Your company holiday party will likely be one of the biggest and most important functions of the year. Because of this, the holiday event venue you select is equally important!

A holiday party presents an opportunity for everybody to get together and let their hair down a little. It is a way to celebrate the company’s employees, build the company culture, and boost morale. It should be a special event for all involved.

When planning a party, the venue is all important – and there are many holiday event venues to choose from in the San Diego area. What should people plan for when planning an off-site party? Here are six things to consider.

1. Find Out What People Want

Before putting any firm decisions in place, think about what kind of party fits the company best. Should the party be formal, or a more casual event? Is an indoor party the way to go or do people like the option of getting together outside? Do people want a fancy sit-down dinner or just cocktails and hors d’oeuvres? Will the crowd like to get down on the dance floor or is a little light piano music more appropriate? Getting answers to these kinds of questions will help your party take shape quickly.

It also helps to have a few pre-defined options. This way, you can take polls faster, while limiting the number of off-the-wall suggestions. Not all participants will get their first choice, but if you come up with a popular solution, everyone will be on board.

2. Set a Budget

The party budget will help narrow down the type of venues to consider. It’s best to balance the budget with the cost of the venue and associated services. Make sure to include all party costs – not just the venue rental. Also include entertainment, food and beverage, logistics rental, and staffing. Determine an overall budget before beginning a search for possible venues.

3. Choose a Date

When choosing a venue for a holiday party, start by choosing a date for the event. Picking a date isn’t easy, either. Companies like to get holiday parties on the calendar well before the holidays – and before their employees start taking off for holiday vacations. In years past, companies have preferred to host parties on either the first or second Friday or Saturday in December. This trend is changing, however, with holiday partiers extending well into January of the following year.

Regardless, this means that it is imperative to book the event as early as possible, before your preferred date fills up. Waiting too long to reserve a date may cause a company to settle for a venue that isn’t at the top of your list. If you’re flexible about the date, however, you may find more options available.

4. What About the Entertainment?

A holiday party without entertainment is a dull party indeed. Music is a great way to liven up the party, either in the background or upfront for dancing. The entertainment choice will help determine the type of venue that’s selected.

Not all venues can accommodate all types of entertainment. It’s one thing to book a DJ to spin some dance tunes. However, booking an eight-piece party band will require much more venue space. The more people (and equipment) on stage, the more space is needed.

If the company is interested in more than just music at the party, try booking magicians and caricaturists! Or, hire clowns and face painters (if it’s a family-friendly party), or offer casino games or a photo booth. Just make sure the venue can accommodate the entertainment selected.

5. Select the Food and Drink

When reviewing possible venues, find out which food and drink options are available. Does the venue have on-site food services, complete with kitchen and servers? Or does a catering service need to be brought in? Alcohol is probably going to be part of the mix, and most venues will provide it, but how much does it cost? Will the company offer an open bar or is a cash bar more appropriate for your budget?

Food and beverage costs can account for a fair percentage of your party expenditures. Make sure to include this on your list when you’re evaluating venues. It will help to know whether the venue provides these services (and at what cost) or whether you need to use a separate caterer.

6. Determine What You Need to Rent

Some venues are truly full service; others are more bare bones. Because of this, it is helpful to understand what the venue supplies, and what you need to source yourself. Yes, the venue probably has tables and chairs (although these may need to be rented, too), but what about decorations? Do you need to supply or rent these yourself or can the venue help to line everything up? Don’t forget audio/video needs; will you need to rent a computer, projector, and screen, or even a microphone and speakers? If the event is outdoors, what about heat lamps? (even San Diego can get cool in December, remember.)

Plan Your Holiday Party at Harbor View Loft

Located on picturesque Harbor Island, Harbor View Loft is a full-service event venue perfect for your next holiday party. We have an inviting layout to fit your specific corporate party, including both indoor and outdoor spaces. Our award-winning event team will help you put together the ideal holiday party for your company, including food and entertainment. Harbor View Loft is the perfect holiday event venue for you.

Contact us today to plan your company’s holiday party.

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