So, the daunting task of company Christmas party planning has fallen to you this year… or maybe you even signed yourself up! You crazy fool!
You may feel that it’s far too early to be getting into the Christmas spirit, but we’re here to tell you that it is never too early to start planning a successful office party!
Well, however you’ve fallen into it, we’re here to help! We’ll lay out the pitfalls, planning no-nos and winning formulas to an excellent and memorable Christmas bash. Enjoy!
Find out what is best for most people in the company/your friend group, and try not to switch around too much – you don’t want to confuse people! Gather all your responses before you make a decision.
Christmas is a busy time of year for people so expect to be let down by a few people.
*Top Tip – If you are able to have your Christmas do in January, you will likely save yourself money on venue, caterers etc… as well as having a few more people able to attend.
AUDIENCE VS VENUE
Know your audience! Are you a small company, large company, or a group of friends having a yearly blow-out? Are partners invited? Kids? Is it a late-night, heavy-drinking type thing, or a leisurely pub lunch with a little stroll after?
Your budget plays a massive role in this, and is one of the first things you ned to get sorted. You don’t want to be planning a Champaign boat party if the boss is only letting you spend £10 a head!
*Top Tip – Book an all in one! If you’re a small to medium group of comrades, a lot of larger restaurants/bars/pubs will offer an all-in-one venue, meal, drinks deal, which could take a lot of stress off your planning!
FOOD AND DRINK
You don’t have to do turkey… just bear that in mind. A great Chinese restaurant will put a smile on anyone’s face – especially if they’ve already had turkey three times that week!
Decide what you want, and what suits your group. Larger, bespoke parties will need outside catering. Do you want a buffet, or waiter service? Look at your budget to decide what’s best for you, and don’t blow the whole budget on food you’ll need some left over for taxis, and hotel rooms for the far-away folk!
Make sure you use some of your budget for at least one drink per person – order enough Champagne for a toast at least!
*Top Tip – Having a menu tasting before you book a place is not only fun, it will really put your mind at rest!
Some of your guests will not be able to enjoy themselves if they have to think about getting home all night. Make sure everyone who is coming from outside of town has a taxi booked at an agreed time; or if they live really far away, allocate some of your budget to putting them up in a hotel… this means everyone can relax and enjoy the amazing night you planned!
*Top Tip – Tell the hotel or taxi company what you are booking for – they may give you a discount in the hope you will book again for future events, especially if you are a local, well-known company. (If you’re not a naturally cheeky person, get one of your more forward pals to make the call… you may be pleasantly surprised)
Adding something fun and festive for your guests is a must at any Christmas party, whether it’s a great live band, a professional photographer, party bags, or a UV paint artist! Your guests will definitely appreciate the extra thought you’ve put into making their night extra special.
*Top Tip – Roaming makeup artists adding sparkles and gems to your guests, or creating a fancy-dress theme with makeup artists to help people get into character adds an amazing extra element to your party. Get in touch with us at Glitter and Glo to see how we can help you add sparkle to your Christmas party!
IGNORE THE IDEAS
Everyone and their mother will have “a great idea” for you – the problem is, most of them won’t help you make it a reality, and will jump to tell you what “you should have done” after the fact! Stick to what you know, follow your instinct, and don’t let people get you carried away with far-out, wacky plans that could end up costing lots and having little impact.
Of course, input is invaluable in the right context, so if you do want people’s opinions, you could always send a group email before you begin your planning, asking for any ideas they may have. That way you can weigh up your options, and make your decisions before you begin to plan, and not halfway through, when Dave from accounts says you should definitely hire a rodeo bull!
*Top Tip – Make a list of all the ideas being thrown around, and compare the pros and cons based on your theme and budget.