Holiday Party Planning Tips

IMG_0984By Kristen Ferguson, Catering Logistics Coordinator, Events and Conference Services

We’ve all done it! Lying in bed wide awake thinking “I never should have had that coffee at 3 p.m. today” and suddenly this amazing idea comes to you! “I’m going to throw a party. A great big cocktail party!” and before you know it you have pressed send on the invitation list. Most of us then realize that short and sweet initial list has turned into a great big organizational nightmare and sometimes as the day gets closer, we wonder “what the heck were we thinking!!!”

Here are some tips that will keep the planning fun and leave you actually enjoying the party instead of running around like a crazed party hating grinch.



Make very specific and easy RSVP requirements.
There will always be the last-minute responders, the no responders, the ones that say they’re coming then don’t show and the ones that show up with 10 of their closest friends. Sending out a reminder is also a great idea.

Keep it simple.
You don’t need 16 different kinds of beer or 4 vegan/gluten free/lactose free dishes “just in case”. If your guests have requirements, I promise you, they will tell you or they will come prepared. If you are having a buffet-style dinner, keep the protein options to 2 max. If you are having a cocktail party, 3-5 pieces per person is standard if your guests have already had dinner, 5-8 pieces per person if this party is considered “dinner”. Include trays of food in this average as well. Running out of food is a fear, but you will not run out using these guidelines

Keep in mind your fridge and oven space.
Sometimes the food and beverage that you would like to serve do not meet the fridge and stove space requirements. Try preparing a clean and organized space in your garage, if it’s cool.

Ask for help!
Request a dessert pot luck from your guests or delegate (bribe) your family members to pitch in.

Make a list.
Lists are great. The first item on your list should be to write a list so you have something to cross off right away. It feels good

This one is the MOST important………

Seriously. Let me break it down for you. You hire a server, they are generally $20 per hour. They serve the food, keep the house tidy, pour the drinks AND DO THE DISHES. This is standard practice, in fact the credo is to leave the place cleaner than when you found it. 3 hour minimum is $60. For less than $100 you get to participate in the fun of your own party and wake up the next day to a clean house *cue angels singing*!

Have fun out there party planners!

MRU Events and Conference Services host over 80,000 guests per year and would be happy to help you with your corporate holiday party.

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