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Why Your Office Holiday Party Could be Even Better in January

Event Planner: Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants| Florals: Atlas Floral Decorators, Inc | Venue: The Plaza New York | Photographer: Clane Gessel Photography

by Pamela Rothbard, Editor

If you never got around to planning that group or office holiday party to thank your staff, clients or consumers — it’s not too late! January and February are becoming increasingly popular months to host post-holiday soirées. In fact, we heard from top event planners that there are actually advantages to being a procrastinator.

According to Kelly Ann Peck, experience designer at Washington D.C.’s Something Fabulous, “It gives everyone — clients and their guests —  something to look forward to in the New Year.” Sonal J. Shah, founder and creative force of New York’s Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants (SJS), says, “Hosting the holiday party in the start of New Year? All we can say is, It’s a WIN-WIN situation!” Read why — and start planning.

Basic Supply and Demand

Unlike a December event — for which Shah says planning should start almost a year in advance —  a perk to planning an event early in the New Year is the availability of venues and event professionals. “You don’t have to worry about your favorite venue, artist, photographer, or others being booked six to eight months in advance,” she adds.

Alison Ross, founder of Chicago’s Alison Ross Events, says, “Booking an amazing new venue or an-oldie-but-a-goodie during the high demand holiday season can be challenging and super stressful. There are many more options after the New Year.”

Add to that, the availability of other types of party-necessary inventory. According to Peck, “We have more décor, rentals, lighting, food and beverage opportunities. It’s easier to design for clients when the rush of the holiday season is over.”  


Get Penciled In

Ross asserts that she’s always felt that so many more people show up to post-New Year’s holiday parties, saying, “December gets jam-packed with family events, winter break, and vacations. By the end of January, people are ready to come out and celebrate, and social commitments tend to lighten up.”

Shah adds, “Even if the guests are able to attend a holiday season event, they might leave in minutes due to other personal commitments. With January as your event month, all your near and dear ones can make it to your grand celebration.”

Offering another advantage of waiting to celebrate, Jaime Geffen, owner of Geffen Events in Los Angeles, says, “Some of our clients opt for this idea so that their employees may spend holiday time with their families. They get everyone together once they have returned to the office.”

Room to Negotiate

Peck lauds the negotiation power that a January or February event offers, saying, “Often our clients secure better pricing and incentives on venues, décor, catering, and so on.” Ross also notes free add-ons like signature cocktails, additional appetizers, simple centerpieces, and custom linens, during this time of year.

Shah adds that budgets might be larger at the start of the year — more money to spend combined with more flexibility on prices make for a grand celebration with lots of additional options. “What more could you ask for?” she asks.

Stand Out from the Holiday Crowd

When it comes to recognition, Geffen urges us to look past the celebration. She says, “Many companies do New Year’s cards and gifts instead of holiday cards and gifts as another way to stand out.” The gesture is more memorable when not mixed in with a slew of others. Plus, Geffen adds that it’s an opportunity to “refocus on the New Year.” Rather than celebrating what’s passed, you can look forward to what’s ahead.

Less Stress

The holiday season brings many joys but also added stress. Peck points out that when you wait until the New Year for your holiday party, it can be more fun without all of those other competing things to do. “It’s less stressful for my clients who are planning for their employees. It’s fun to celebrate and ring in the New Year without everyone stressed over the holiday season, as well.”

Sky’s the Limit on Creativity

Themed parties are always fun, but by December’s end, Shah says, “People are already bored of seeing the same holiday-themed party all month long. January is your time to show off your creative side and set some upcoming event trends for everyone to follow all year long.” An event hosted in January or February offers the flexibility to explore nontraditional activities and décor.

Ready to Party (Again)

In conclusion, Shah says that a party in the quieter months offers a perfect break. “By the time it’s mid-January, people tend to have gotten enough rest from the party season. They’re all fresh, pumped, and ready to party again! People are going to love you for kicking their New Year off with so much enthusiasm.”

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