Let’s Party! Five Steps to Planning a Successful Holiday Event

Courtesy of Brittany Semco
Courtesy of Brittany Semco

If the mere thought of planning a holiday get-together causes weeping and gnashing of teeth, take a minute to pull yourself together, put on your favorite holiday tunes and start planning.

Establish the vision and purpose.

Every event, no matter how small, needs a clear vision and purpose. Is your event to thank volunteers for a job well done or to bask in the glory of a completed project? Make sure there are goals and objectives in place so responsibilities can be managed strategically.

Choose the location, date and time.

The location is a very important decision because the venue must be accessible for everyone attending the party and fit the atmosphere you are trying to create. Next, you need to determine the date and time for your holiday bash. Keeping in mind that people travel during the holiday season, choose a date for which most of your attendees are available.

Promote your event.

As with any public relations activity, promoting your event is key. When putting together your promotional materials, tailor them to your attendees. For instance, will you be sending invitations, emails and social media blasts, or hanging posters?

Create agendas, budget and timeline.

Promotional materials should always include an agenda for your attendees. Each event should have a specific agenda for the guests, as well as you, the host. The agenda should include the time of the event and a brief title such as, “Celebrate the Holiday with a Potluck.”

It is also important to create and follow a budget for your event. No matter how small the budget may be, a successful festivity is still possible. A good way to stay on your budget is to follow a strict timeline while planning the party. Some venues and vendors will offer group discounts and early-bird deals for those who schedule in advance.

Organize transportation and hospitality efforts.

Don’t forget the final touches. Make sure all of your guests have transportation to your special destination. Also, ask some reliable friends or general members to volunteer on the day of your event as staff. Lastly, remember to think “hospitality” as you hang some extra mistletoe and send your guests home with some environmentally-friendly holiday gifts.

Fast forward and your event is finally here! Put down the tissues, sit back and splurge on the eggnog because when you follow these simple steps your event is destined for success.


This guest post was written by the following Waynesburg PRSSA members: Kara Bemer, special events coordinator, Brittany Semco, public relations director; Molly Winters, immediate past president; and Abby Pittinaro, immediate past vice president/firm director.

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