The office Christmas party is one of the highlights of the annual work calendar, but planning one is possibly one of the hardest tasks. With so many tempting invitations flying around, you want to make sure that yours is the Christmas party that everyone wants to attend. While some of the same fundamental party-planning rules apply to Christmas events, there are a few extra considerations which will make the office party the highlight of the season.
Date and Invitations
Christmas is a busy period, the busiest of the year for many people when it comes to social events, so diaries fill up fast. that means you want to get a date pencilled in as early as possible. Once you have your date set, send out the invitations and make them something unique and fabulous.
Sending online invites has never been easier, Facebook Events, eVite, Paperless Post, Celebrations, Punchbowl and Google Calendar are great tools for this. The best thing about online invites is guets can click yes or reply to the email or Facebook invite and the host knows in real time how many guests to expect, without waiting on the post both ways.
Venue and Decorations
Venues start getting booked up for Christmas from April so it’s really important to secure one soon. Many venues across London are getting bigger, bolder and more creative with the packages they are offering. If you’re looking for a venue that allows you to unleash your own creative streak, talk to us. We can create a theme, design the decor, and source the best caterers for your Christmas event.
Inclement weather makes your choice of Christmas party venue even more important than a summer party. If it’s not a short walk from public transport or an easy taxi ride from home or work, then people simply won’t bother going. It’s worth setting aside space for a cloakroom and, if you have a lot of guests attending, paying for a cloakroom attendant, so that people can leave their belongings with confidence.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without decorations. Real Christmas trees lavishly decorated with sparkling baubles and tinsel look amazing, but you don’t have to go over the top for it to feel festive. Set up a selfie backdrop with some Christmas style props and either include a cardboard frame or put a little sign nearby with a hashtag so your guests can share their photos online.
Food and Drink
It’s important to think about catering and whether you want this to be provided by the venue or an external catering company. You’ll also need to establish whether you’re looking for a sit-down dinner or whether canapés will suffice.
I’ve found that guests eat more in the evening than in the day especially if they’re coming straight from work, so factor in 8–10 canapes per person. A mix of hot and cold canapes works well. Avoid anything overly garlicky or messy as people may avoid them if they are going out afterwards.
A good rule of thumb is to allow 3–4 drinks per person for a two-hour party. Cocktails and champagne are usually drunk faster than pints of beer so it does depend on what drinks you’re serving and whether or not you have an open bar. Give your guests a personalised glass charm when they arrive as both a favour and a handy way of helping them keep track of their drink.
Ok, you’ve decided to go all-out to plan the ultimate office Christmas party. You’ve got the venue, you’ve sent invitations out to the entire office and everyone has RSVPed yes, so it’s time to organise some entertainment. A live band or DJ gets everyone buzzed up and encourages even the most ‘rhythmically challenged’ staff members to hit the dancefloor.
Music is an absolute must but forget cheesy Christmas tunes as everyone will be sick of hearing them. If your music is in the background only, throw in a few hip versions of Christmas favourites like “Santa Claus is Back in Town” by Elvis Presley, or “Santa’s Rap” by Beat Street.
The easiest way to host the best Christmas party of the season is with the help of a professional London party planner, just choose the guests and let us take care of the rest! Get in touch today.