Luca Ramassa, LeadsBridge guest blog: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Event Planning

Christmas party

By: Hannah Lee | Nov 17, 2022

Blog contributed by Luca Ramssa, Outreach Specialist at LeadsBridge:

With the holiday season officially starting up, people all over the world are starting to make plans for what many are calling the first “normal” holiday season since the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world in 2019. 

If you're new to the world of event planning and are toiling over various ideas, you're in luck! In this helpful guide, we’ve covered various steps that you can take to throw a holiday party that will be remembered forever. 

Whether you’re throwing a corporate event, a sales event, or a community holiday party, there’s something for you in the following sections.

Be Considerate of All Winter Holidays

When trying to throw an outstanding holiday bash, you’ll want to cast a wide net to draw in attendees. That means not narrowing your focus to just one winter holiday. While you might immediately start to think about Christmas or Hanukkah when making your plans, there are several important winter holidays that you can incorporate to draw in a larger crowd and create more of a splash in your community. 

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Some winter holidays to consider include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Divali, Yule and The Winter Solstice to name a few.

Of course, which holidays you highlight will have much to do with your intended audience, which we will cover later. 

Choose the right date, time, and place

If you’re trying to draw in a large crowd, you must ensure that your event is convenient for your target audience. 

For example, suppose you’re marketing this event to working professionals. In that case, you might want to set it up on a Friday or a Saturday night, so they can continue enjoying the party without worrying about work the following day.

Additionally, if you’re planning a party centered around Christmas or Hanukkah, it’s best not to hold your event right before or after. People have specific holiday traditions, and families often have their days and nights booked around those specific dates. So give yourself some breathing room. The holiday season is an entire season, starting sometime in November and going through to the end of the year. 

Finally, ensure that the venue you’ve chosen is centrally located, has ample parking, is accessible, and conveys the right atmosphere to your guests. 

Understand your audience

To run a successful event, you must determine who you’re trying to draw in and base every decision around that core demo. 

Before you send out a single invitation, make sure that you understand certain information about your ideal guests, such as age, interests, music/food preferences and geographic location.

For businesses, holiday events can be a great way to convert potential customers into actual customers. Some potential customers are only a single step away from becoming loyal to your brand. Therefore, it’s important to give them the right push, such as an invitation to a festive holiday event. 

Understanding your audience can help gain insight into behavioral patterns and narrow down your ideal customer, which would allow for better lead nurturing. Integration platforms like LeadsBridge can help automatically integrate your favorite marketing tools with your eCommerce business. 

To strategically select the audience attending the event, lead scoring will help and determines the likelihood potential customers have of signing on with your organization.

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Companies throwing these events should also take into account factors such as shopping habits, marketing preferences, preferred social media platforms and much more!

Choose a creative approach

Everyone has been to many holiday parties, so doing something creative and different with your event might be the catalyst that brings attendees through the door. 

For example, apply a fun luau or beach theme to your winter holiday party, encouraging everyone to wear Hawaiian shirts and decorating in a festive summer way. Additionally, you can build an activity around your event, like a holiday half marathon or a murder mystery dinner. 

Remember to communicate the creative theme effectively with your audience right from the beginning. Often, this communication can be the key to guaranteeing attendance. A festive-themed email invitation can go a long way. People have to know what kind of event you’re holding, where it is, when it is, and how they can attend. Email is one of the best ways to communicate this, which is why ensuring email deliverability is paramount. 

Book the right entertainment

You can’t expect people to show up and start mingling independently. Of course, if some decide to do this, then that’s wonderful, but a few organized activities and entertainment can be helpful when putting together a holiday-themed event like this. 

If your event features a dance floor, it’s time to start reviewing bands and DJs. If it’s a networking event, then organize some holiday-themed speed networking. These activities should be planned before you ever send out your first invitation. Describing them will give prospective attendees something to consider when deciding whether or not to attend. It’s an additional carrot that you can dangle to help push them through the door. 

However, this is another area where you must consider your target audience and goals. What do they enjoy? Are they a younger crowd who likes to move, or are they more likely to want to sit through the evening? 

Develop a checklist of all party needs

Before your event, you should have a huge master list of everything you’ll need. This is second nature to established event coordinators, but for those new to event planning the list should include things such as: Budget, resources needed (food/staffing etc), a plan B for everything. 

To support your holiday event, you may need to enlist a same-day delivery courier service - we recommend checking out this website.

Promote your event

Now that you have all of your ducks in a row, it’s time to start promoting and drawing in your attendees. Whether you’re planning to send out personal invitations or sell tickets online, you’ll need to turn to a variety of different marketing platforms to get the word out. 

First up, consider email marketing services like MailChimp or Constant Contact. They will help you reach your mailing list with personalized messages that can inform, entertain, and beckon.

There’s also social media. You can post regularly about your event or perform targeted advertising on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. When you do this, make sure to use past event photos to promote what you have to offer. Just make sure that these photos are touched up with a background remover to get rid of any distractions. 

Follow Up After the Event

If you’re running an event to drum up future business, what you do after the event can be more important than what occurred during it. 

You can use your holiday event to gather attendees' contact information. You can then use that data to promote products or services afterward. Your copy will be key to engaging attendees, so be sure to nail down the tone of your post-event promotions. A sales copy generator can be handy if you feel stuck or need extra inspiration. It can also help you develop great ideas to engage new and existing leads. 

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You should also consider using a report builder to create event reports. This will help you consolidate and analyze your data. It’s an important step that will allow you to evaluate your event’s performance and determine future improvement opportunities. 

Conclusion

Holiday parties are anticipated all through the year. By following the tips and resources outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to create a holiday event that will leave a strong impression on the hearts and minds of your attendees. 

To summarize:

  • Be considerate and inclusive of all winter holidays

  • Choose the right time, date, and venue for your event

  • Base all decisions around a strong understanding of your audience and their preferences

  • Consider a creative theme for your party that will draw event attendees in

  • Book the right entertainment based on your audience's likes and dislikes

  • Plan out your menu in advance and use it during the event’s promotion

  • Develop a checklist of all party-related tasks with due dates

  • Promote your event to the masses

  • Follow up after the event and evaluate your data to improve in the future

Keep these nine tips in mind when planning your holiday event for 2022, and welcome the holiday season back in style! 

 

Author

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Hannah Lee

 

 
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