Here are some of our top tips for organising the ultimate Christmas bash for you and your team:
Work out that all-important budget
Working out how much cash you have to splash on different elements of the party should be one of the first things you do. This will ensure you don’t end up considering options way out of your price range, or making promises you simply can’t keep (or afford). Just make sure you have a small cash reserve to cover potential, unforeseen mishaps.
Don’t hesitate...act now!
Start the planning process as early as possible and you’ll get first dibs on things like venue, date and even transport. Hopefully, this will mean you don’t have to make any compromises when planning the perfect party – plus, sealing the date nice and early will ensure maximum attendance from your team.
Search and secure the ideal venue
The venue is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to a Christmas party; that said, choosing the ideal space to accommodate your team can be challenging. As well as size, you need to consider things like location, price, facilities and accessibility – if you need some help, why not try SOS's Venue Finding service?
As soon as you’ve booked your ideal venue, it’s a nice touch to send out physical invitations to your team. Make sure you include all the necessary information – such as date, venue, start and finish times, theme/dress code – as well as a copy of the menu if your team need to choose their meals in advance. Prepare for the excitement to start building as soon as you hand out those invites...no pressure!
Choose a menu that caters for all
Nowadays, a Christmas feast involves much more than a Turkey roast with all the trimmings. The menu needs to cater for all dietary requirements, for instance, whether there are vegans among your team or people with food intolerances. The venue may have its own catering department or you may have to hire a third-party vendor – either way, booking a pre-event menu tasting is one of the best ways to make sure the food will satisfy all bellies.
Here’s a tip: if your team are being treated to a full, three-course meal at the start of the night, it may be worth arranging some lighter nibbles to be served during the evening, particularly if you expect the wine to be flowing!
Wow your team with entertainment
Entertainment will depend on your budget – and the venue, to some extent – but there are many options to consider, from circus acts and magicians to cabaret performers and Father Christmas himself. Perhaps you could poll your team to find out what they’d enjoy most, or take a guess and leave it as a surprise for the night.
For most companies, booking a DJ to spin some classic Christmas tracks until it’s time for home is a must! You could also hire a karaoke machine and let your team provide their own entertainment for an hour or so – some good old festive spirit will coax even the shyest employees to come out of their shell and take to the mic!
Add extra sparkle to your event
One you’ve planned the basics, think of ways you can add extra sparkle to your event. How about making it a themed party? Popular options include masquerade, winter wonderland and nutcracker. If you’re opting for a theme, you need to make sure the decor follows suit, paying particular attention to what will be the focal points of the event – entrance, arrival/reception drinks area, dinner tables and around the dancefloor.
Make sure you tell your team what the theme in the invitation, so that they have plenty of time to plan their outfits. Why not award prize to the best dressed?
Getting into the festive spirit in summer may feel strange, but planning your corporate party as early as possible will help to guarantee that it’s a night to remember for years to come.