A Few Ideas for Planning a Last-Minute Office Holiday Party
December 1, 2019

The holiday office party is a big event, a chance for your company to thank its employees and wish everyone well. People often look forward to the party as a chance to see coworkers in a more relaxed setting. But oops – what if you’re way behind to get yours organized for this year?

Maybe the person who usually plans the party left on parental leave, and no one remembered until just now. Perhaps the boss changed her mind about it, expanding the potluck lunch to an all-out evening celebration with caterers. Whatever the reason you’re behind, don’t panic.  

If you are looking for venues in Raleigh and Durham, you might be too late to book a full-out party. But here are some last-minute ideas from our corporate planning staff so that you can pull off a fun event for your team. 

  1. A Team Daytime Outing – Most Triangle-area venues book up for December, but if your team is small, you might be able to put together a lunch or afternoon outing somewhere.
  2. An In-Office Event – Depending on the size of your company, you might organize a party at the office itself. The spirit may be less festive, but at least everyone is already there! Plan it for a late afternoon on a Wednesday or Thursday about mid-month so people can quit a little early and stick around. Those days feel later in the week, but also doesn’t interfere with people’s weekend plans. 
    • If you were hoping to include people’s spouses or partners, you might want to pass on that this year; people need time to plan for babysitters. However, you can always ask your employees what they think. 
    • Consider whether a $5 Secret Santa type exchange is appropriate for your team, but don’t drag everyone into this if they’re not interested. Maybe your team is more of the “ugly sweater competition” crowd. 
    • Caterers are very busy this time of year, so consider your options. You may have to do some calling to find an opening — and be prepared to pay a bit more. 

How to Book a Night Out Office Party at the Last Minute
If you or your boss is set on doing things right with food, drink, and games or dancing, it is possible. A few things to keep in mind: 

  • Get creative with the venue. Traditional spaces are probably booked, but if you’re OK with trying something new, you might be able to make it work. For example, you could go to Frankie’s Fun Park or try ax throwing downtown. 
  • Be flexible with your dates. Venues are booked for weekends and weeknights such as Wednesday and Thursday, but you may be able to snag a Monday somewhere. 


If you’re struggling to put together your team party, contact us for help and ideas!