How to throw your staff the best work Christmas party!
Work Christmas party planning? Summer is just around the corner, where we welcome the lighter mornings, warmer weather, alfresco dining and of course the work Christmas party planning starts.
You read that right, now is the best time to start the organisation for the annual festive do. You might be a serial event planner, or maybe this is your first time organising the Christmas bash, but either way there is pressure to put on an event to remember.
We’ve put together a list of the top things you need to start thinking about in order to make your event fun and keep people talking about it long into January.
Your event venue
First things first, you need to secure your venue. Consider how many people your party is for. Are you catering for a small group of senior management, or will the party be an all staff affair that may need an exclusive hire of a corporate event venue? Try to get an idea of numbers – you could do this by running a poll in the internal newsletter or by looking at figures from past events.
Don’t forget to think about the location, if your venue isn’t in a central area it would be advisable to pre-book transport home, whether that is taxis or a coach back to the nearest town/city.
Food and drink
Food and drink choices can make or break an event, so it’s important to get these right to make your event memorable for the right reasons.
Ensure nobody goes hungry by thinking about the timings of your party. Are there going to be activities? How long is your event going to be? This will determine if you want to offer an arrival drink and canapés to keep your guests satisfied until the main meal. Depending on numbers, a sit-down meal may take time, and a buffet would be better suited. Street food vendor’s are now a very popular option at corporate events and give you the freedom to choose several cuisines such as pizza, paella or tacos. Budget permitting, complimentary drinks tokens always go down well, and your guests can enjoy these at their leisure throughout the evening.
Activities can divide opinion at Christmas parties, so use your best judgment and get some opinions before you decide. Think of activities that will bring the whole team together, such as cookery lessons or wine tasting. If you decide to organise entertainment, think about the logistics and where this fits into the evening. Planning a big murder mystery to start just as your dessert arrives could result in a loss of interest. Ensure your activities aren’t weather dependent, such as ice skating or Christmas markets, and if they are, have a back-up plan in place!
Christmas is about giving, so have a think about if you are going to factor in exchanging gifts when planning your event. A small group might enjoy an organised Secret Santa, whereas a bigger group may be better with a company raffle with a smaller selection of high value prizes. Nominate a host, dress them up in tinsel and baubles and make this part of the evening high-energy with quiz questions and jokes.
Most of all, like any event – enjoy the organisation process! Don’t forget that a well thought out simple event can often be more effective than one with too much crammed in. Ensure all of the little details are covered to make your guests feel special and have contingency plans if anything changes. The Christmas party is a chance for your colleagues to let their hair down after working hard all year – make sure you get the chance to do the same!
What’s the best works Christmas party you’ve ever been to? Let us know in the comments.