Christmas Party Tips
22 July 2015

19 weeks until December… ‘Holiday’s are coming’

Yes, yes, we know it’s July and Wimbledon and The Open Championships have just finished for another year and we are in the midst of Tour De France and the Ashes, but now is the time to start to think about your Christmas party, as the Christmas season is fast approaching! It is around this time that the best venues start getting booked up – and when it comes to Christmas it needs to be celebrated in style, you definitely don’t want your second choice.

Companies need to come up with something spectacular to celebrate the year passed and everything that has been achieved, it’s also a great way to motivate your staff and inspire them to continue to achieve for the year ahead!
It doesn’t have to be all about the crackers, turkey and stuffing – there are so many unique and individual ways to impress over the festive season.

We are giving you our top tips to guarantee you’ll have an amazing Christmas party!

1. Understand what you want to get out of your Christmas party
What do you want to achieve? Are you looking for employee bonding? A thank you for staff efforts or do you want to shout about how great you are as a company? Whatever your objectives write it down and make it the focal point of your event. Want employee bonding – team building could work – crystal maze type activities or indoor laser tag are all the rage. Want to reward? How about a once in a lifetime experience – treat them to hospitality at an event, build a day around an awards ceremony and make sure you have lots of champagne and employee gifts to remember post event. Want to shout about how great you are – choose a venue that wow’s, make the entertainment unique – why not hire a celebrity to ensure it oozes glamour. Whatever your objectives make them clear and you are sure to achieve them.

2. Understand your guests, the demographics, where they are located, what are their interests. There is no point spending money on a luxury cruise if everyone gets sea sick and it takes them 2 days to get there – you will get more moaning than praise. Look at the location of the event – is it easy for everyone to get to, can you run a coach from your office or even better how about a London party bus to make sure they start the event in style. Take a second to think if this celebration suits most of the attendees, you are never going to make everyone happy but we can try!

3. Have you thought about entertainment?
Don’t always just go with the easiest option, think outside the box, different entertainment which guests wouldn’t have seen before. It will add atmosphere and give out the wow factor. Anything interactive gets people interested, for example at our Paragon One Live Partner Launch & Spring Party we had a Sports News Desk which was filmed and sent to the guest so they could share on social media and with their friends and family. Even Ed Chamberlin popped over for a guest appearance or two on a few guest’s video. It doesn’t have to be a News Desk it could be a challenge game, everyone likes a bit of healthy competition e.g. table tennis. There are lots of options out there; you’ve just got to decide what’s right for the event.

4. How about a theme?
This comes back to your objectives. Make a theme work for you. Have you had a new product launch that you can link to a theme? Any new developments in the business or maybe the theme just adds a bit of colour to the evening. Themes that were popular for 2014 included German Christmas Market, Hollywood and Bollywood.

5. Well timed!
Always send out a save the date invite as early as possible, so everyone knows when it’s happening. Why not do this with a digital invite – a video from your CEO or how about getting a celeb to do a video for you to really create a buzz around the occasion. If this is a stretch too far even just a few teaser emails hinting at the theme, venue and entertainment can create that excitement. If your party doesn’t start until later in the evening, then maybe booking a table at the local pub/restaurant beforehand would be a good way to spend the time socialising before the party begins or why not order some pizzas into the office! And never and we mean never, forget about the after party.

6. Great food and drink!
One of the most important things about Christmas is and always will be the food and drink- so this should never be an afterthought at your work Christmas party! When it comes to the food, you shouldn’t always feel that you have to go down the traditional Christmas route with turkey, you should be able to serve whatever fits with your theme, objectives, and also your budget. Always go for food and drink tastings, it’s a must and venues all offer this service. Think about food trends that could work; street food pop-ups, sharing food Jamie Oliver style, experimental cuisine, interactive displays? How about organising some midnight treats for your guests – pulled pork burgers, hot dogs and pizza all work really well. All you need to do is make sure that everyone is catered for (don’t forget dietary requirements) and that it is something people will talk about until you can top it with next year’s Christmas party!

7. Use a great company!
Christmas parties are so complex and take a lot of time and management right from the start. Get a company who will listen to your objectives, come back with the most inventive of proposals within budget and take all of the stress and management of organising guest lists and making the event flow. Why not send Event Management your brief today.

How about it? Reckon you can pull off a cracking (excuse the pun) Christmas party? We hope you found our top tips helpful and you are now inspired, even though it is sunny outside to get organising your Christmas party!

Written By Tom