how to plan your christmas party like a pro

posted by Helen Lamont Oct 03, 2017

Eek, its October already! Hands up if you still need to book your Office Christmas Party!

The elves at MEDIAmaker have dusted off their hats and plans are well underway for our Christmas Parties.

As event planners, we like to think we’ve picked up a great tip or two for getting Christmas parties right. So here are our sparkliest tips for planning your Christmas party like a pro:

 

Try not to leave it to the last minute

Every year, Christmas creeps up on you like a jingly-bell covered ninja, but somehow denial makes time run away from you! And the longer you leave it, the fewer venue and date options you will have. If you are booking something at the last minute, you may need to be more flexible with your dates and consider midweek or even doing something earlier or later in the season.

 

Choosing the right venue

Before choosing your venue, you need to decide what type of party you want. There are plenty of options from the traditional office party. From a meal at a restaurant, to hiring a venue for a party or having a table at a venue’s Christmas party. You’ll know what will suit your audience.

If you have the time, you could ask your guests what they want to do. Online polls make this really easy and it can be good to hear the views of people who don’t normally get involved. It’ll also make it more of a collective decision.

Here are some questions to help you decide on what event is best for you:

  • When do you want it - Day / night, midweek / weekend
  • How many people is it for?
  • Who is invited – whole company, a team, partners?
  • Budget?
  • Location?

Once you decide the format, start looking at what is available in your chosen location. Some cities produce Christmas Party guides with venue listings, which can be a good starting point. Call around and check they have the dates you want.

Draw up a shortlist and maybe get some opinions from colleagues.

Go have a look at the venue before booking. If you hire a whole venue, make sure you allow time for setting up and taking everything down.

Invites

There are many invite options and you should consider how many people are invited and what information you need to collect. For most events, you will need to know the basics: who is coming and what are they eating? For very large events, consider a delegate management system as this will save you lots of time. For smaller events a simple email reply may be enough, but you then will need to compile any food choices.

Printed invites are also an option which feels more special than an electronic one, but you’ll need to consider how they will RSVP.  

 

Theme

Your theme could be led by the venue or a trend. You certainly don’t have to have a theme, but if you are planning to add decorations and event enhancements, then having a clear look will make this much easier and make the end result more successful. 

Pinterest can be a great resource when looking for theme inspiration. Look out for our next blog where we will share some of our favourite Christmas looks.

 

At the party

Remember that organisers are never really off duty! Be prepared, so that you don’t have to sort too much out on the day.

Make sure you’ve considered:

  • How is everyone getting there?
  • Does everyone know the venue location, directions and start times?
  • Get to the venue early, make sure you have enough places, find out where the toilets and cloakroom are and introduce yourself to the venue staff.
  • If you have a table plan, put guests’ menu choices on the back of place cards, as people often forget what they have ordered.
  • If you are having an event where you have to pay or settle the balance on the day, make sure you have the means to do this or the person who is doing this knows and is expecting to sort this.
  • Have some taxi numbers handy.
  • Make sure you know about any special dietary requirements in advance.

 

Good luck! You know where we are if you need some help organising your Christmas Party at hello@mediamaker.co.uk