can’t make the scheduling work, you can still have a great New Years party even before the company breaks for the holiday season.
If you are overwhelmed when considering all of these options to not only make your employees feel special and appreciated by throwing them the best company holiday party but to also be socially appropriate, just call the professional party planners at James Event Productions. They have over 20 years experience in taking your guest list and company size into consideration to do all the work for you and to ensure it’s appropriate for your intended guest list. Get a free consultation now for your holiday party planning.