The Fool-Proof, 3-Step Way to Plan the Holiday Party of the Year

‘Tis the season for good food, friends, and festivities! With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to start planning your parties and events.

Whether you’re in charge of planning a company Christmas party or a friends-and-family potluck, the road to throwing a successful event is the same. From the guest list and invitations to the food and activities, the key to throwing a good party is all in the planning.

To help you throw the event of the season, here are three tips worth considering:

1. Decide on the Guest List

The most defining decision you’ll make when it comes to the success of your party is who you’ll be inviting. From navigating group dynamics to coordinating activities that will keep everyone comfortable and entertained, it all starts with the people on your guest list. If the guests you’re inviting may not all know each other, consider making space for them to bring a plus-one. Conversely, if your group is tight-knit and comfortable with one another, less effort can be put into the kinds of activities you’ll be organizing for your event — and the less likely you’ll need to account for possible extras. Once you have your guest list nailed down, it’s time to decide on the setting.

2. Choose the Venue and Activities

While corporate events will likely require that space at a restaurant or large venue is booked out in advance, smaller circles can make anything from a dining room to a local park or beach work. Since you already finalized your guest list, you can now take the group dynamics into consideration when planning out the festivities. For groups of people who don’t necessarily know other guests, consider planning fun, interactive activities that force them to get to know one another in a fun, low-stress way. Group competitions like charades, gingerbread house contests, or Catchphrase are great ways to help guests break the ice and give everyone something to talk about during less structured parts of the night, like dinner and mingling.

3. Make and Send Memorable Invitations

Once you know exactly what the party will look like, you can start designing your invitations. You may have a solid vision of what it will entail, but the way you invite your guests will set the tone in their minds, too. Put your party’s best foot forward with a fun and festive invitation that conveys the holiday cheer your friends can look forward to. If you’re inviting friends and family, turn your photo Christmas cards. Or, for corporate events, send your co-workers an invitation with the whole team pictured on the front. And, just like that, your party already has your guests in the holiday spirit. Plus, by using a photo card for your invitation, you’re guaranteeing your party’s place in your guests’ minds for the rest of the season.

‘Tis the Season to Plan the Party of the Year

And that’s all you need. You’ve got the party of the season planned and your guests properly primed to celebrate. With these three things under your belt, you’ll be prepared for any and every holiday event the season throws your way.

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