Corporate Christmas Party Checklist
Being involved in organising the Christmas party can be a fun but daunting task that is given to either one lucky individual or a small committee in each organisation. From working with both, we find that working with one team member can be more efficient as there is only one cook with a clear vision rather than 4 – 8 people with different ideas and expectations. So, our first piece of advice is to keep the decision-making process simple and dedicate 1 – 2 people to organise it all OR to work with a professional event management company.
Before you start the process of searching online for elements to make this year’s party better than the last, find out what you have to spend. Once you have this vital piece of information, you can determine if your Christmas party can be held in a swanky 5-star hotel, a small, privatised restaurant or your local pub! Your budget will also determine the food and the drink, allowing the remaining balance for a choice of Christmas theme, room décor, lighting, Christmas props, and entertainment.
Here is a downloadable guideline and checklist, in order of importance, to help you make sure that you have everything that you need to outdo your previous Christmas parties!!
Start your search for the perfect venue EARLY so that you have the maximum options available to you. TIP: Ensure your chosen venue can accommodate all your group until the time that you need it until. (Some venues must close the bar early due to noise restrictions or license limitations.)
Decide on the style of dining. Sit-down meals do not suit every Christmas party, consider supper bowls or Christmas inspired canapés served with Christmas cocktails and sweet treats. Informal dining has become the corporate Christmas party choice in the last few years.
Create and send a creative invitation to everyone, enticing them to come and make everyone RSVP by a certain date. By doing this, people will know that a lot of work has gone into the planning. It’s also a good way to find out if anyone has special dietary requirements. Not managing this properly can cost the company a lot of money in the long run as you will need to pay for a minimum number of guests, even the ones that don’t turn up.
Decide on a theme, if any, and start looking for a way to pull the theme together. If you are doing your party in a venue, ask the venue when booking, what Christmas decorations do they provide. Ask them is there a Christmas tree provided for the event room and how do they dress the tables for Christmas. Perhaps they have up-lighters and pod tables already so you don’t need to rent these additional extras.
Issue drinks vouchers instead of an open bar. This doesn’t mean that you are scrimping but too often than none, we see that free bars are not treated in the same manner as a voucher system. It also promotes corporate responsibility and not only controls the amount of alcohol drunk but the budget too.
Hopefully, there is some budget left over for some entertainment such as a surprise act, a band, a DJ, a magician, a caricaturist, a real-life Santa Claus & Elves to give people gifts from a grotto, a selfie mirror or Photobooth or a professional photographer. All of these elements add to the mood of the event and in some ways, break the ice between people who normally only spend time together in a professional environment only.
7. Show Love
Do use this as an opportunity to reflect on the year behind and the year ahead. While everyone is in good form and socialising, it’s a great time to motivate, recognise and thank the entire team for the efforts and at the same time, gather support and momentum for the year ahead.
8. After Care
It’s very important to take note of the Christmas party after it has passed – some companies go so far as to ask attendees to critique the event in order to improve on what the company decides to do the following year. This information is invaluable and has the potential to save on budget on previous years to come.