With less than two weeks remaining in 2015, many employers are looking to host an end-of-the-year party for their workforce. Doing so is a great way to tell employees “thanks for the hard work,” while ringing in the New Year in a fun, festive manner. But it takes more than just a couple of balloons and a 2-litre bottle of a soda to create a memorable end-of-the-year party.

Where Should I Host an End-of-the-Year Party?

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is where to host your company’s end-of-the-year party. A good rule of thumb is to choose a venue that’s within a reasonable driving distance from the office. This ensures that anyone who wants to attend can attend. Some venues to consider include a nearby hotel, banquet hall, restaurant, bowling alley, or even a club. However, you’ll want to contact the venue in advance to ensure they aren’t fully booked.

Choosing a Date

New Year’s Eve isn’t necessarily the best date for a corporate end-of-the-year party. Many employees may already have plans with friends and family, which is why it’s recommended that you choose a different date. Take into consideration all holidays, religious dates, and other events when selecting a date for your company’s party.

End-of-the-Year Party Decorations

No party is complete without plenty of festive decorations. The right decorations will create a fun, laid back atmosphere that employees are sure to appreciate. Rather than just using your typical “party” decorations, however, it’s recommended that you use New Year’s decorations and accessories to create create a genuine experience.

Here are some decoration ideas for an end-of-the-year corporate party:

  • “Happy New Year” hats
  • “2016” glasses
  • Monogram lighting
  • Streamers
  • Banners
  • Balloons
  • Noisemakers
  • “Happy New Year” plates, cups, and cutlery

Live Entertainment

If you really want to go the extra mile with your company’s end-of-the-year party, consider hiring a live band or solo musician to perform. Many corporate executives take the easy route by setting up a stereo system to play recorded MP3 tracks. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it doesn’t have the same positive, lasting impression as a live performance.

Of course, a professional DJ is sure to get the party started as well. Guests can approach to the DJ to make special requests, promoting a more interactive environment. And if you can’t seem to choose between a DJ or live musician, why not hire them both? Being that it’s an end-of-the-year party, you may as well go out with a bang. You could hire a popular solo musician like Rico Delargo or Joe Cardillo to play alongside the DJ, creating a true party-filled atmosphere.

Another way to liven the atmosphere of your company’s party is to hire a magician like Ben Silver to perform. With a combination of mind-bending illusion acts and dry humor, he’s guaranteed to get guests talking!

Employee Recognition

End-of-the-year parties offer the perfect opportunity for employers to recognize employees for their hard work and dedication. Rewarding employees with a personalized plaque, trophy, or just an honorable mention will give them a newfound drive and determination to excel in their respective positions. And according to a Bersin by Deloitte The State of Employee Recognition study, companies that utilize recognition programs such as this experience a 31% lower employee turnover rate when compared to companies without recognition programs. That alone should be reason enough to recognize your employees.