Office holiday parties can be a great way to cap off the year and let everyone know that their hard work is appreciated—but someone has to plan them. And this year, that someone is you.
While there are some fun aspects to party planning, you’ll also face an awful lot of nitty-gritty details to stay on top of. It’s daunting work, especially if you’re not a professional party planner or even the person usually in charge of events at your office. If organizing the office party is on your to-do list and you are feeling a little overwhelmed as you head into holiday chaos, don’t worry. We’ve put together nine templates to help you make this year’s party one to remember (in a good way).
Haven’t tried templates in Evernote yet? When you see one you like, all you have to do to get it is click the link to a template and then click “Save to Evernote.” The template will be added to your Evernote account. You can then copy, move, rename, and edit the template note. To learn more, check out our guide to templates »
Think of the holiday party as a fun deliverable, and use the same project management tools and practices you would for any other task.
To kick off the party planning, create a notebook called “Holiday Party 2017” and share it with anyone else involved in the party planning. Throughout the process, from the kickoff meeting to the big event, you’ll have to check in on progress, keep tabs on how many people are pushing for a mimosa fountain, and organize your action items as deadlines loom. Use this Planning Session Notes template to help organize any meetings.
Get ’er done
Break down all the to-dos by category. Basics include people, venue, and food. You might also consider decorations, gifts or favors, entertainment or other activities, depending on your budget and company culture. Use this Party Task Checklist template to stay on top of all your tasks and customize it to fit your event.
Get the (brainstorming) party started
Time to play: themes, decorating, general “feel”—this is the time to compile ideas in the form of images, URLs, venues, menus, and more, storing them in a central spot. This is also where Web Clipper comes in handy. Use the Evernote browser extension to capture any inspirational ideas, and send them straight to your holiday party notebook. Use this Brainstorming Session template to help organize your inspirations.
Running the numbers
Your budget will determine everything from the choice of venue to the food, so you need to get the numbers before drilling into any detailed plans. Sort all of this out with this Event Budget template.
Grab a hot date
If you’re counting on a specific venue, you may need to have a first, second, and third choice for the date. You also might have multiple venue quotes or provisional holds that you need to manage. Grab this Venue Options template to keep track of it all.
Make a list and check it twice
People make the party, so they need to be invited if you want anybody to show up. Create a “Save the Date” email and put together your distribution list. Once the word is out, track RSVPs, plus-ones, and those last-minute/no response folks you’ll need to hound for an answer using this Invitations and RSVPs template.
Line ’em up
From catering to photo booth rentals to party favors, there are a million-and-one things to arrange—and a bunch of vendors to coordinate. Put all of your contact info in Evernote, from business cards and proposals to important emails and PDFs of the signed contracts. That way, you can use the search bar to call up what you need in seconds. Try using this Vendor Info template to keep everything organized.
Let there be music
If dancing is a must-have, you’ll need a live band, a DJ, or someone’s meticulously curated playlist. You’ll also need a sound system, dance floor, and lighting. Even if it’s not a dancing sort of crowd, background music during dinner can set a festive atmosphere. Grab this Music Playlist template to share your song choices with the DJ or band in advance.
The party’s over
When you’ve sufficiently recovered from the merriment, add photos or videos from the event to your notebook so everybody can relive the happy memories later. Also be sure to scan and save your receipts and invoices. Put together a list of key learnings or things to remember for next time with this Party Post-Mortem template. You’ll appreciate having everything documented.
Here are all those templates again:
- Planning Session Notes »
- Party Task Checklist »
- Brainstorming Session »
- Event Budget »
- Venue Options »
- Invitations and RSVPs »
- Vendor Info »
- Music Playlist »
- Party Post-Mortem »
Now you get to sit back and relax. You have a whole year before you need to do it again.