The Ultimate Guide To Organising Your Company Christmas Party
So you’ve been asked to organise the office Christmas Party. Whether this prospect is making you feel scared, miserable, excited or happy, our ultimate step-by-step guide will help you put on a fabulous Christmas party.
Find out as soon as you can what budget has been allocated for the Christmas party. Once you’ve got your budget, don’t be tempted to spend it all on one aspect of the party, instead, allocate some of the budget for all of the points below and don’t forget to put some of it aside for unforeseen costs and emergencies. When planning how to spend your budget, it’s crucial to keep in mind the people you’re throwing the party for. A Christmas party is the ultimate way for a company to show gratitude to their staff. Ask yourself what will make your group have an unforgettable time.
2) Decide on the Theme
Have a good search for a fitting theme for your group. You could go for something Christmassy, like Winter Wonderland or Ski Lodge. Or you might like to go for something classy, like the Roaring Twenties or a Masquerade Ball, or something a little cheeky, like Movie Night or Circus.
How far you want to take your theme is up to you (and your budget). Does your group want to go for the full experience, or do they just want to party in an interesting atmosphere? If you’re going for the full experience, think of physical focal points and the different stages of the party where the theme should crop up, as well as dress code, music and drinks.
3) Finding a Venue
Finding the right venue for your Christmas party is a crucial part of the process. It’s a good idea to start your research online, and perhaps whittle it down to three venues that tick most of the boxes. Your next step is to arrange site visits so you can have a good look around and get a feel for the venue. The site visit is also a great opportunity to ask the venue manager or event planner some more details, such as what is included in the price and what isn’t? Think of things like furniture, entertainment equipment, staff on the night and decorations. If you have the guts, this is the time to negotiate costs. Remember don’t ask, don’t get! Once you’ve decided on the venue, don’t forget to make a provisional booking.
4) Fix a date
It’s never too early in the year to do this, as it’s hard it is to pin people down, especially around Christmas time. So send out an email to everyone – making sure you mention whether or not partners are invited – with three date options to get an idea of the preferred date. This will also give you some idea on the number of guests. Once you have the result, confirm the booking with your chosen venue.
5) Invite your Guests
Start by sending a ‘save the date’ email to all your guests, and once you’ve got all the details send a formal invitation, making sure you reiterate whether or not partners are invited. Apart from the date, time, venue and theme, don’t forget to ask for any dietary requirements and to give a clear cut-off date by which you need to have your final numbers.
The food can really make or break a party, so this is one to get absolutely spot on. The first thing to decide on is whether you want a buffet with a standing reception or a formal seated dinner. Then it’s finding the right caterer for your party, which can be a bit of a minefield. If you’re not much of a foodie, don’t be afraid to ask around for recommendations. Your potential caterers will give you menu choices to choose from. Don’t forget to check if there are some decent options for vegetarians, vegans and those suffering from allergies.
An important decision to take here is whether to have an open bar and pay afterwards for what’s been consumed, or to pre-order drinks with the risk of running out at some point during the night. On the one hand you don’t want to have to deal with unruly staff, on the other you don’t want your company to be seen as a bit of a Scrooge. A way of getting around this dilemma is to narrow down the choice of drinks at an open bar, eliminating those expensive spirits. Another fair way of dealing with this is to organise a generous amount of drinks vouchers for each guest.
8) Music & Entertainment
It’s not a Christmas party without a bit of a boogie. So hire a DJ or a live band and make sure that their music choice is agreeable to most of your guests. Don’t forget to check with the venue that there is a dancefloor. Apart from music, it’s a good idea to provide your guests with some special entertainment to suit the venue and theme. Popular options include magicians, circus acts, casino tables, giant Jenga, comedians and fun photo booths.
9) Organise Transportation
Remember that the venue will not be on everyone’s doorstep. So it’s a good idea to arrange transport for guests to get home safely, such as coaches or mini buses. Always provide everyone with details of local transport, to ensure that no one gets stuck.
10) Feedback after the Christmas Party
Asking your guests for feedback after the Christmas Party might seem a daunting task, but it’s a worthwhile exercise. Putting a quick survey together shouldn’t take you too long, and the feedback will be a great insight into what people enjoyed and what they didn’t, so you can organise an even better party next year.
Has this article inspired you to start planning your company Christmas party? Our team at the Collection Events can help you find the perfect venue, and we can help you plan and manage the party too. From your initial concept, right through to the execution, our team will be on hand with personal and bespoke service. If you’d like to know more, please contact our team on 0207 7887010.