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Planning the Perfect Corporate Holiday Party in Minnesota: A Guide for Executive Assistants

, | November 8, 2023

As the year ends, it’s time to start thinking about planning the perfect corporate holiday party in Minnesota. If you’re an Executive Assistant tasked with coordinating this important event, you’re in the right place. Minnesota offers a wide range of exciting activities and venues to make your corporate holiday party a memorable one. In this guide, we’ll explore some fantastic options to consider, and the importance of guest safety and the convenience of hiring executive transportation. We’ll also cover how to gauge your group’s interests, budget effectively, and create a planning timeline. So, let’s get started!

1. Gauging Your Group’s Interests

Before you dive into planning, it’s essential to understand your colleagues’ preferences and interests. Here are some ways to gauge what your group might enjoy:

  • Surveys: Create a simple survey or questionnaire to gather information on what activities and experiences your colleagues prefer. Ask about their preferences for wine tours, theater shows, or alternative activities.
  • Focus Groups: Organize small focus group discussions to get a deeper understanding of your colleagues’ interests. Encourage open and honest conversations to uncover hidden preferences.
  • Previous Events: Review previous corporate events’ success and note the most well-received activities.
  • Individual Feedback: Speak with key colleagues or department heads to gather individual feedback on what their teams might enjoy.

Our Top Activity Picks This Year

Once you have an idea of the type of activity you’ll plan, it’s time to narrow down the options and choose. There are some amazing activities to consider in Minnesota, and we’ve been busy putting together our consideration list. If you’re looking for ideas, you may want to consider some of these:

  • An Executive Transportation Wine Tour: Minnesota wineries offer a delightful setting for wine lovers. Head out on our Schram Vineyard Tour for stops at their Minneapolis winery, AxeBridge Wine. Co, their Waconia Schram Vineyards, and their Chaska Schram Haus. Guests will enjoy tastings, learn about the winemaking process, and savor the scenic drive. Our chauffeured tours ensure your entire team has safe transportation, and can continue the celebrations between stops.
  • Head out on our custom City Tours: Take your colleagues on an adventure through the Twin Cities with a focus on the details that are interesting to your group. Explore historic landmarks, cultural hotspots, and hidden gems throughout Minneapolis and St Paul. Executive Transportation works with the best tour guide in town to put together a custom tour in the most comfortable vehicles for these excursions.
  • Take the team to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater: For a more elegant evening, consider booking group packages to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner and world-class theatrical performances, creating a truly unforgettable experience. Even better, when you opt for group transportation and book your package through Executive Transportation, you’ll receive special rates on your tickets and your transportation for this fantastic event!

Additional Corporate Party Options

Sometimes a tour or a show just won’t do. If tours and theater shows aren’t your group’s style, there are a plethora of alternative activities to consider for your corporate holiday party. Here are some more of the fun options we have on our consideration list:

  • Cooking Classes: Host a culinary experience where guests can learn to cook a delicious meal or bake holiday treats together.
  • Escape Rooms: Challenge your colleagues’ problem-solving skills with an escape room adventure.
  • Museum Tours and Galas: Explore Minnesota’s rich culture and history by organizing museum tours or glamorous galas.
  • Mixology Classes: Learn the art of crafting cocktails with mixology classes at a local bar or restaurant.
  • Climbing Outings: Head to an indoor climbing experience with Vertical Endeavors or REI
  • Snow Tubing: While not everyone can ski or snowboard, we all can slide down a hill! Embrace the winter wonderland by organizing a fun-filled snow tubing adventure.
  • Pinstripes: Enjoy a night of friendly competition with bowling or bocce ball at Pinstripes, an upscale entertainment venue.
  • Scavenger Hunts: Book an online option or build your own and challenge your colleague’s teamwork and problem-solving skills with a themed scavenger hunt.
  • Axe Throwing: Unleash some stress and have a blast by organizing an axe-throwing competition.
  • Wabasha Street Caves: Explore the fascinating history and underground world of the Wabasha Street Caves followed by a catered dinner and dance in the cave’s speakeasy setting.
  • Downtown Skyway Race: Create a unique and exciting team-building experience with a Skyway race in the heart of the city.
  • Spa Visits: Offer colleagues a chance to relax and rejuvenate with spa visits at top-notch wellness centers. While this might be difficult for a large team, it might be a fantastic option for a smaller group.
  • Pickleball at LifeTime Fitness: Get in on the craze and arrange a friendly pickleball tournament at the LifeTime Fitness Center in Edina for a fun and active experience.

2. Budgeting

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of planning a corporate holiday party. Here’s how to create a realistic budget:

  • Define Your Budget: Determine the overall budget for the event. Consider all expenses, including venue rental, catering, entertainment, transportation, and any additional costs.
  • Prioritize Expenses: Allocate your budget based on priorities. For example, if your group is passionate about wine, you may want to allocate more funds to wine tours or a premium wine selection.
  • Seek Sponsorships: Explore opportunities for sponsorships or partnerships with local businesses to help offset costs or provide added value.
  • Keep a Contingency Fund: Include a contingency fund in your budget for unexpected expenses or last-minute adjustments.

3. Planning Timeline

A well-structured timeline is essential for keeping the planning process on track. Ideally, you’ll have some of these steps already completed, but for those of you just starting your year-end party planning, don’t fret. You can always compress this timeline and get a lot done in a much shorter amount of time! Here’s a sample timeline to help you organize your efforts:

6-9 Months Before the Event:

    • Define the event date and location.
    • Establish the initial budget.
    • Begin gauging your group’s interests through surveys or focus groups.

4-6 Months Before the Event:

    • Secure the venue and transportation services.
    • Begin planning activities, such as wine tours, theater packages, or alternative options.
    • Start discussions with potential sponsors or partners.

2-4 Months Before the Event:

    • Finalize activity selections based on the group’s preferences.
    • Develop and send out invitations to colleagues.
    • Confirm catering and entertainment arrangements.
    • Continue sponsorship and budget management.

1 Month Before the Event:

    • Collect RSVPs and finalize guest count.
    • Confirm transportation arrangements, including safety measures.
    • Create a detailed schedule for the event.
    • Consider any last-minute adjustments based on guest feedback.

1 Week Before the Event:

    • Reconfirm all arrangements with vendors and partners.
    • Ensure guest safety measures, including designated drivers or transportation services, are in place.
    • Conduct a final walkthrough of the venue.

The Day of the Event:

  • Coordinate event logistics, ensuring all activities run smoothly.
  • Monitor guest safety and transportation services.
  • Have a plan in place for addressing any unexpected issues.

Minnesota offers a wealth of options to plan the perfect corporate holiday party. Whether you choose wine tours, theater packages, or one of the alternative activities, always prioritize guest safety by considering professional transportation services. By combining memorable experiences with safety measures, you’ll create a corporate holiday party that your colleagues will cherish for years to come. With careful budgeting and a well-structured planning timeline, you’ll be well-prepared to ensure a successful and unforgettable event. Contact us for assistance in your planning, and for transportation quotes. Happy planning!