If you are the one with the job of planning your Christmas party, then we emphathise with you and the stress it can often cause.
Here are our top ten steps for planning a festive get together.
1 – Venue and Date
This can be a difficult one if you have remote workers or those who travel to your business address. Choosing a venue that is accessible to all, has adequate parking or a venue that can offer a packaged festive party plan with a cost per head, is usually the safest bet.
As for the date, get in early. Offer a couple of dates and then go with the majority – there will always be someone that can’t make that date, so don’t feel embarrassed that a team member will be missing.
And of course, be prepared for some sore heads the next morning, which in turn can affect office productivity.
2 – Budget
Get this one clear from the off. If you are solely in charge, have a quiet chat with the boss about the reality of how much things would cost for the size of the team you plan to be entertain.
Ideally settle this in September to allow adequate planning for the scope of event you and the business can afford.
3 – Guest List
Be clear about this too as it is important to establish whether partners and / or families can attend. If you have a good year financially why not throw an all inclusive event so that your team feel valued for their achievements?
Communicate this early to ensure there are no assumptions from the employee or employer.
4 – Theming
Themes are always popular and getting the team to dress up add more fun to a corporate party. This can be anything from a Winter Wonderland, a traditional Christmas theme or a Santa’s Grotto or workshop.
Props are easy to source and can be anything from a Rodeo Reindeer, Christmas Bingo, festive back drops, Santa and Elf hats for the party goers or even a fun fair if you can afford it.
You may even decide to run a competition for the best Christmas jumper worn on the night or run a festive pub quiz to keep your the party-goers engaged.
5 – Entertainment
Add something to keep everyone entertained. Add some variety and novelty like a jukebox, magicians, casino table or festive photo board cutouts or a photo booth for fun memories.
Choose reputable suppliers in advance to ensure you get what you are expecting. There is nothing worse than your main act not appearing, which leaves an uncomfortable gap in the evening’s festive party and unhappy party revellers.
6 – Table Plan
Choose wisely if not you might have something more explosive than your table crackers! With larger tables, it would be a good idea to get all parties to move along a seat after each course to ensure the conversation continues to flow with the mulled wine.
7 – Event Management
Hire an event planner to do this for you.
If the budget won’t allow a planner, delegate this task to a couple of trusted team members to control the evening’s events who can still enjoy the fun. After all someone has to control the tone of the event and ensure that everything goes with the flow, if not all that effort soon loses its sparkle.
8 – Eat, Drink and be merry!
Be sure to make sure everyone is replenished. We have all been to those parties and get togethers where the hosts have fallen short on supplies – both food and drink.
Things to consider are those who may be driving, those with food allergies or intolerances and those that might have to leave early for babysitters.
Ensure the menu offers simplified foods and is in plentiful supply. Christmas is the season for indulgence so make sure that this the case. And don’t feel turkey has to be on the menu!
9 – Speeches and Awards
A perfect time to award staff members something for their achievements and for the Director to stand up and deliver a short ‘thank you’ speech. This is a great post dinner activity and an opportunity to thank those that have excelled this year.
10 – Transport home
An important way to end the festive party (or start it!) Organising transport to ensure everyone gets home safely is a must. Why not hire a bus or coach to pick the team up from the venue and drop them back at the office?
This adds a nice touch to what will hopefully be a fantastic evening!
Happy Festive Party Planning!