10 things to remember when organising a Christmas Party
So, the task of organising this year’s Christmas party has fallen to you. Whether you are planning the office party or an event in your local village, there are a few key things to remember so this checklist will help to make sure yours is a great success!
Christmas is a busy time for everyone, so make sure that you get a date in the diary as early as possible. It is often worth sending out the date in advance of the rest of the details (such as the venue) so that everyone can pencil it in. Do some research to see what other events are going on that might clash with your date.
Understand the budget that is available, what it includes and make sure that you stick to it. Many venues will quote a cost per head so you will need to understand what sort of guest numbers you are looking at. Once you know the budget you will need to identify if the budget will stretch to include partners or not and if you can provide wine on the table etc.
Manage your budget carefully as this can quickly escalate if you get too carried away in your planning!
3. Know your audience
If you are organising the office party, then the chances are that you will need to consider guests of varying ages and probably with different interests and motivations. While you can’t please everyone try to consider this when picking a venue and the type of party you plan.
4. Dinner to remember
Getting the food right might sound obvious, but many Christmas parties will involve large numbers and so a set meal is often necessary. With this comes the challenge of finding something that everyone likes whilst accommodating vegetarians, those with a gluten free diet and allergies. Make it easier by selecting a vegetarian starter and try to choose options that will accommodate as many of the dietary requirements as possible. Create a table plan which enables colleagues to mix with different groups. Make sure that the table plan is printed out with place cards also being helpful.
5. Entertainment and theme
For many, the Christmas party will be the big event of the year for them so make sure that your guests have a memorable evening. Create a theme for the evening which will help it to feel special and book entertainment which hopefully will be a great talking point for your guests for months to come!
6. Set a dress code
Be sure to set a dress code so that your guests are clear about what is expected. Many guests will welcome the opportunity to dress up so make sure you clearly communicate what is expected to give them as much direction as possible. Don’t just state ‘smart’ on the invite and expect everyone to understand that you want them in black tie, not wearing something silver!
Make sure that you send out invitations in plenty of time and include all the key information:
- Time (start and finish)
- Dress code
- Ask for dietary requirements
- Format of the event (you might want to keep somethings as a surprise, but make sure that your guests are given an idea of what to expect)
Ask for RSVP’s so that you can communicate final numbers to the venue in plenty of time and be prepared to chase some people for their response!
Make sure that you protect all the efforts you are making and get insurance to cover your event. Your policy can cover you if there should be a last-minute cancellation from the venue or entertainment and can include cover for any damage to property or belongings on the night itself.
9. Consider transport/accommodation
Things are likely to run a lot more smoothly if your guests don’t need to worry about transport. So, if the budget will stretch, either arrange a coach or taxis for everyone or book accommodation at the venue so it takes the stress out of it for your guests.
10. Think about the details
If your budget allows then some extras can really make a difference when it comes to Christmas parties. So, consider booking a photographer to capture all those memorable moments, or organise goody bags for everyone so they have some gifts to take home as a memento of the evening.