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Blog article 5 min read

Trends, themes, and checklists to nail your corporate holiday parties in 2023

Preslea Jane

Written on

It's only a few months away: snow-covered cities, twinkling lights, and the cheer of the end of another work year. If you haven't planned your holiday parties yet, there's no need to stress.

Planned has curated this year's trends, themes and inspo for winter celebrations. As well, we've included a checklist for every step of planning, and ways to ensure inclusion in your festivities.

Let's unwrap what's in store for 2023.

Economic, Cultural, Workplace, and Event Trends

As the year comes to a close, there are several trends shaping the corporate holiday party landscape.

In 2022, the parties were chugging back to life. Now in 2023, they're truly here once again!

  • As always, but especially with remote teams, holiday parties are a great way to reconnect.
  • Venues are booking up quickly due to high demand, making early planning essential.
  • Health and wellness options are gaining prominence in the form of elaborate mocktails and plant-based dining.
  • There is an emphasis on inclusion reflected in neutral color palettes for decor.
  • Smaller, regional events are also on the rise, offering a personalized touch.
  • Event planners should be aware of the new Covid variant on the rise in the States.
  • With the ongoing economic pressure, meticulous planning with comparing quotes and leveraging preferred suppliers is key.
  • After a year of talk about AI, new event planning tools are everywhere to support an easier planning process. We cover how to use these tools and technologies in our guide.

Event planning is never easy, but Planned is here to make your holidays as merry as can be.

Inspo and themes for an unforgettable end to 2023

Themes can transform a holiday party into an experience everyone remembers, and have an impact on employees' perception of their company. Our tip: don't shy away from either the classics, or the unheard of, just make sure there's something in it for everyone.

For some low-cost creativity, seek out workshops like gingerbread house building, artisan wood & leather workshops, have an old-school snow day, or schedule entertainment like a tarot card reader or caricature artist.

For a touch of glamour, opt for a Great Gatsby or Moulin Rouge theme. While Winter Wonderland will always be a classic, an evening of These are a few of my Favourite Things, Harry Potter and Hogwarts, a masquerade ball, or festive musical icons party could be an intriguing way to switch things up.

The around-the world theme would be a great way to incorporate different cultures from your teams, expose everyone to something new, and create opportunities for deeper connection and understanding. There could be different areas within a venue where attendees could learn a bit of cultural history, indulge in different cuisines, and take in other traditions.

There's a new hue in town for parties that's been taking over the streets of summer. It's even the Pantone colour of the year.

You guessed it, it's pink. And we're certain we'll be seeing some stunning displays of blushing holiday bashes in the wake of Barbie.

Otherwise, opt for an old school festive office party with inspo from the 2020 Gucci Campaign, or delve into the window displays of wintery New York and the world.

Find suppliers that will bring the sparkle

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Checklist for planning

A well-organized plan is the foundation of a wonderful holiday party, for you and your guests.

  • Begin with timing: consider potential conflicts, availability, and other cultural holidays.
  • Opt for a theme that resonates with your guests and reflects your company culture.
  • Set your budget and get buy-in from your executive team.
  • Source a venue that fits your budget and has the desired atmosphere. Make sure to collect multiple quotes to negotiate the best price.
  • Negotiate your payment terms and contract as soon as possible to avoid last-minute roadblocks with the Finance and Legal teams.
  • Create your RSVP invitation, including dietary preferences, accommodation needs and hotel room blocks, accessibility needs, etc.
  • Come up with options for transportation to ensure everyone gets to and from safely.

Tip 💡 You can easily find everything you need for your holiday event with Planned's marketplace.

  • The AI-powered sourcing tool will take care of the search for venues and vendors, you just have to come up with the ideas!
  • Because time is of the essence, we've streamlined the payment & contracting as well. No need to onboard numerous suppliers with lengthy contracts, pay through Planned in one click.
  • Get excited about your guestlist with our new RSVP feature, where you can manage attendees and attrition with ease.

Ideas for incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion

A sense of belonging isn't a nice to have, it's the backbone of any company. Employees feeling included is essential, whatever they practice.

These are some great ways to incorporate DEI efforts in your end-of-year celebrations.

  • Ensure that there isn't one prominent culture and a few afterthoughts, each culture deserves to be part of the centerpiece of the celebrations.
  • When incorporating different cultural holidays in your decor, make sure everything is equal in representation. For example, it shouldn't be that the Christmas tree is centre stage but the menorah is stuck in a corner. However, note certain details before making placements, like how a menorah is traditionally placed next to a window.
  • Early January can be an alternative time to host company-wide celebrations. Whenever you choose to schedule the festivities, check the calendar to not plan for the same day as other religious celebrations. If you're unsure what your employees observe, ask respectfully.
    • Diwali November 12
    • Hanukkah December 7 to 15
    • Yule December 21 to Jan 1
    • Kwanzaa December 26 to Jan 1
  • Incorporate colours from other cultures' festive traditions, such as blue for Hanukkah. Embrace either neutral or seasonal-focused decor. Encourage employees to decorate their workspaces with their personal traditions to cultivate conversations.
  • Offer diverse holiday-themed activities and cuisines that celebrate different cultures, and welcome feedback on the menu before finalizing.
  • When communicating about the event, use inclusive language that emphasizes the spirit of the holiday season rather than a specific religious affiliation.

By promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, your holiday party can become an event that resonates with everyone.

Wrapping up

And there you have it! The stage is set for a season of celebration like no other.

From exploring unique themes to crafting a thoughtful checklist, your winter event can transcend expectations and bring joy to everyone on your team. And as you integrate diversity and inclusion into the fabric of your festivities, you're not just celebrating the end of the year, but also shaping the future of corporate celebrations.

If you're feeling behind and need help getting your event underway, we're happy to help! Companies that work with us on a per-event basis get to book events in half the time and for ~15% less. Here’s how we can support you:

  • We’ll make personalized venue and vendor recommendations
  • We’ll collect a minimum of three quotes in 48h for each of all the services you need
  • We’ll let you pay suppliers through Planned, with your preferred payment method

You can claim your free account here or contact our team directly to get a tour of our marketplace and see how your dream holiday festivities can be booked in no time!