The Do's & Don'ts of Throwing a Company Party

Even though the calendar says it is still technically “summer,” the best time to start planning your annual company party is right now.  This is especially true if you plan to host a holiday party and recognition event for your employees by the end of the year.

As we mentioned in one of our recent posts, “Start Preparing for Your Holiday Employee Event,” the extensive planning that is required for a corporate holiday party begins (or should begin) months in advance.

Preparing in advance also helps you avoid the hassles involved with last-minute scrambling, which includes making preventable mistakes.

Early planning is usually a good idea, regardless of the size of your company party. Whether you’re anticipating a huge end-of year bash or a small company party, you’ll feel more relaxed and confident that everything will go smoothly.



Here are a few mistakes to avoid when throwing a company party (and what you can do instead!)

1) Choosing the wrong type of venue

Selecting the right venue is a must for a successful company party.

Rather than simply relying on website content and images or client reviews, allow yourself time so you can check out potential venues for yourself.

For example, the venue should be conveniently located; this allows for better attendance by employees. Other key aspects to consider when choosing a venue include the following:

  • Size
  • Style/Atmosphere
  • Facilities/Amenities
  • Audio Visual & Technology
  • Catering Options

2) Not providing a good variety of food and beverage – or not providing enough for every guest

Selecting the menu for your company party is probably one of the toughest – but also one of the most important – decisions you’ll make. Your employees and their guests have most likely anticipated the opportunity to indulge in good food and drink all year!

From choosing the right food and drink to ensuring there is enough for everyone is no easy feat. Plus, you should also be prepared to provide menu options for guests who have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. As well, a good event menu is balanced, which helps ensure each guest is satisfied.

Hiring a caterer who can help you make these tough choices, plus offer suggestions you may not have been aware of, makes sense. He or she can walk you through the process of not only choosing the best menu(s) for your company party, but will also make sure you don’t run out of food and drink.

3) Not setting limits on alcohol consumption

You can certainly have a fun and enjoyable company party without serving a single drop of alcohol. However, it is also perfectly fine to serve alcohol. Drinks can help create a festive and relaxing atmosphere for employees and their guests.

Since no one intentionally wants to embarrass themselves in front of their coworkers after having a few too many drinks, setting limits on alcohol is a good idea.

One popular way that many companies set limits on alcohol consumption is by providing each guest with a specific number of “drink tickets.”

Another good idea is to make sure you also provide a wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks such as sodas and juices, as well as plenty of water. This appeals to non-drinkers as well.

However, if you do choose to serve alcohol at your company party, make sure that anyone who becomes too inebriated has a reliable way to get home.


Are you planning a company party (or other special occasion) in the Portland area and looking for a catering company? We would love to help you with any of your catering needs.

Please feel free to either contact us online or call us at (503) 222-4553 anytime – we look forward to talking with you soon.

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