We know it might seem unusually early, but you'll thank us later for the head start in organising your corporate Christmas party. Being ahead of the game in event planning to get exactly what you want is key, especially with so many people booking events on similar dates. Early planning ensures you're the one catching the tinsel, not chasing it! In this article, we offer valuable event planning insights to ensure your party lights up like a Christmas pudding and runs as smoothly as a festive glass of sherry.
1. Christmas comes early
Get cracking those crackers by sending around some provisional dates among key decision-makers within the company. Agree on the day the event will fall on; will a weeknight or weekend be best and remember the majority rules! Following this, next is the guest list- will your Christmas party be staff members-only, or will partners or clients be invited, too? Determine the budget, is this event to show off or is the office outing best kept within closed quarters? Maybe figure out if your boss is likely to break out the David Brent dance moves - that should be a good indicator of which way to take proceedings!
2. Santa's little helpers
Considering setting up a Christmas party committee may be a wise idea! Distribute the responsibilities among committee members to collectively tackle the tasks at hand and exchange creative ideas! Pull in members of different departments so everybody feels as if they're represented and all ideas have been considered. And lastly, don't be afraid to delegate, just like Santa would with his workshop elves!
3. Christmas budget list
Ensure you establish an early budget for your event, as this will dictate exactly the direction in which you can take things. Ask your boss to set a maximum spend per person and ensure mutual agreement on the expenses deemed appropriate for a Christmas party, including aspects such as food, drinks, entertainment, and transport.
4. Last Christmas
Take note of what has and hasn't worked at your company's parties of Christmas past! If you weren't there to enjoy them, find out from someone who was. The good bits will stand out, but you can be sure attendees can remember what didn't work last time around. Learn from past mistakes, like a wise, festive events guru and wipe those bad memories with the ultimate Christmas party!
5. Step into Christmas
Begin your venue search well in advance, securing a unique venue that might be limited in availability might become more of a struggle as time progresses into the year. The type of event you intend to put on will help shape your venue options - for example, is it a daytime or nighttime event and will you be drinking and dancing or wining and dining? Explore an array of unique venues on Hire Space, with the added benefit of our events team, who can help coordinate the perfect Christmas party. We'll talk to the venues' events teams and see if they can accommodate all your needs, as well as help you organise those all-important site visits to ensure you get exactly what you want!
6. Christmas dinner
You can firm up on food arrangements once the venue is booked. And since food is often the most talked about feature of any event (or indeed, life - maybe that's just us, though), you'll want to get this part perfect. Decide on in-house or external catering and get your guests to pre-order items beforehand, taking all dietary requirements into account. You don't have to stick with classic Christmas dinner either, but do bear in mind whether or not guests will be disappointed if the traditional turkey is a no-show! Don't forget the alcohol! Arrival drinks are always a nice touch to any event, so how about a nice spiced cider or mulled wine instead of fizz, for some seasonal flavour?
7. Rockin' around the Christmas tree
The choice between a DJ or live band can make or break a Christmas do, so choose carefully and decide whether you'll want them playing Wham's Last Christmas, or sticking to less of the cheesy Christmas tunes! You may also want to explore additional entertainment options such as comedians, performing artists, or do-it-yourself activities like karaoke or arcade games. Remember, it's the little touches that will make the difference, like beautiful Christmas decorations, goody bags at the end of the event or a photo booth for memory's sake. Speeches and awards (perhaps with a fun twist like best office joker or best dressed), often go down a treat too as long as they're short and sweet!
8. Deck the halls
Often a nice theme can make all the difference when it comes to taking the stuffiness out of a corporate do. Think a masquerade ball, a retro disco, a Hollywood theme, a black tie event, or the classic compulsory Christmas jumper look that everybody loves (right?). Make sure guests are fully aware of any dress code restrictions far in advance- and remember to dress your venue accordingly, too.
9. Wish it could be Christmas every day...
... but sadly, all good things must come to an end. So make sure you know if the venue will be helping to clear up afterwards, or if the responsibility falls on your busy little shoulders- the last thing you want is to have to help out at the end of a great night! Make sure transport information is readily available for all your party people. You wouldn't want the event to fall at the very last hurdle now, would you? And finally, get post-event feedback from as many of your guests as possible, so that next year's bash is even more of a success story! Check out our measuring your events success blog for more insights on how to make the most of feedback!
10. 'Tis the season to be jolly
And last but by no means least...don't forget to enjoy the festivities yourself! If you've done all of the above, you won't need to panic on the big day or run around until you're as red in the face as Rudolph's nose. Perhaps consider creating an itinerary and sharing it with key participants in advance to ensure a seamlessly flowing and trouble-free night—unlike the potential challenges of Christmas day with the in-laws!
So those are our top tips for planning a Christmas event to remember! As always, if you have any tips of your own, we'd love to hear them or some of your amazing Christmas parties! If you need some unique venue inspiration for the festivities, get in touch with Hire Space - good tidings we bring!
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