Holiday Parties 101

Brianna's Toy Soldier Army for The Elf Party

It’s the first week of December, and for me, that means I get to play Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat. It also means my calendar is stock full of holiday parties. If you’re planning to host a holiday party this year, here are some ideas to make it a huge success!

 

8. Themes and activities are fun to plan around. Like SF Weekly’s Home for the Holidays, where they’ll feature board games and crafts and encourage guests to take awkward family photos. At the Small Dog Holiday Extravaganza, guests will treat their littlest furry friends to a night out at the Wag Hotel and take photos with Santa Claus. And tickets to the Friends of Larkin Street Holiday Skating Party include rentals and admission to the rink in addition to a festive hat contest.

Santa Con 2010

7. People heart costumes. Whether it’s ugly sweater, footie pajama or cocktail attire, people like planning what to wear. Some cities have events like Santa Con, a day where thousands of holiday revelers roam the streets (and bars) dressed as Mr. Claus. SF also loves dressing up for The Elf Party because costumes are mandatory. Males dress as elves while females dress as anything but: reindeer, snowmen, gingerbread… or my holiday staple: toy soldier. I think I’ve gotten a lifetime’s use out of that costume at various holiday events (see photos). Eventbrite makes it easy to remind attendees of details leading up to the big day (most importantly what to wear).

6. Get a local charity involved. Everyone gets warm, fuzzy feelings about giving back, and there are many ways to loop a great cause into your event. You can raise funds with the proceeds from ticket sales, or even host a free event where you collect items for donation, like Toys for Tots.

Wearing holiday costumes might result in meeting celebrities- like Ryan Kwanten.

5. Get out and volunteer. Like the 450 people who are celebrating their 25th year of Cable Car Caroling at senior homes and residences. Or the group volunteering to dress up and hand out candy to children at Union Square for the Fantasy of Lights Holiday Celebration.

4. You can use Eventbrite for free events. Many people think Eventbrite is solely for events involving paid tickets and collecting money– not so. Whether it’s a cookie exchange or a potluck, go ahead and take advantage of our service- it won’t cost you a dime! Collecting RSVPs via an email address or phone number is a pain- and a huge time suck! We don’t live in the stone age, people. Use technology and make things easy on whoever is in charge of managing your guest list.

3. Oh you fancy, huh? On Eventbrite, you can create a beautiful, customized page (like this one), so take advantage of it! Eventbrite pages can be as branded or as simple as you want. You can also invite guests with some fabulous invitations via Paperless Post. All my girlfriends LOVE this part!

2. Spread the holiday cheer by sharing your event. If you want to invite the masses, Eventbrite makes it easy. Every single time a guest signs up for a public event, they’re prompted to share it on their Facebook wall. That way all their friends will know where to sign up as well (everyone knows the BEST holiday parties are spread via word of mouth). On Eventbrite you can also create a vanity URL, which makes sharing your event super easy. It’s far easier to tell people to RSVP at “[name-of-your-party].eventbrite.com” than having a long, ugly link you have to copy/paste.

1. Sometimes you want to keep it private. We made a video on how sometimes you don’t want just anyone coming to your event. On Eventbrite you can choose to make your event invite-only, so guests can only RSVP via an invited email address.

Someone bought too many fancy dresses over Black Friday. Want to take Brianna as your plus one for your corporate holiday party (*cough* Facebook/Google *cough*)? Let her know by tweeting to @BriteSF or giving her a shout on Facebook!

And if you’re thinking of trying out Eventbrite to organize for the first time this season, click here to get 20 bucks towards your shin-dig.