How to Plan a Holiday Party During COVID-19
Updated: Mar 2
2020, the year that will live in infamy for eternity, the year that COVID-19 came to town. Like everything else in 2020 has so far, holiday parties are going to look very different this year as well. But, just because we might not be able to have big holiday parties in person, that doesn’t mean we still all can’t celebrate together. In fact, this year it's more important than ever to celebrate, as many people are having low morale, and are feeling disconnected from their friends & family.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of actual event planning, please do your research on the guidelines issued by your state, county, or city surrounding in-person gatherings. Paying special attention to the maximum headcount permitted, mask wearing requirements, locale restrictions, ie: exclusively outdoors, limited indoors, etc.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas on how to plan a holiday party during COVID-19:
Keep it intimate!
Smaller parties allow for better social connection. Most people are still very skittish about being around large groups of people, even if they claim that they've "been safe". Select a small handful of people from your immediate close social bubble for a spot on your guest list. Ideally, no more than 10-12 people is where most participants reach their comfort level maximum for headcount. The smaller the headcount, allows for everyone to be able to converse with one another at a normal volume, and to actually be able to hear each other, and be heard when speaking.
Wide open spaces with plenty of fresh air
Keep it outdoors with open air, even during the winter! Even as the weather turns cold or wet, you can still utilize the outdoors to add an extra layer of comfort for your guests. Keep things warm and cozy by utilizing patio heaters, fire pits, or big fluffy blankets. If you don't happen to have an outdoor gazebo or large covered patio, contact your local party rentals agency about renting an event tent to keep you warm & dry during your party.
Create positive memories, get festive with your decor!
Kick the decor up a notch or two! Since you aren't spending a ton of money on huge amounts of food and booze for a large party, you can splurge a little bit on decor. For example, utilize festive colored napkins, varied colors & sizes of candles, custom lighting, etc. Remember that not everyone who may be attending celebrates the same holidays. Think non-holiday specific color themes such as fall harvest colors, or winter wonderland with lots of snowflakes white and silver glitter. To help make people feel more comfortably socially distanced, utilize individual tables for guests that seat 2-4 people. Reach out to a local calligraphy artist about creating custom name tag place cards for the tables.
Easy food & drink strategy
Signature food & wine pairing experiences. With most local jurisdictions preventing things like open bars, passed appetizers, buffet or family style service, turn to seated "signature experiences" such as a food & wine pairing menu, or signature cocktail & appetizer pairing experiences menus. These types of "special occasion" style concepts create positive memories, along with allowing people to stay safe and remain socially distanced while still remaining interactive, tasty, and fun.
A gift basket for each table
Give the gift of comfort. Let's face it, 2020 has been a hell of a year for everyone. Give the gift of comfort with a simple gift basket placed on each table containing a small host/hostess gift for each guest. Include something fun and memorable such as a 2020 themed gag gift such as a dumpster fire candle, or a 2020 bad rating t-shirt. Always include items that your guests can use right away upon arrival, such as hand sanitizer, and festive holiday themed face covering.
Leave it to the professionals!
Be a guest at your own party! Let AWG Private Chefs handle all of the details for you. Our COVID-19 safety trained event planners, chefs, and service staff can handle every last detail from food & beverages, local ordinance research & compliance, specialized decor, party rentals, event tents & heating, and even host/hostess gifts for you. The best part of it all, we handle all the service and even do the cleanup, allowing you to experience our signature stress-free "Easy, Effortless, Entertaining" services allowing you to be a guest at your own event and spend quality time with your family and friends.
To inquire about booking your small holiday party, or any gathering or special event, contact the AWG Private Chefs client concierge team at 1-877-753-2727 or visit our website