3 Apps to Help You Plan a Super-Fun Office Holiday Party
As we head into the New Year, you might consider saying "thanks" to your employees by hosting an office holiday party. And, understandably, you'd want this party to be super fun, not a super dud. But throwing an unforgettable workplace bash isn't always easy.
Luckily there are plenty of nifty party-planning apps that can help take the stress out of orchestrating a killer holiday soirée -- the kind that keeps your hard-working staff happy and you off the Naughty Boss List.
Here are three smart apps to keep up your Secret Santa sleeve to help you plan and host the spectacular yuletide shindig your team deserves:
1. Party Monster - Queueing DJ
One of the most notorious office party downers is playing lame, outdated music. Or worse, violating everyone's eardrums with elevator "Musak." Do your guests a solid and skip both with a little help from Party Monster.
The slick, easy-to-use app lets you play DJ, minus the clunky equipment and cheesy antics. Use it to select which tracks -- from your existing and hopefully exceedingly cool iTunes purchases -- to play when.
Steer clear of awkward playlist pauses and shuffle shame-inspiring songs with an array of customizable options. Then set it and forget it while you mingle. Bonus: The app refuses to play Nickelback.
Party Monster - Queueing DJ costs $1.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.
2. Pro Party Planner
This all-in-one taskmaster app helps you conveniently organize all aspects of your event from beginning to end, complete with reminders. Pro Party Planner covers everything on your party-planning list, including: invitations, menus, budgets, seating charts (but who needs those?), entertainment, decorations, favors, shopping, guest lists and more.
The augmented reality-enabled app's party timeline feature helps keep you on-track and on-task through every step. It even reminds you when it's time to pick up ice to stash those all-important beverages in.
You can also SMS message your guests with important information, like driving directions and last-minute changes. Bonus: Pro Party Planner plays nicely with Google Docs, Excel and Facebook.
Pro Party Planner costs $4.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.
3. Speakeasy Cocktails: Learn From the Modern Mixologists
Not serving a tipsy-good mix of cocktails at the office holiday party can be a real buzz kill. Mix, stir and swizzle up some classy cocktails using step-by-step video and infographic instructions from the Speakeasy Cocktails app.
Choose from more than 200 interactive drink concoctions, including 100 original cocktails from some of the world's top bartending pros. Tap on ingredients, tools and techniques throughout the graphics-loaded ebook-style app to soak up a massive collection of informative popup images, definitions and how-to instructions.
You'll be stirring up some liquid networking courage for your party guests in no time. Or, when all else fails, spike the nog. You can't go wrong.
Speakeasy Cocktails costs $4.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.