Tips to Organise the Perfect Work Christmas Party 9 December 2013 at 10:08 am
For those charged with the job of organising the office Christmas party, SMC Conference and Function Centre offers its top tips to get work festivities right.
Get through your work Christmas party without a hitch with these tips.
Whether someone is an organiser and event planner at heart, a lover of Christmas or has returned to work late to find they got stuck with the job of organising the office Christmas party, the organiser is going to need as much help as possible.
Here’s 15 tips to organise an office Christmas party and get through the event without a hitch.
1. Start Early: Start as early as possible as there will be waiting time on responses from guests plus the earlier the start the more chance of securing the preferred venue and entertainment.
2. Set the Date: At the Christmas party, you’ll want as many employees to show up as possible. Again, start early and spread the word. Send out a mass email with some suggested dates and pick the date that fits with the majority. Make sure it’s a date that fits with the boss.
3. The Budget: Find out what kind of budget it is and this will set out everything from the kind of venue to what you can serve. Ask the boss for a quote and stick to it. If it’s a more formal get together at a fancy venue then it’s not out of the question to get the employees to chip in, within reason of course. Just make sure it’s something everyone can afford.
4. Find a Venue: Again, the earlier find the venue, the better. Every corporate office will be planning similar Christmas party all at the same time, so begin early to secure a preferred destination.
Budget will pretty much decide what kind of venue to get, whether it’s a fancy restaurant, hall or even in the office.
5. The Menu: This part is relatively easy the venue is a restaurant, if not hire a caterer to plan the menu and know everyone’s dietary needs, ensuring everyone has something to eat.
For a more formal sit down meal rather than a buffet or cocktail style event, it’s a good idea to have some kind of seating arrangement. Mix it up and get people to mingle with others as well as making them feel comfortable with members of their own team.
6. Alcohol: Some company Christmas parties go entirely without alcohol these days, ensuring a happy and safe environment, however if serving alcohol, plan in advance what will be served and how it will be paid for.
Budget will decide if it’s a free bar or cash only bar. It’s a great idea and a nice touch to offer taxi vouchers to those drinking to ensure everyone stays safe.
7. Speeches/Awards: While it’s the annual Christmas party it also marks the end of the year so it’s a great time to thank employees for their hard work.
Even if only short it’s a good idea to organise with the boss a thank you speech to make the employees feel appreciated. The Christmas party is also a good time to give out awards to mark achievements.
8. Entertainment: Again budget will dictate this, whether its a playlist of everyone’s favourite Christmas jingles or an entertainer.
This will also speak of the formality of the event. If not hosting anything too formal hiring a magician, comedian or band is always fun.
9. Gift Giving: It’s always a good idea to check with others what kind of gift exchange they’d like and what they expect from the Christmas party.
The annual Christmas party isn’t the time to give out anything too expensive or lavish.
Opt instead for an organised Kris Kringle or even a group charity donation where everyone pitches in.
If you do decide on a Kris Kringle type gift exchange, settle on a budget and make sure everyone knows what it is.
10. Decorations: Depending on the company it’s usually a good idea to opt for the commercial type decorations rather than the more religious aspects of the season as these tend to make some individuals feel uncomfortable.
That being said, the more decorations the better, within budget of course, they’ll help everyone get into the spirit of the occasion and feel jolly.
11. Invitations: Once the date is settled and the location organised begin to send out invitations.
To cut costs send out an email invitation to all employees however if family or plus ones are invited along send out a hard copy.
Make sure the invitation includes an RSVP deadline and dietary requirement questions to avoid any hiccups. It’s also a good idea to send out a reminder a day or so before the party.
12. Itinerary: Even without entertainers or speeches it’s a good idea to have an itinerary complete with meal serving times, start and finish times and any other aspects of the event so nothing is forgotten on the day.
If it’s an event at a formal venue or restaurant, there will most likely already be an event coordinator with itinerary but it’s always a good idea to create one so the event goes on without a glitch.
13. Extras: Organise some extra little touches for guests by handing out goody bags after the event (free of corporate, branded knick knacks of course) or some nice photos of the event (free of drunken debauchery of course). Little touches like these will help the event be seen as a success and let employees feel appreciated, especially if they’re forgoing bonuses.
14. Clean Up: Always check with the venue whether they offer a clean-up service afterwards or whether it needs to be supplied.
If the event is in-house it’s a good idea to organise a clean-up crew to come in to do the dirty work.
15. Feedback: Once the party’s over for another year it’s always a must to ask for as much feedback as possible.
If this list was followed then the feedback is sure to help make the event even better next time!
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