5 Hot Trends for Holiday Party Planning


I haven’t even finished my Halloween goodies, purchased my Thanksgiving turkey, and been nipped by Jack Frost. Yet retailers are already planning their holiday displays — and we meeting planners, our holiday parties. With that in mind, I wanted to share some trends I am seeing as my own holiday planning picks up speed.

1. Holiday Party Menu: Mini Desserts – Move over cupcakes, mini-desserts are on the rise…and they are oh, so chic! Many sweet treats evoke that homey and familiar feeling, so order a variety to please all. They are a unique way for guests to stay moderate (or not), while enjoying a largely utensil-free opportunity.

2. Holiday Party Décor: Bringing the Outdoors In –The secret to successful holiday party decor is changing people’s experiences through surprise and reinvention. Hanging evergreens from the ceiling is a great start. Continue the theme with such elements such as faux fur, raw birch and organic teak stumps. Ice-inspired furniture, such as ghost chairs and Lucite shadowbox bars, along with a roaring fireplace (or pit), will make your guests feel as though they have entered a cozy lodge in an enchanted winter’s forest.511lights2

3. Holiday Party Lighting: Mood Enhancers – Enhanced lighting can set the entire mood. Use dramatic lighting and play down the centerpieces. Lighting allows you to change the mood from dinner to dancing, and even highlight any corporate sponsors you need to thank. Lighting fixtures sometimes <i>become</i> the décor. Lighting bars and furniture creates a lounge-like cocktail party atmosphere and send a message that “we’re here for fun!”

4. Holiday Party Playlist: Pop Meets Jazz –Imagine your favorite songs of the ‘80s brilliantly turned into sultry Jazz by artists like Karen Souza or 48th Street. The collection makes an ideal holiday party soundtrack, according to my go-to DJ. Take it one step further by arranging for your own flash mob. Talent can pose as wait staff, even serving water, before they unexpectedly break into dance. The guests will be more than surprised.a6a80be2fa8a26bcadd0c523563b1610

5. Holiday Party Activity: Ice Skating – Here in the northeast, company skate outings to Central Park is the thing for holiday parties. But if you don’t have the time or budget to do something on that scale, look for a venue that can accommodate an indoor rink. Replace dancing with skating for an instant mixer of fun and team bonding! However, if ice skating isn’t your group’s cup of tea, rent ping-pong tables instead. More inclusive than billiards (and ice skating), ping-pong tables provide opportunity for cheering, team bonding, and plenty of laughs.


What holiday trend tips’ will are you using this year? We would love to hear!

Happy Planning!

Danielle Childress

Danielle Childress

Danielle Childress (Dani) has planned everything from board meetings for 6 to product launches for 500 to the NFL Experience at the Super Bowl for 100,000.

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