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The ultimate work event planning checklist

A step-by-step guide to not f this up

Even though we know you're perfect, planning a corporate event can be frickin' hard (insert 1,000 moving parts here). We curated this fancy event planning checklist here to make sure your next planning efforts go off without a hitch.

Step 1: Goaaaaal (setting)

Are you planning for your company's holiday party? Want to boost employee engagement? Maybe you just think throwing a taco making contest at your store or office sounds like a blast (for the record, it DOES sound like a blast). There are no wrong answers here, but it's important that you set your event goals and keep them in mind while you're planning.

Step 2: It’s all about the benjamins, baby

Everyone's favorite six letter word: B-U-D-G-E-T. No one likes to get to the end of the planning process only to realize that your CFO is going to literally come for you. So, how much are you looking to spend? How might you allocate that across everything (decor, drinks, food, venue, etc.) you need to buy to throw a bangin' event? Once you have the number, keep tabs on your budget like your mom kept tabs on after you got caught sneaking out that ONE time.

Shameless plug: did you know we can help keep you on budget with your booze? Our White Glove team will place large orders for you–at no additional charge. You can be as broad as beer and wine or as specific as bottled, domestic craft beer. They'll calculate quantities and sort through thousands of products on your behalf to make sure you get everything you need in the budget that you need it. Once our team puts together an estimate, you'll then be able to adjust and edit before the order is placed. From there, we'll work with one of our preferred local retailers to schedule your order. Boom. Budget+you=happy.

Step 3: Time for a theme

No, we don't mean 'Winter Wonderland' like your prom. Unless you have really fond memories of that night. Really though–everyone loves a good theme, and it helps narrow your focus in the planning process. Is this for the holidays? Are your coworkers unhealthily obsessed with cornhole? Did last year's chili cook-off blow everyone's socks off? Whatever the vibe, own it.

Step 4: When and where?

When's the event? Is it in the office or are you renting a spot? Make sure that you get the appropriate permits and licensing. It's important to plan pretty far in advance dependent on the venue (if you're not hosting in the office) and to allow your employees enough time to mark their calendars. They busy, you busy.

Step 5: Making *the* list

Time to craft your guest list. Is this an employee only event? Are spouses and families invited as well? This can definitely depend on your venue and budget restraints, but be sure to identify who is invited early and send out your invitations with the proper information. You don't want Susy bringing her friend Jane again when she's definitely not invited.

Step 6: Plan out the extras

Does your theme call for decor? Make sure to get that confetti ordered so it makes it there in time. Need any additional help like a photographer or videographer? They can also book out pretty far in advance, so source someone early. Do you want your attendees to share photos of the event? Should your event have a hashtag, an internal Slack channel? Get it all set up and ready to go.

Step 7: Imma buy you a drank

Any good event needs food. And we like to think drinks make a nice addition to the mix. Based on that original budget, your theme and the size of your guest list, decide how much and from where you want to order in advance. It's important to get a proper head count prior to ordering food & beverages for your event - the last thing you need is a giant tub of unconsumed sour cream sitting in your office fridge for a week (trust us, it can happen). Check for allergies and dietary restrictions. Extra points for cheese platters.

For drinks from Drizly, you can schedule your order up to two weeks in advance to set it and forget it. Our White Glove team can also help with nitty gritty details. From dealing with freight elevators to Certificates of Insurance, we can have it taken care of so you can focus on all the other happenings.

Step 8: It’s go time.

So, picture this: you've finalized the details. The venue is booked, your guests have RSVP'ed and your theme is on point. You're basically on your way to creating the best event your company has ever seen. Success is so close, you can almost hear the sweet sound of applause coming from your surrounding cubes. Hold tight cowboy/girl. Here's your day of event checklist:

  • Send a last reminder email to your attendees to get them amped
  • Check in with the caterer – are they ready to go?
  • Get your decor set up in the space
  • If you ordered through Drizly's White Glove service, they'll check in with you. If you haven't ordered drinks yet, fear not – we can get 'em delivered to you in under 60 minutes. Put out any last minute fires. 😬

  • Step 9: Bringing it across the home stretch

    Your cubicle Olympics went down in history. Your holiday party was full of both holly AND jolly. What do you do now? Send an email to your coworkers thanking them for their attendance, sending links to the photos taken during the party and asking for advice on how to make the next one even better. Keep 'em talking about how epic of a time it was. Even if Jerry is still upset he lost limbo. Classic Jerry.

    As you can see, we're really passionate about helping you plan a 🔥 event for your employees or customers. If you want to ease some of the stresses around planning your next corporate event, let us know your event goals and we'll help do the rest on the alcohol front.

    Have other questions? Reach out to our Driz for Biz team (they're real humans!) any time via email at [email protected]. If you are ready to take the jump and add Drizly to the party planning committee for your next event, simply start shopping now or submit an order and we'll start working on an estimate right away.