It’s that time of year again when the hunt for the perfect venue, perfect theme, and perfect centrepiece to make the perfect office Christmas party begins. Whether you’re planning an event for 200 or 20 we’ve got the perfect 12 steps to creating the most exquisitely styled Christmas event you’re boss and colleagues have ever seen! We’ve got you covered on this one!
1. Get your guest list together– knowing how many you’re expecting at your Christmas do is a great starting point. Are you considering plus ones? Is it more of a family affair or employees only? Knowing how many guests you have for the party is a great way to start so you can plan everything around it.
2. Know your feedback – Find out what the feedback from last year’s event is, so you’re prepared and can bring something new to the table this year and make it even bigger and better!
3. Budget Budget Budget! – Now that you have some attendee numbers in mind it’s good to know what sort of splurge room you have for a venue, entertainment, theming and styling etc. Breaking down cost is a good way to keep on top of things. It’s also wise to allocate your budget right from the start so you can keep track of where your dollar is the most value for money. But remember to stay realistic as well!
4. Venue hunting – finding a venue that holds your total number of guests, suits the feel or theme you’re thinking about and one that fits your budget can be a daunting task.
5. Location, location, location – When picking a venue consider locality and how central it is, accessibility to public transport and of course what sort of look the venue has. Have a think about whether you want a cocktail setting, formal dining or even a stage set-up for entertainment. How much furniture do they have and how much is usable to your party theme? Would you need to allocate a big chunk of your budget to filling it up or making it ‘look good’? These are all of the things you need to consider when looking at potential venues
6. Venue Access – Another good point to keep in mind is how easily accessible is the venue for event managers, stylists and those who will be doing the set-up. Ask your venue manager how flexible they are willing to be about set-up timings and working with you on the back-end logistics
7. Menus – food is an essential part of having a successful evening. Menu tastings are important, the earlier this is booked in and locked in the better. Consider enough variety for everyone to enjoy. Food stations in addition to canapes are a great way to offer variety and ensure that everyone gets a bite to eat. Deck them out in style to really set the mood for the night – think Game of Thrones grazing table or a Parisian cheese bar.
8. Save the date – Once you have your venue locked in, send out your save the dates and invites. This is crucial to do at an early stage and preferably simultaneously with the venue hunt. The earlier you know your numbers the better. Having a lock-down on headcount will give you an idea of budget you may have per head. What you may have to style your event, book in entertainers and even organize giveaways.
9. Theme and styling – Food is often the centre of attention, but it’s important to have considered the other components in creating the right atmosphere for a Christmas party. Having a good theme or concept can make or break the ambience of the evening. Think about if you want to have a fun party with tonnes of dancing and laughs. Or a more formal setting with sit down dinner, speeches by the boss and entertainment. Get some expert advice, ask your stylist to help you put together a look for the event and not only suits your venue but also suits your budget. A great way to perk up the venue is using beautiful centrepieces, backdrops, interactive props and event feature photo booths.
Christmas party themes that we absolutely love:
Colour me Moroccan
French Country – high tea event
For more details on concept, boards click here
10. Entertainment – Do you need a DJ or a band or both? A magician, bucking bronco or casino tables? Picking the entertainment for the night depends on the theme you’re going for and what your selected venue can accommodate. And if you’ve done step 2 right, you even have an allocated budget for this one! A fun way to add some not-so-expensive entertainment is a light up the dance floor and DIY photo booth.
11. Many cooks don’t spoil the broth – once you’ve made all the big decisions and things are in place, it’s time to start delegating the responsibility for the nitty-gritty details, the follow ups and fine tuning details. You don’t have to do all the communicating, the back and forth and go insane trying to keep up, allocating responsibility is a great way to get the office involved and get it all done in time. On D-day make sure the person responsible is looking after that particular department, like the greetings at the entrance, the photo booth, the entertainment, the F & B delegate and then when it’s all set in motion, enjoy the fabulous event you’ve put together!
12. Feedback – getting to know what you got right and what you didn’t from the event is extra work but can be a huge help for the next Christmas party. Create an anonymous survey or simply get colleagues to write to you. This will help you find out what everyone liked and didn’t like and possibly save you money the following year.
We hope this list helps you get organised for a smashing office Christmas party this year!