Spring is in full swing and I’m here writing about how most key dates for a Christmas party are almost all booked!!! Believe it or not, I’ve had clients calling and booking their Christmas parties as early as January so it’s clear that it’s never too early to book your Christmas party.
If you’ve been given the task to arrange this year’s Christmas work party then don’t panic…sit back and check out my top-tips for getting it right.
1: Pick a date as early as possible
We all know most people get fully booked during the lead up to Christmas so getting a date booked in early enough and sending out a ‘save the date’ email should help.
Obviously this will determine every aspect of the party from the venue, food, drink and entertainment. The sooner you have a clear understanding on what money you have to play with the better. Also, don’t blow your total budget either. Keep some money back for incidentals that will eventually crop up.
3: The venue
A very important factor! Are you wanting an exclusive venue hire, a shared venue with other groups or something small like a restaurant or bar? Getting the right venue is key in setting the right environment for your colleagues.
Hotels and venues will generally have their Christmas nights based around a certain theme. This year Gibson Hall’s theme is ‘Snow & Ice’. A clean and classic theme which will no doubt look spectacular in our beautiful Main Hall. For larger companies looking to book a party, pre-themed hotels and venues are a huge timesaver for clients, as everything from the menu, drinks, decoration and entertainment is put together in a nice package.
4: Food and drink
Food and drink plays a central part in any party and this is your Christmas party so don’t feel pressured to having the traditional Christmas fare. Speak with the venue or hotel and see what they can offer. Find out whether you want a sit down dinner or will a standing buffet or reception work better?
Also think about whether you’re having a themed event and if so, make sure the food is coordinated with your theme.
Don’t forget the herbivores, make sure you have a fun and exciting option for them. I suggest asking your guests if they are vegetarians when you send the initial ‘save the date’ email.
Entertainment is just as important as picking the right venue. Quality, as we all know, comes at a price and picking the right form of entertainment is another vital part of the night’s success.
If the budget allows, go for a live band. Most venues will have a supplier list of great entertainment companies so give all a call and get negotiating.
If a DJ is all you can afford make sure you know your staff and what music they like. There’s nothing worse than having the wrong genre of music playing, an empty dancefloor and a venue filled with wall flowers.
During the reception why not book a magician to entertain your colleagues or have fun games available like croquet, Jenga or even have some casino tables brought in?
6: How to best manage the event
There’s a very good reason for all this pre-planning – so you can enjoy the night as much as everyone else. Also trust in the operational team at your venue. You have been working closely with them for several months and they should know every aspect of the event. They are the experts and have the knowledge and experience of putting on a great event.
My last piece of advice is once everyone is at the venue and jackets and bags are checked in….relax, take it all in and ENJOY!!!
By Jonathan Chohan