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Organise an Unforgettable Christmas Party with these 10 Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – or so the song goes!

Whether you’re a lover of all things Christmas or the ultimate grinch, there is no way to avoid the annual Christmas Party. Holding a Christmas Party is the best way to thank employees for all their hardwork and commitment throughout the year.

It’s no easy task organising the Christmas ‘Do’. Here are our 10 tips to help make your Christmas Party unforgettable.

1. Don’t Delay: Get Planning Now!

The best place to start is with a date, are you going to hold the Christmas party in November, December or January? December is the most popular choice, but many companies wait until January when the costs are lower. Once a date has been decided send a ‘Save The Date’ to employees. The holidays are a busy time and you want to ensure as many people attend as possible. Another decision which needs to made before beginning the planning is the type of Christmas party you have in mind: a bespoke Christmas party or a packaged Christmas party? There are some wonderful venues nationwide offering well priced packaged Christmas parties for organisations.

The earlier you begin your planning the more you can do with your event!

2. Venue, Venue, Venue

Good venues go quickly, so the earlier you book a venue the better. There are lots of online portals, such as findavenue.ie, which can help you with the search.

Consideration needs to given to the venue location and distance attendees will have to travel. It’s always appreciated when transport for guests is organised. Knowing they have a safe way home, party-goers are more likely to let their hair down and enjoy themselves! Ensuring there is ample onsite or nearby accommodation for guests who may like to stay overnight is also a bonus.

If your budget doesn’t allow for an awesome venue, another option is holding the party in your office space. This may be best as a last resort as employees will find it easier to unwind out of the workplace, which is the ultimate goal of a Christmas party.

3. Book Quality Entertainment

The fundamental of booking the best entertainment for your Christmas party is knowing your audience! The importance of having an excellent musical act can’t be stressed enough. As the party organiser, the goal is for guests to enjoy themselves. You want to see party goers letting their hair down, dancing and having a ball. What you need is a floor filling band, which is experienced at reading a crowd and keeping them on the floor. The best bands will book out their Christmas Party schedule mid summer so book early to get the best! Ask your venue to recommend a band you can trust to deliver on the night. Attending a band showcase is a perfect way to see your chosen musical entertainment live in action. If you are looking for alternative party entertainment, there is no shortage of entertainment available including comedians, dancers, circus acts and jugglers.

4. Send Invites

Everyone loves to receive an invite and they get people in the festive mood! Guests will appreciate something more than an email inviting them. There are some great eye catching invite design ideas on Pinterest. Why not have the invite fitting in with your party theme? Sending invites also provides clarification as to whether guests are allowed to bring a spouse or friend to the party.

5. Incorporate a theme

Theme parties are lots of fun! Popular themes include Christmas, ugly Christmas jumpers, film inspired, circus, winter wonderland, 60s, 70s, 80s and Santa’s Workshop. When choosing a theme, you need to consider decorations, dress code, any outdoor areas, food & drink menus, and choice of music and entertainment. Once you choose a theme, you need to commit!

6. Filling Bellies: Food & Drink

Food is a key factor in any event and can easily be incorporated into any theme. Depending on the size of your party and budget, different dining options may be more suitable such as a sit down set menu or buffet. Ensuring your venue has a fabulous reputation for its cuisine will make all the difference. Arrival drinks are always a nice touch, Christmas favourites include mulled wine, eggnog, or sparkling wine. Just make sure to have options for guests who don’t drink alcohol.

7. Make a seating plan

If you are planning a sit down dinner, a seating plan is a wonderful way to get guests mingling. If you have a large organisation with multiple departments, mixing up the seating plan is great to get employees out of their usual work group and meeting colleagues from across the organisation. A seating plan can also ease social anxiety for guests.

8. Gift Giving

Nothing big or expensive – just something fun for everybody. Kris Kingle is a great way of organising this, just make sure to set a strict budget. There are some handy online generators which can help you organise this. All you need is participants’ email addresses. One such resource is SecretSanta.com.

9. Take Loads of Photos!

Photos from the Christmas party are great to use in company newsletters, social media, company blogs and as a reminder of a fantastic night! It’s worth considering hiring a professional photographer if you want to make sure you get some high quality snaps from the event.

10. Thank you Speeches & Awards

Ask the Boss to say a few words to the employees gathered. Keeping it light and conversational is key. Nobody wants to hear about any heavy financial issues when trying to unwind! Christmas Parties are also a great opportunity to give out awards to guests. You may choose to give out formal awards like employee service awards or informal, fun awards such as ‘Best Christmas Jumper’. The type of award giving is dependent on the theme and tone of your party.