Carrie On Christmas
So, we’re in the middle of a heatwave and I’m going to talk about Christmas – yes, you heard that right. The simple truth is that NOW is the time to start planning your Office Party!
As far as the events industry is concerned, the festive period is our busiest time of year – after all, everyone celebrates Christmas, right? Which means there’s a huge demand on venues and, guess what, the best ones get booked up first.
Obviously, we’re here to help you in any way we can to find the best venue for your chosen Christmas Do, but you’ll have to make some important decisions first.
Planning a Christmas Party can be fun but it can also be a massive hassle. Everyone in the office from the MD down to the intern will have an opinion on everything: the date and location, what type of party it should be, whether to have a theme, what food to serve, choice of entertainment etc. To make life easier, put someone in charge of coordinating Project Xmas Do and give that person the authority to make decisions – otherwise nothing will ever get done.
As we all know, money makes the world go round; your budget will determine the sort of Christmas Party you can have. Why not splash out on a bespoke party for a unique event to set your company apart from the rest? Themed parties are becoming incredibly popular and you’ll find fantastic Christmas Party themes in all the major UK cities. Try the Fairytale of New York, a Masquerade Ball or an Apres Ski Alpine Wonderland Party for some jaw dropping scene setting.
If your office is small, there’s the option of joiner parties where you’ll be given your own table but join in the fun of a much bigger celebration – with the entertainment and party atmosphere to match.
If funds are really tight, you could always postpone the party until the New Year. Not as mad as it may sound if you can convince the rest of the office to go along with it, you’ll find venue hire prices much more affordable and availability aplenty in January.
Christmas venues 2016 - This is the biggie: the venue has to be spot on for the best party of the year. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that a party held in the office will be OK – now is not the time to underwhelm your staff! Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, so make it special for the whole office.
There are some truly stunning venues out there that will definitely put the magic into Christmas. But there’s no reason why you need to stick to traditional Christmas themes if they don’t tick the boxes. Take your office bowling or to a comedy club.Have a party in a pub, on a boat or at St Paul’s Cathedral! Go for private dining or with a package – the choices are endless.
The important thing is that now is the time to get cracking – book early to avoid disappointment, as they say. Ask about discounts and negotiate where possible. Visit your favourite venues to check all your requirements can be met. And of course, if you’re new to party planning or just don’t know where to start, call us– we’re here to source Christmas venues for you for free!
Food and Drink
It’s crucial to get the catering right – too much and you’ll be paying over the odds, too little and that’s all anyone will remember. If you’re having a sit-down festive meal, make sure everyone has pre-ordered their menu choices, including special dietary requirements. From Vegetarian to Vegan to Gluten Free to Paleo and beyond, everyone should be properly catered for.
You can also pre-order drinks or arrange for drinks vouchers, which will save both time and money. And don’t forget to provide soft drinks for those who can’t or won’t drink, or are driving.
Depending on your chosen location, transport may or may not be an issue. Obviously, everyone needs to know where to go and how to get there. Is the venue close to public transport, so people can make their own way there? How about organising a minibus for the entire office, so that everyone can have a festive drink or three? Check with the venue about taxis – there’s always someone who needs a taxi on the night!
Every Christmas Party needs entertainment, but don’t just get a DJ to churn out the same old Xmas tunes – you can do better than that! A live band or DJ is great as long as they’re in tune with what your staff like to bop along to.
If dancing isn’t what you’re group likes to do, how about something a little more left field to mix things up? A close-up magician, a stand-up comedian, some wine tasting or casino tables can all add that extra bit of sparkle to you festive get-together.
If you’re expecting your staff to turn up to work as usual the day after the Office Christmas Party, do go easy on them. Laying on coffee and bacon butties would be the ultimate Christmas gesture, of course, but as long as you don’t expect 100% productivity (and possibly the odd sickie), everyone should be happy.