Summer is sadly over and as we break into our autumnal wardrobe that only means one thing: it’s time to start looking forward to Christmas!
There’s nothing better than throwing a great company Christmas party for all your friends and colleagues to enjoy. You may be starting out as an event planner, or you might just be the designated planner in your office – if you’re not sure where to start, here are the essential Christmas party planning tips for festive fun!
1. Decide on the party theme
Choosing the party theme is a great place to start and will help you work out the budget. Will you have a posh sit-down meal in a lovely restaurant or a fun buffet in the office? Will it be a formal do or will you all wear cheesy Christmas jumpers and Santa hats? Think back over the Christmas parties you’ve attended in the past, what you loved about them and how you could incorporate it into your own party. The festive season is all about being full of joy and excitement so don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops.
2. Create a budget
It’s time to sit down and make an event budget that includes everything you may need to throw the perfect party. Check in with your boss and see what kind of budget they have in mind. They will most likely give you a figure based on previous Christmas parties they have thrown, so take a look at your estimated budget against any previous parties and, if there is a disagreement, work together to come to a compromise. Having a well written, detailed list will help you explain why you need those extra few pounds.
3. Plan the guest list
How big will this party be?
Will you be inviting everyone in the company?
Should each department have their own party?
Are partners invited too?
These are just a few things you’ll need to decide to give you a rough idea of the size of the venue you’ll be looking for.
4. Set the date and create your event timeline
Company parties tend to be thrown slightly earlier in the month as everyone will have other festive plans with families and friends as the days roll ever closer to the big day. It’s a good idea to suggest a few dates to begin with and see what the general feedback is; you can then settle on a date that will have the best attendance for your event!
Once the date is set, you can then plan out the timeline which will help you to keep on track with booking certain services and generally take the stress out of planning an amazing event!
Knowing how far ahead to book the venue, catering services, staffing, entertainment and transport, along with allowing time to resolve any issues that may crop up means your party goes off without a glitch!
5. Choose a venue
Getting out of the office not only creates a better atmosphere for a party, but it also encourages your guests to relax and talk about things outside of work. With this in mind, you might want to consider hiring a venue for your Christmas party.
Once you’ve decided on the theme and have a rough idea of the number of guests you’ll be inviting, you can start looking for the perfect venue to hold your event.
When choosing a venue, start by researching online, make sure you check out any reviews left by other people that have booked it before, and always visit in person before committing. You don’t want any nasty surprises on the day from not checking it out thoroughly.
Here are 6 ways to spot a bad venue
so you know how to avoid them!
Keep in mind that good venues are in high demand during busy periods like Christmas, so you’ll need to get in there and book it a good few months in advance.
6. Hire the catering and entertainment
Once you’ve reserved your venue, it’s time to book the catering, staffing and entertainment before they get snapped up too!
Keep your party theme in mind when choosing your food, drink and entertainment - you probably wouldn’t want a formal dinner party being entertained by a local rock band!
Hiring professional entertainment is an excellent way to take your company Christmas party to the next level. It’s a good idea to check out the local musicians, singers, bands and comedians and hire your favourite for the event.
7. Send out the invites
Once you’ve settled on the date, time, venue and dress code you can design and send out invites to your guest list! Make sure to include an RSVP that requires them to inform you of any dietary or allergy requirements (so you can tell the caterers straight away) and give everyone plenty of time to get back to you (but with a realistic deadline).
Make a note of everyone who responds and send reminders to those who haven’t so they don’t miss out!
8. Promote your party!
You’ll want to tell everyone at work about your amazing event so make sure you promote it with posters and flyers around the office and in the breakroom. There’s no such thing as raising too much awareness, after all you want everyone to have a great time and for this party to be a huge success! It’s amazing how much the anticipation contributes to the buzz on the day!
9. Christmas party games
Everyone likes to unwind and have a little fun over the festive season, so why not plan some fun Christmas games and ask your boss and CEO if they would like to do any recognition or awards presenting on the day. It’s a great opportunity to boost team morale and thank everyone for their hard work over the year.
10. Have fun!
It’s party time! Make sure you relax, enjoy it and take in the atmosphere.
If you absolutely love getting your teeth into events like this and planning every little detail, you’d make an excellent events planner!
Interested in finding out more?
Learn how to become an events planner here