2018 Holiday Party Trends You Can’t Miss

Happy almost holidays! Yes, it’s true. One minute it’s rooftop season and you’re sipping a mojito enjoying a light breeze, and the next minute it’s November and you’re calling every venue under the non-existent sun trying to secure a private room last minute. Waiting until winter to book won’t allow you to host the holiday party of your professional dreams or impress your guests. But never fear, it’s not too late and if you want to host an end-of-year event that capitalizes on the latest holiday party trends, you can still book now. Act fast though—in 2016 and 2017 more than 40% of Kapow holiday bookings took place on Thursday or Friday during the second and third weeks of December, meaning these extra popular days fill up by the end of Q3. 

Now that you’re ready to get down to planning business, it’s time to get the lowdown on 2018 holiday party trends. Check out our 2018 holiday party trend suggestions and learn how these trends will help you boost attendance, score last-minute deals and close out 2018 with a bang. 

Take the perfect photo

No matter who your target attendees are, people love a good glamour moment in front of the camera. However, long gone are the days of simply hiring a photographer or passing around disposable cameras. Step it up with an interactive display equipped with themed props or a digital component that gets attendees excited to re-post and share with other industry professionals. If done correctly, colleagues and clients should run to their social media accounts to share their memories made at your holiday event, which in turn gets you some social media exposure. Kapow has several fun and engaging vendors across the U.S. that specialize in capturing the moments that score “likes” at your event and on the internet for weeks to come. 

New York City – NFL Experience

National Experience – TapSnap

National Experience – Fotio

Bring in the entertainment 

It may sound old school, but outsourced entertainment is a guaranteed way to keep your audience mentally and conversationally engaged. An upscale food and cocktail menu will only get you so far if your holiday party is over the standard 2-hours—which is a yearly holiday party trend. From mentalists and magicians to musicians and game show hosts, having a charismatic entertainer at your holiday soiree is a 2018 holiday party trend that has lasted the test of time and will continue to score you points with invitees. 

Chicago – Like A Mind Reader 

Washington, D.C. – Catch Me – The Magic Duel

Boston – The Big Quiz Thing

Denver – Walker Fine Art

Start with an activity

Nobody said you had to start and stay at the same venue location. As mentioned earlier, holiday parties tend to be longer in length, so starting your event with an activity in the office or at a venue close by is the perfect way to build energy for a long evening and get different internal groups interacting. Keep in mind, holiday parties often lean towards a fancier dress code, so you may want to swap out any pre-party rigorous activities with ones that can be enjoyed without breaking (too much of) a sweat.

Dallas – Bad Axe Throwing 

Atlanta – Big Escape Rooms

Las Vegas – Wreck Room

Portland – Escape Room Races

Incorporate a meaningful gift

Knick-knacks are fun to receive throughout the year, but when it comes to end-of-year holiday parties it’s best to give a gift that won’t end up in the trash the next day. Invitees are more inclined to RSVP yes when they see there is a one-of-a-kind take-home gift that they wouldn’t typically purchase for themselves. So, this year swap out the mints and koozies for custom watches, backpacks or growlers that are sure to land you some extra face time and shout-outs from attendees for month to come. 

Columbus – Camelot Cellars Winery and Bistro

Houston – Yellow Rose Distilling

National Experience – Shinola

National Experience – Timbuk2

Ready to start planning your 2018 holiday party? Visit the Kapow platform to browse prepackaged ideas, or reach out to our expert event planners for additional 2018 holiday party trend ideas. With thousands of established relationships with suppliers across the country, Kapow is able to help you plan an end-of-year event no matter your location, need or budget.


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