The definitive guide to getting organised and booking your Corporate Christmas Party!
I know, I know, Easter has only just come and gone, but believe me when I say that now is the time of year is where Corporate Christmas Party Ideas start getting bandied about in management offices up and down the country.
It can be a stressful time trying to ensure this year is as good if not better than last year, with expectations high. The job of getting together the ideas and then putting them into practise can often seem like an unwelcome and scary prospect.
You are not alone if that’s how you are feeling about it, as the time constraints and pressure of wanting to organise something that all your colleagues will enjoy can make it a stressful ordeal.
At Pastiche we deal with events like this all year round, so be rest assured you don’t have to sort it alone this year! Here we take a look at the key features of organising your Corporate Christmas bash – giving you all the ideas you could need to get the ball-rolling.
Choosing The Date
The first thing to really sort out is the date as for many people, it’s is the busiest time of the year and therefore have lots of social events.
An option if December is looking very busy is to have a special event in January, maybe calling it an “Annual Dinner” or “Awards Ceremony”. These events in January are becoming increasing popular as there is more availability and they can work out a lot cheaper than in December.
As they say, money matters, and this is true when organising an event, as ultimately the size of your budget will have a huge impact on the type of party you organise, determining everything from the food and booze to the entertainment and choice of venue.
Find out how much money you have to spend. You need to know this as early in the process as possible so you don’t start planning something completely unrealistic.
Type of Party
There are many types of Christmas parties that you can plan, depending on factors including the location, budget, numbers attending and how much you want to be directly involved in planning and managing the event.
There’s also the decision as to whether to plan a daytime event, evening event or both. Another consideration might be whether to accommodate husbands, wives and partners.
Bespoke or packaged Christmas party? If this sounds confusing, here is a breakdown:
Organising a bespoke party
This is where you start from scratch, finding a venue or using your own workplace (if you have the space) and booking, organising and bringing together different suppliers for all the elements involved such as activities, themes and catering.
Buying a packaged Christmas party
This is an ‘off the shelf’ Christmas party organised by either a venue or a party planner. Often they will present a theme across an entire venue or function room throughout December, with the same entertainment and the same menu being served to different companies and parties every night.
For smaller workplaces there are shared Christmas party nights, where you buy tables at a large ‘off the shelf’ Christmas party, sharing the event with a variety of other companies. This is ideal for those that want the atmosphere of a larger event, but don’t have the budget, time or enough guests to put something bespoke together.
If investigating these ideas sounds like a lot of hassle, you could contact an event company to do all the hard work for you; that way, all you will have to do is select the best option. Some may charge for their services and others may just take a commission from the venue, event planner or the suppliers.
The Party Theme
The theme is the heartbeat of your event and should be integrated throughout every aspect of the day or night.
Choose a theme and research it thoroughly. Some popular ideas include traditional Christmas, vintage, 60s, 70s, 80s, quintessentially English, pantomime, circus, Chicago jazz, winter wonderland, ballroom, colours, film inspired, wild west, spy, Caribbean and Santa’s workshop. There are plenty of ideas on our theme pages.
Food is a key part of any party and can easily be incorporated into the theme you choose. Don’t feel like you have to stick with turkey, especially if you’re planning to eat at a venue with a specialist restaurant. A traditional Christmas dinner done badly in a dim sum restaurant is worse than having no turkey at all.
However, if you think turkey is important to your group then choose somewhere appropriate or hire in caterers that are geared up to cook and serve roast dinners and will do a good job.
The entertainment on the night can be one of the most talked about aspects of the whole event and is something that can really help bring people together and help iron out those potentially awkward moments of stilted work chat between colleagues.
Choose the entertainment to suit your event. There is no shortage of options here with popular ideas including live performers such as Fire Artistes, Jugglers, Stunt Shows, Circus Acts or After-Dinner Speakers. You could choose games such as Casino Tables, or even giant Scalextric, while entertainment working the room often goes down well, such as table magicians, stilt walkers and caricaturists.
You want to make sure you choose reputable suppliers and agree early on exactly what is in involved as you are relying on them to ensure your guests are entertained.
“Thank You” Event or Awards Ceremony
If you want the Christmas party to act as a thank you to the staff, then a nice way to thank everybody is by actually saying it. Ask a director or manager to deliver a short ‘thank you’ speech and (if appropriate) give out awards to those who deserve to be recognised.
Speeches given at a party should be short, loud enough to be heard and not done too late and before the disco starts, as you want to ensure the speeches don’t get too rowdy or out of hand – and that they don’t stop everybody from getting on and enjoying themselves.