Designing and Delivering an Amazing Christmas Party for your Team that includes all of the elements for an unforgettable experience can be a challenge. Follow our 9 step planning guide and make this year one to remember!
First up consider what the is the purpose of the Christmas Party. Is it simply a low key get together for staff to let their hair down and enjoy a few drinks at the end of a busy year? Or is it more of a team building opportunity designed to build team morale and cohesion packed with interactive entertainment? Or perhaps it’s being tied in with an awards ceremony to celebrate the successes of the year and acknowledging all of those that deserve recognition? Establish your ‘why’ for hosting a Team Christmas Party and this will assist in guiding you through the rest of the Christmas Party Planning Process.
Secondly consider who will likely be attending. Consider age ranges, origin locations, likes and dislikes, possible religious affiliations and start to develop the style of event that would best suit. For example a Heavy Metal Dance Party may not be suitable for a group of primarily Under 30 PA’s. And equally a Pearls and Boas themed Christmas Party may not light the fire of a bunch of hardworking Tradies! Also consider if partners or select clients will be invited? Frame up your audience and consider the best style of event that would suit, remembering that you won’t be able to design everyone’s dream event.
Most companies elect to host their Christmas Party in the November to December period. There are of course exceptions to this but this is the general rule. Friday nights are most certainly considered peak periods and sell-out at popular venues very quickly. If you’re able to opt for Sun-Thurs there’s far more opportunity to negotiate more competitive rates with venues and entertainment providers and offer your team a more value packed Christmas Party Experience. If Friday is the only option be sure to lock in a Christmas Party Venue early to guarantee the best selection. Or even consider hosting an in-house office Christmas Party and bring in entertainment and caterers.
Having a solid appreciation of the budget is key. It’s certainly not a welcome experience to have to justify a $1,000 overspend to the CFO due to not taking adequate time to discuss budgets beforehand. There’s a plethora of Christmas Party packages out there catering for a broad range of budgets. Certainly don’t be reluctant to discuss your budget with your Corporate Event Planner. This simply guides your Event Planner in sourcing and offering you the best value packages for your price point, and quickly.
In order to guide your decision making we recommended preparing 3 of the most important elements that you would like to include in your Christmas Party Package. This could range from desiring a certain location/caterer/entertainment/theme etc. etc. Is a quality band essential? Are your team foodies, so a gastronomic sensation weighs in as a priority over anything else. Are you seeking a location that has spectacular views? We recommend seeking input from your team at this stage so you’ve got a good mix of opinions and insight. And be sure to convey this when discussing your needs with your Event Planner.
Feeding the Flock!
Consider the style of catering and beverages you would like to incorporate. If your team are often on the move and spend very little time sat at their desks, it may be a mistake to strap them to their seats for a 5-course degustation. An informal roaming canapés and/or buffet menu may be more fitting in this instance. Or if you would like to include both a formal and informal dining arrangement we recommend considering a 2-course with either canapés on arrival for social mingling or a dessert buffet to draw everyone out of their seats for dancing.
Also be sure to check whether the Christmas Party Venue or Catering Company you have in mind is capable of catering to dietary requirements. Also consider whether you wish to include a celebratory drink on arrival – champagne or cocktail accompanied by a cash bar or beverage package. There are a multitude of options here which can generally be customized to your budget. Talk to an experienced Event Planner and they can assist you in framing up the best option to suit your needs.
This key element is often overlooked but crucial. Consider how your guests are going to arrive and depart the venue. Is it located near public transport? Can taxi’s be readily available? Is there sufficient parking nearby? If you have enough fat in your budget to book fun party travel to your event we recommend you do so. This is a simple courtesy that will ensure your event runs seamlessly and one less thing for your guests to worry about!
So you’ve pulled all of your amazing Christmas party ideas together, the next step is sending out the invitations. Ensure all of the pertinent information is outlined in the invitations. Include the dress code and if you are having a themed party ensure this is also stated on the invite. Also confirm whether partners are invited to attend. We highly recommend paperless post for an impressive range of Online Event Invitations for a variety of Occasions. This will enable guests to add the event to their calendar as well as enabling you to track responses.
In the lead up to your Christmas party you can work with your Corporate Event Planner to flesh out the small details that will make a big difference to the overall success of the Event. Perhaps arrange for small Christmas gifts to be designed for your guests that they can take home as a keepsake. We love the Hutwoods personalized candles that can be brand aligned with your company as a beautiful keepsake, just perfect for Christmas. Even small considerations such as a toiletries basket in the ladies can go a long way, or for a more extravagant addition for the boys build in a connoisseurs whiskey and cigar bar.
Using a widely adopted visualisation technique close your eyes and transport yourself to the beginning of the celebration, at the very start of your guest’s experience. Step through each motion…what will they see (decorations), hear (music), touch, sense, experience etc. and build your Guest Experience from there. Most professional party and event planners will be happy to oblige in helping you enhance the guest journey from arrival to departure.
This one is pretty self explanatory, but once all of the Event Details have been re-confirmed with your Event Planner be sure to let your hair down and enjoy the celebration! Have confidence in the time you’ve taken in planning an unforgettable Christmas Party for your team, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
After the mince pies have digested and the hangovers have subsided, take some time to gather feedback about the success of the event. Whether it be via informal chats in the office or via a more formal email be sure to make a note of what worked well and what wasn’t such a hit so you can build on the successes next year.
Blog Prepared By: Aimee Preece and April Lipson
Contact: 1800 OZPARTY