Planning the Perfect Christmas Party for Your Employees

02 December 2019
4 minute read

Alex Woods

For most businesses, the Christmas party is the social event of the year with employees looking forward to the occasion for weeks. After a year of hard work, it’s the perfect opportunity to allow everyone to enjoy themselves in a non-working environment.

And according to statistics, 86% of businesses will host a Christmas party in the UK. 

However, organising a Christmas party can prove stressful, especially when you’re trying to cater for everyone. Whether you’re planning a huge event or a more intimate affair, we have a few tips to help get you started:

 

Create a plan

Like any big project, you’ll need a plan. This should include:

  • Number of guests

  • Budget

  • Date and time

  • Venue

  • Theme (if there is one)

  • Food and drink

  • Decorations

  • Dress code 

  • Event timeline (including any entertainment)

As things are likely to change along the way, having a plan in place is a great way to keep things on track.
 

Pick a date

Locking down a date for your Christmas party can be tricky due to both employee and venue availability. To make sure the majority of your employees are able to make the event, you can use tools such as Doodle which allows everyone to input all of the days that they are free.

Budget may also be a consideration when deciding when to host your party. Friday and Saturday nights are likely to be more expensive so it could be worth hosting your event on a weeknight. Some companies even host their Christmas party in January. The benefits of this are optimum venue availability, more competitive rates and an increased likelihood of employees being free. Plus, it gives them something to look forward to after the festive break!
 

Choose a venue

The key to booking a venue for your Christmas party is to do it early. Some companies book as early as August and waiting any later than November could make it very difficult to secure somewhere suitable.

You’ll need to think about the size of the venue, making sure it can accomodate all of your employees. Another important factor to consider is the location. It should be conveniently located and preferably accessible by public transport. Hosting your Christmas party in a tricky location could deter your employees from attending altogether. 

And finally, if you’re really struggling to find a venue within your budget then how about sharing a space with another company to cut down on cost and resources?
 

Create a party planning committee

Having a party planning committee made up of a select few employees can really take the headache out of some of the smaller tasks and also makes your attendees feel like a vital part of the planning process. The committee should be voluntary for employees and you can assign your committee with tasks such as sending out invitations, arranging decorations, collecting data around needs and requirements, and booking any food and entertainment for the party.
 

Consider food and drinks options

When it comes to food and drink, it’s all about selecting the options that fit in with the nature of the party. For example, more formal venues might offer sit-down meals whereas other venues might provide a buffet or sharing platters. Whichever catering option you go for should factor in dietary requirements and allergies.

When you’re serving drinks, it’s all about striking a balance between wanting your employees to have a good time and making sure they are drinking responsibly. With alcohol on the menu, always make sure there is food available too. You should also cater for people who don’t drink by providing alcohol-free cocktails and soft drinks.
 

Source entertainment

As for entertainment, a lot of companies opt for live music or DJs to get everyone into the party spirit. If you’re on a budget you could simply set up a playlist that everyone can add to. This option is still a lot of fun and it doesn’t cost anything. Another idea is to host a mini awards ceremony where you present prizes to employees who have stood out or displayed particular skills. This is a great feel-good activity and means you can close off the year on a positive note.

So now you have a few pointers on how to organise your Christmas party, all that’s left to do is enjoy it!

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