Top tips on throwing the ultimate work Christmas party
The annual work Christmas party is a great opportunity for everyone to bond, celebrate the victories of the year and receive thanks for their hard work. Here are our top tips to make planning this as easy as possible.
The sooner you start planning, the easier it will be. You may also be able to get yourself a good date (such as a Friday) or a great deal on the date of your choice. You will run the risk of missing out if you don’t get organised quickly. Don’t forget to check for any major corporate events and people’s preference for the day of the week.
Find out what people liked about last year
If you had a party last year, you should ask people what they liked, what they would change and what they didn’t like. That way you’ll have a good idea of what the majority would enjoy this year.
Stay in budget to stay happy
You will need to decide your budget early on and it’s important that you stick to it. You can always shift money to other areas of the party later if you have spare budget but leave a contingency that is only for emergencies. One way to keep the costs down is going for an all-inclusive party venue and another is to consider November and January holiday parties, as the costs will be lower. You should also include as part of budgeting a list of who will be invited – is the party just for one department or is it for the whole company and their families?
If there’s one thing that everyone will remember, it’s the food. If you’re having a themed event, the food choices will probably be easier and you can even rename dishes to give them a fun, festive name. Remember to be aware of any intolerances so that everyone can have a good time. Buffets and sit-down dinners can both be enjoyable for guests so go with what will flow better for your event, whether you want people to mingle and have more choice or if you want structure for your event.
Christmas decorations and theme
A theme isn’t mandatory and you may be lucky in that your venue will already be decorated. If not, don’t forget to put decorations into your budget and decide on a theme that your co-workers will enjoy. You could go black tie, ugly Christmas jumper, Christmas characters or try something like the roaring 20s, The Great Gatsby or a masquerade ball.
Great party games and entertainment
Entertainment is a pretty broad term but this could be a DJ or band to get the party going on the dancefloor or you may prefer to try a close-up magician at the tables before unleashing the party guests on a casino setup. Games can be great icebreakers and entertainment, and there are many styles of game that you can use, from charades to secret Santa and quizzes to team challenges.
This includes both the party organiser and the staff at your venue of choice. The more organised you are the smoother your event will run. Plan out an itinerary and make it available to the venue as soon as possible so that they can check how plausible it all is. You can use spreadsheets to keep lists of attendees and meal preferences together, as well as to track the budget.
Perfect Christmas party venue
If you’re going for a glamorous party, or you’re having a large event, you don’t want to be cramped into a small, dark basement. Pick a venue with great transport links, knowledgeable staff and a flexible space that is perfect for a festive backdrop. If they have room to stay the night, this can also be a bonus!