5 Tips for Increasing Corporate Holiday Party Attendance

Holiday Party at Guastavino'sThrowing a holiday party in New York at an upscale venue like Guastavino’s is a great way to say thank you to all of your clients, customers, employees and other supporters for another year of working together. Your guests will all greatly appreciate the time, hard work and budget that goes into planning a corporate holiday party in New York and will be excited to celebrate with you. Even when hosting a holiday party at one of the top event venues in New York, it can be tough to actually get your invited guests to attend. The holiday season is busy for all of us and social calendars fill up fast. Want to ensure a high attendance at your corporate holiday party? Follow these 5 steps:

Don’t Schedule An Event Too Close to Holidays

Scheduling a corporate holiday party for the week before or the week after Christmas is event planning suicide. Anyone who has ever tried to schedule a meeting or event during those two weeks knows just how impossible it is to get ahold of people. The optimal time to host a holiday party is during the first or second week of December; close enough to the holiday to put people in the right mood, but far enough to ensure that they will actually be in town. Pro-Tip: Few party planners consider this option, but you can actually ensure high attendance and save quite a bit of money by holding your holiday party after New Year’s, in the first or second week of January.

Send Save The Date Cards

Many holiday party hosts think that save the date cards are reserved for weddings. However, hosting a party during one of the busiest party seasons of the year requires hosts to be ahead of the game, and the best way to do that is with save the date cards. While it may seem funny to send out a save the date card for a winter holiday party while it’s still 80 degrees in New York, getting your guests attention early will increase the likelihood that they will attend your event tenfold. While there is no need to get overly detailed on a save the date card, you may want to include information about whether or not your invitees should plan on bringing a guest or not. Family schedules can get very busy, especially when the kids are out of school, so including that relevant information is a nice way to help your guests plan ahead.

Send Detailed Invitations

Busy New Yorkers will attend half a dozen or more holiday parties during first week of December. What is it about your party that makes it a must-attend? A classic New York event venue is a good starting place, but where do you go from there? Be sure to include all of the details that will make your holiday party stand out from the rest right there in the invitation. These details could include:
  • The Party Theme
  • The Dress Code (Probably not going to entice anyone, but helpful information to share well in advance, especially if it’s black tie)
  • +1s and more; is it a family party?
  • News about a raffle, gift exchange or other goodies
When schedules get busy, attendees get flakey. Make sure that your guests know in advance that they are in for the can’t-miss event of the holiday season.

Invite The Kids

One of the most common reasons that guests are unable to attend business holiday parties is the inability to secure a babysitter. Even with months of advanced notice, child care can often fall through at the last moment costing parents the chance for a night out to enjoy themselves away from the kids. The best way to keep parents and children happy is to invite the whole family to the event. This doesn’t mean that your party has to be “kiddie”. Holiday parties should always be family friendly, especially when it comes to business associates. Simply reserve a section of your event venue for kid-friendly activities and hire a few staff members to supervise, lead activities and games and generally keep the kids busy so that the parents can enjoy the main event.

Call Those Last Minute RSVPers

Sometimes, despite your best effort, there will still be invited guests that you never hear back from. While it would be easy to just assume that they aren’t coming, the smart and professional thing to do is to pick up the phone and give them a call. Odds are that they aren’t avoiding you, just that your invitation got lost in the shuffle with all of the other things that they had on their mind. By picking up the phone and calling rather than sending an email, you will (hopefully) be able to get a firm yes or no answer on their plans, and adjust your event plans as necessary.

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