Oh corporate holiday parties. If you work in an office environment, you know that a holiday party is both expected and dreaded. Holiday parties are the ultimate team building exercise, but when you invite your employees to celebrate with you after working hours, you need to make it fun to avoid grumbling around the water cooler.

But with proper planning, corporate holiday parties create fun, lasting memories.  Here are three tips to help make your event awesome.

Review past parties

HR person reviewing past corporate holiday party successesChances are, your company has thrown a few parties in the past. Take some time to talk to employees and managers about what they liked and didn’t like about these parties. This gives you a good basis of what was successful – whether it was the venue, food, music or entertainment.

Once you have a list of things that captured your employees attention, then you can plan to create a similar experience. You can start with booking a similar venue, entertainers, bands and/or caterers.

Consider your audience

An LED robot makes a big impression, entertaining at a corporate eventWho’s coming to this party? Obviously your employees. While everyone is different, what common factors do they have in common? For example, if most of your employees have families and small children, a party during working hours may be easier because they don’t have to hire sitters.

If you have a very youthful corporate culture, a high-energy band or DJ may bring the party to life better than stringed instruments and a sit-down dinner. You may also want to consider entertainers beyond musicians to wow your guests.

Book your venue and musicians early for your holiday party

The holidays are busy, which means entertainers are in high demand. Popular musicians and entertainers will get fully booked throughout the holiday season so we recommend booking your holiday party entertainers no later than the beginning of November.

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