Welcome to our guide on how to plan an office Christmas party in 2019. So, you’ve been tasked with organising this year’s Christmas party.
However, throwing the annual office party can be pretty stressful. Not only do you need to cater to everyone’s needs but you also need to come up with something ‘new’ and stay ahead of expectations. To make matters even worse, you have to do everything within a small budget. That’s why we have come to the rescue to get your festive fluids flowing.
1. Decide on a venue
You can either decide to hold your work Christmas party at your office or a different venue.
Depending on the budget that you have been given then this may have already been decided for you. However, it is a good idea at this point to work out how many people will be coming to make sure that they can all fit into the space where you are planning to hold the event. If you are lucky enough to be holding your Xmas party outside of your office then there are a few options to consider.
- Hiring a space and planning all of the catering/entertainment/bar organisation yourself. For bigger companies or companies with a higher number of employees, this could be somewhere grand such as a fancy hotel or iconic building that has been renovated for events. For a smaller event, you may want to look at pub function rooms or village halls.
- Hiring a space & a management company to create an event for you.
- Sign-up to an exclusive event– where the venue has decided on the theme/catering choices and you can hire the whole space for your party.
- Join one of the many shared Christmas parties around the country – this is similar to an exclusive event, with the exception that you will be sharing the space with other companies.
2. Fix a date
The best is to do this as early as possible so that you can give everyone enough notice, but also you will have more chance of getting your preferred venue (rather than them already being fully booked). It may also be worth finding out the best dates for your employees as you wouldn’t want to organise a party with no one turn up.
3. Invite your guests
Once you have secured your venue, it’s time to invite your employees. A group email telling them to save the date is the easiest and fastest way. Once they have gone out you are also able to send out the official invites once you get closer to the event.
4. Pick a theme
If you have decided to attend a shared party you can skip this step as most likely this will already have been chosen for you. However, don’t worry as these events can still be amazing! The possibilities are endless when picking a theme but here are a few to get you started:
- Winter Wonderland
- Christmas Masquerade Ball
- Candy Land/Chocolate Factory Christmas Party
- Christmas Around The World Themed Party
- Christmas Murder Mystery Party
Once you have picked your theme, write a list of the decorations and props you will need and get ready to go on a shopping trip!
5. Pick your food
Around 2-3 months before your event you should be thinking about the catering. If you are attending a shared or exclusive party then you shouldn’t have much to worry about apart from everyone selecting their food. The venue may want menu choices upfront so it may be worth getting everyone menu choices in ASAP. On the other, hand if you are planning the event yourself, then you may have a bit of a task ahead of you.
- The first thing you should do is find out if there any special requirements for food; are there any vegetarians, vegans, or allergy sufferers in attendance? If there are then make sure that you have options for them too!
- If you do decide to hire caterers, then this will take some of the workload off from you and will make your job a little easier. They can present menu choices to you and you just have to pick what you want to go with.
- If you are doing everything yourself then you will need to make a list of the type of food that you want to offer (buffet style will be the easiest). Draw up shopping lists of what food you will need and also see if you can rope in some helpers to help!
- Once you have your list of food it’s probably best to order it online and get it delivered to your venue. Supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & M&S are great for this and often have offers on to help you save some pennies!
6. Decide on your drinks
Again, if you are attending a shared or exclusive event then this will more than likely be included in your package. However, if not you will need to work out how much you need and where you are going to get it from.
- A general rule of thumb is to allow two drinks per guest for the first hour of the party and then one drink per hour after that.
- If you’re providing table wine, then it is generally considered correct to allow 2 glasses (half a bottle) per person.
- Don’t worry about catering for all tastes; it’s ok to pick just a few different alcoholic drinks – people are generally less fussy about what they drink when it is free and it will save you a lot of headaches!
- Don’t forget soft drinks and water – not only will there be people who don’t want to or can’t drink alcohol, but you also need to make sure that the guests who are drinking alcohol are doing so safely – and that means having access to non-alcoholic drinks too.
7. Plan the entertainment for your Christmas party
It may be that the venue is putting it on for you, but if not then you will need to arrange it yourself. At the least, you want to make sure that you have music for people to dance to (and this is sufficient entertainment for most people), but if you have time and spare change in the budget, then you could add entertainment such as:
- Casino tables
- Bucking broncos
- Group games like giant Jenga & giant Twister
- Photo booth (click HERE to see all of our Christmas party packages)