How to plan an unforgettable corporate Christmas party

August 1st, 2018   Christmas, Corporate Events, Event Entertainment, News  

It may still feel a little early to plan your corporate Christmas party, but we’re approaching the busiest time for Christmas party bookings. As revealed by the Christmas Party survey 2018, May and September remain peak booking months and 50% of parties have already been booked. When it comes to a memorable corporate Christmas event, the early bird catches the tinsel, so to get the pick of the best, get your date locked in now and avoid the mad rush of booking venues and performers close to December.

We encourage you to make the most of your initial planning session to ensure that the event is enjoyable and unforgettable and to follow our top Christmas party tips for a successful, worry-free event.

1. Save the date

One of the most important parts of party planning is picking the date. Start by offering some provisional dates to your colleagues to see what is the most popular and then go with a majority rule.  Another consideration is whether it’s just for staff, or will there be plus ones or will clients and associates also be invited?

2. Pick your venue

You’ll want to find the right place soon while there is still plenty of choice. Decide on the type of occasion it’s going to be: Is it a daytime or evening party? Will there be a sit-down dinner? Do you need a bar? Will there be dancing? And are you going to have a theme? Most venues will also offer some form of discounted rate if you book well in advance.

3. Christmas party planning team

Two heads are better than one and setting up a Christmas party team to brainstorm and help with problem solving is a wise move. Assigning certain responsibilities will help to ensure the party is delivered smoothly and successfully and being able to delegate will reduce a lot of pressure. Be sure to clarify roles and duties and include people from different sections of the company, so everybody feels as though they’re represented. Bouncing ideas off each other and sharing the responsibilities is not only fun but a learning opportunity and will make your event unique.

4. Make the most of your budget

Be sure to fix a budget and a maximum spend per head for the occasion as this will steer the direction of the entire event. Once you’ve created a detailed brief, apply the budget to different items. This is also an opportunity to prioritise the breakdown of the budget: is it an elegant seated dinner or will finger-food be more appropriate. How much entertainment do you want to include? Is transportation needed? There’s a lot to consider.

5. Last Christmas

Ask guests of the previous year’s Christmas party what worked well and not so well. Be a shrewd event planner and learn from previous party errors and put what you’ve learned into practice. Preparing some questions to send out now could be useful. You could enquire about food, their preferred type of venue, entertainment and music. Anything to get a better idea of what to prepare and include and to make sure you will fulfil expectations on the day. You could also consider asking guests before they leave how they enjoyed the party, location, food and entertainment. It’ll be helpful feedback for next year.

6. Christmas Dinner

Don’t underestimate the importance of food at your Christmas party. Food plays an important role in the overall opinion of the event; it’s more than just a meal, it is a big talking point and an opportunity to bring people together, so you’ll need to get this spot on. Will you be having a plated meal with innovative dishes, or will finger-food suit the style and time of your event? Be sure to include vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu options to ensure everyone It is also an idea to talk to the chef about what would work best and how to reduce food waste. Welcome drinks always go down well and a great seasonal idea would be to offer a warming glass of mulled wine on arrival.

7. Christmas Entertainment

There are many different types of corporate Christmas party entertainment to choose from to suit various types of events, and hiring professional entertainment is a great way to give your corporate Christmas party the ‘wow’ factor by taking it to the next level. If you’re having a sit-down dinner, you might consider a live band or stage show – think magicians, comedians, circus performers or a guest speaker. Roving entertainers work well – think artists, stilt-walkers, acrobats – if your guests are standing and they can move around the room keeping guests entertained and engaged.

The music can make or break a Christmas do, so if you can, find out your guests’ preferences. You can’t really go wrong hiring a live funky party band or a DJ to get everyone up and dancing all night long!

8. Theming

Often, a theme is the perfect remedy for taking the stuffiness out of a corporate event and injecting some fun. It doesn’t need to be Christmas-related, but it does need to be researched thoroughly and incorporated into every aspect of the event. It’s also a chance to get fun and creative with design, decorations, lighting and entertainment to create the mood you are after. Do remember to check that the venue can accommodate your ideas and that it all fits within your budget.

Some ideas are a masquerade ball, a Hollywood theme, Winter Wonderland, Speakeasy, a retro disco, or make it a black tie occasion with a bond theme and a fun casino to get pulses racing. Be sure that the guests are aware of any dress code way in advance.

Remember, it is the finer details that make the event more memorable, like wonderful Christmas decorations, party bags at the conclusion of the big occasion or a photo booth for the sake of some embarrassing pictures the next day.

9. Acknowledgement

Most importantly, the company Christmas party is a celebration and reward for everyone’s hard work and a chance for everyone to let their hair down and have some fun. It’s also the perfect time to show some employee appreciation and boost staff morale with a short presentation of company awards to demonstrate to your employees that they are valued.

Remember to acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved in the event and share your appreciation and gratitude for the contribution they made to make it a success. And always remember to include the venue staff, and provide them with a good review when sober!

 

If you think you need some help with a venue, ideas, entertainment, AV production or managing your corporate event this Christmas, Yes Entertainment are here to help with as little or as much as you need. We offer our services to the London area and surrounding counties. Check out our Corporate Events page or fill in our enquiry form for further information or call our customer service team to talk to a member of our team on 0845 8908525.