It is exciting times with Christmas less than 3 months away. This means it is time to start planning! While Christmas can be great, planning a work Christmas Party can be stressful and overwhelming. We have put together a quick guide of the main items you should consider when planning the perfect event.
1. Pick A Date
The earlier you pick a date the easier it will be. Christmas is the busiest time of the year with colleagues having other commitments to attend to.
Thursday and Fridays are normally a good choice if you are holding a lunch during working hours. Saturday night is another good option, but remember any parents will need to have time to find a babysitter. For family friendly Christmas parties, a Saturday or Sunday is a good option.
Pick a date and stay firm on this date. Whatever date you pick will not please everyone. It is inevitable that someone won’t be able to attend on that day.
2. Establish The Budget
Find out how much money you are able to spend on the function. The budget will have an impact on the style of party you organise and the venue. It will also affect catering choices and the day of the week it is held. You will also have to know whether your company will pay for the drinks, part of it or none at all. If you are holding your party at night or on the weekend, are partners and families invited?
Some companies give a lump sum amount while others give an amount per attendee. If it is a lump sum divide this by the estimated number of people attending to work out the per person rate. This can make it a lot easier when looking at prices. Try to find a venue and catering for $20-$30 less than the per person rate. This will give residual money for a drinks tab or entertainment.
3. Pick A Venue
There are lots to decide when picking a venue:
- Type of party – cocktail, sit-down, action packed
- Transport or parking
- Size of the venue – will everyone fit?
Some venues can book out months in advance; so don’t delay in making a choice. Your favourite venue may already be taken.
Want to take your event outdoors? Depending on the size of the party, you may need to check with the local council to apply for a council permit or reserve a section of a park. Powered sites may cost extra, plus most councils require a security bond. You may also want to organise a marquee for extra shade, tables and chairs.
4. Invites and RSVP’s
Once you have a date and venue, be sure to send out invitations. Try to give as much notice as possible so that all the staff can pencil this in their calendar.
The best way to track the RSVP’s is to create an Excel spreadsheet. Don’t forget to send a few reminders to ensure your RSVP’s are under control.
5. Decide On A Theme For Your Party
Some venues do include Christmas themed table decorations in their packages. If your venue doesn’t come with any options, you could organise quotes from local theming companies.
A theme can be great fun and add some extra sparkle to your event. There are plenty of themes to choose from. Traditional ones like Winter Wonderland or a modern Christmas, enchanted garden or just a straight colour scheme. Maybe all the staff can come dressed as their favourite Christmas character.
There are so many table decorations to choose from: centrepieces, charger plates, coloured cutlery, Christmas themed decorations and more. If you have a decent budget, why not get an ice sculpture or a chocolate fountain? We can organise these decorations for you – just let us know what you require.
The type of party you are holding may decide the catering for you. On your invite, don’t forget to ask for any special dietary requirements.
Food is a very important part of any party or event. Average food can ruin even the best party, so make sure you put lots of thought into your catering.
A lunchtime event may better suit a buffet or sit-down meal. For evening functions there are many choices: from canapés to fork buffets, to sumptuous three course meals.
Your chosen caterer will be able to help guide you on the choices that best suit your budget and theme.
Ensure you obtain multiple quotes and cross check it includes napkins, cutlery and rubbish removal.
Hopefully you are running on budget and you will have a few extra dollars to spend on some entertainment. If you have booked out the venue you may be able to get a DJ or a band.
Other forms of entertainment could include a visit from Santa, who can bring along your office Secret Santa presents.
Or for something a bit more exciting, you could have the bar staff making custom cocktails. How about fire twirlers, stilt walkers or casino tables?
If children are attending, you could arrange a face-painter, balloon artist, jumping castle (check with local council) or even a science show.
8. Finer Details
Now that everything is pretty much under control, it is time to work out the finer details. Will there be speeches at your function? Who will make them? How long will they be? Will there be awards?
It is also time to consider if you want additional extras at your party. Will you need a photographer or goodie bags for the end of the night? Sometimes it is the little things we forget!
9. Start Planning
Don’t forget to delegate whenever possible. Also don’t forget this is your Christmas party too. Enjoy it!
At Saber Events we run through our checklist everyday ensuring that we are on target and on schedule for every event. If you would like help sourcing any of the decorations or organising any of the activities, we can make it easy and do this all for you! Find that you just don’t have the time to organise your staff function? Call us. We will organise the entire event for you, or just select parts, while sticking to your budget and theme.
10. Feedback and Review
In the week after the party, while the excitement is still in everyone’s mind, ask for feedback. Find out what people liked and what they didn’t like. What worked and what didn’t work? Send an email to the venue either thanking them for a great night or telling them of any concerns you had. Make notes of this so that next year you can do it all again, but even better.
It is also good to write a review on the venue’s website or any of the many review websites.
1300 808 505