The days are shorter, the weather is colder and the remnants of spectacular fireworks float slowly off into the dark night sky. Another year has almost passed us by but there is some good news on the horizon. The office Christmas Party!
No doubt some of you will have already started your meticulous preparations, while others (usually the type who do all their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve) will still be saying it is still too early to think about that. No matter which camp you fall into, there is plenty to consider when pressure of planning falls on your shoulders.
But fear not, we have put together some inside tips for both the obvious and the often-forgotten items that you will need to plan to ensure that your party is remembered long after the spring weather arrives.
First thing first, you need a venue and no the office will not suffice! You want to reward the staff by giving them an enjoyable experience, somewhere they can forget about work and just enjoy each other’s company.
In most cases the overall budget will be the determining factor in which spaces are options, however this should not be a worry as there are many excellent venues for all budgets. It is more important to pick the venue which will be perfect for your guests.
The size of the venue is important to remember, too small and it is likely to feel very cramped while getting hot and stuffy quickly. Too big, it is going to feel empty as guests will be too spread out and have no need to mingle.
Most likely to be forgotten about is location and transport. So often a venue is chosen because it has all the above and more but is miles away from where anyone lives. Be sure to find somewhere closer to home to encourage as many people to attend, or baring that at least somewhere walkable to various forms of transport.
The soul of any Christmas party is truly outstanding entertainment and without it, you are leaving your party up to fate. If the mood of the guests is low, then you face a very long night.
Instead, remove fate from the equation and instead find some quality entertainment that is going to keep your guest’s spirits high and engaged.
As mentioned before, the budget and venue are going to have a major effect on the type of entertainment that you will be able to have. Single performers such as comedians and magicians will be able to perform in all venues but can be very divisive. Bands who specialise in covers are an excellent choice as they can cater for everyone’s tastes, while enhancing the energy and atmosphere of the party.
Regardless of what type you choose, by simply having good entertainment perform it helps to break up the evening and allows the guests to relax. It also has the added benefits of providing a central talking point for those who may be a little shy or for those looking to use the event to network.
Food & Drink
So now that you have chosen the venue and have the entertainment lined up to keep the buzz going long into the night, it is time to consider how you are going to fuel this party?
As expert corporate event planners ourselves, we can ensure you of the importance of having quality food and drink for your guests. Whether that be beautiful modern canapes to keep the party flowing or show stopping centrepieces to whoa the guests, feeding your guests substandard food will not go down well.
To Sit Or To Stand?
If you are unsure whether a standing or sit-down dinner is most appropriate, we recommend opting for a standing option. It really offers a more relaxed environment and encourages mingling amongst co-workers.
However, if you do decide on a sit-down affair, make sure you mix up the seating plan. Don’t group people with the same people they work with every day and make sure the management team are spread across the room.
Food For All
There are many wonderful takes on the Christmas dinner, from mini turkey to Christmas themed canapes. However, it is important to remember that there is likely to be many intolerance’s and special diets you will need to take into consideration. You will have to ensure that there are options for everyone, as the last thing you want is for someone to leave the party feeling though they were an afterthought.
It is inevitable that some people are going to get carried away with the drink options available, make a bad decision and spend the year having to be reminded of it. The best advice we can provide is to make sure that if you are serving cocktails or spirits, is to try and stick to the lower volume variants such as Pimm’s or Baileys. As well as making sure there is plenty of water is on hand.
This is a guest post provided by our friends at Lettice