People are always asking us for Christmas party ideas and even though Christmas might seem like it’s still a long way away, It will be here before we know it!
So to help you out we thought we’d give you a little nudge and provide some top Christmas party ideas and tips to help you make the right choices that lead to a successful office Christmas party, think how popular you’ll be if you plan a night to remember for your amazing staff or team.
Our Top Planning Tips are :
1. Get it in the diary We all know how busy the calendar gets around Christmas so it’s crucial to get the date in the diary early to ensure maximum turnout from your colleagues. It also helps you gauge turnout numbers at this early stage.
Once you have it decided, send an email to save the date. You may not have any details yet but at least people can block it out in their diary. You could also ask for specific details such as dietary requirements at this point.
2. Establish a budget The Christmas party budget is one of the first things you need to ascertain. In many ways this dictates the type of event that you can provide and you don’t want to waste time planning an extravagant event that has to be scrapped because it’s way over budget.
When you have established this, work out your priorities. These should be based on what the staff want rather than the directors. After all this party is a reward for the year’s efforts from the staff so really consider what would be of interest to them.
3. Establish the type of event you want There are so many options available to you and it can be easy to get bogged down in the daunting array of ideas out there. But work systematically through the requirements. Should it be in the day or evening? Will it involve lots of alcohol or be a family affair? Will you use party planners or create the event yourself? Will you go to a restaurant or combine food with an activity such as cocktail making or a team building event such as our Rock & Roll Experience?
4. Find the venue The best venues will get booked up very early. Don’t miss out and have to compromise such an important aspect of the event. Create a short list of great venues within your budget and that work for your chosen event type. Try to place a provisional booking with all of them until you have made the decision but be sure to release the ones that you don’t choose as soon as possible. Visit all of them and glean as many ideas from the venue event team as they will know their venue better than anyone and have great ideas about what works and what doesn’t.
5. Pick a theme You can really create something memorable and special if you bring in a great theme for your Christmas party. The theme can then be used to create consistency through every element of the Christmas party whether it’s the décor, food, dress code or entertainment. We have provided live music and pre-dinner team building at many events which use a rock star theme. This always seems to work very well and is huge fun. In these examples we supply many activities from an exciting rock star team building event pre dinner, the Rock & Roll Game Show after dinner, followed by live music entertainment from our live band The Right Hook to end the night in style. Whichever theme you choose, make sure it’s fun, creative and leaves lots of scope for people to indulge their imagination.
6. Send an invite Avoid a dull internal email to notify colleagues of the Christmas party. Set the tone from the start by creating engaging invitations. Make it seem like a special event that they wouldn’t want to miss. The invitation is the first point at which you can have fun with your theme and should include details such as start time and finish, date, venue, dress code, event format, who it is from and RSVP details.
7. Include decent food The quality and choices of food can make or break a Christmas party. Many feel obliged to go the traditional turkey route but this isn’t necessarily your best choice. Done well this can create the perfect festive atmosphere but if it’s less than perfect people won’t appreciate yet another Turkey roast. Maybe you could look at other less obvious choices.
But your first decision is the type of meal. Is it buffet, pre-dinner nibbles or a formal sit down dinner? You also need to find out whether the venue insists on their catering or whether you need to bring outside caterers in. Either way, consult with the caterer’s chef to see what ideas they have.
8. Speeches This event is a way of thanking all the staff for their hard work throughout the year. And nothing reinforces that message more than the CEO or team manager getting up and saying so. This might also be an opportunity to give out any necessary awards. Make sure the speeches are entertaining, short and early enough that they don’t become drunken rambles.
9. Take lots of photos After all that trouble to create an amazing Christmas party, make sure lots of photos are taken to capture the special moments. If you have created a very special event you might want to hire a professional photographer to make the most of it. But otherwise make sure someone that knows how to take a decent snap is tasked with capturing the night on film. After the event these photographs can be shared with everyone that attended to reinforce the great team memories and celebrate what a wonderful workplace you have. This is even more important if you have used a team building session in the afternoon and want to maximise that team building message.
10. Include a competition Competitions can be a really fun way of getting people into the spirit of things. Returning to the rock star theme, here you could have a best fancy dress prize. If you use our Rock & Roll Game Show the winning team would be awarded with a prize. Or it could be the old classic best Christmas jumper award. Have fun and let your imagination run wild!
11. Create a table plan. If you have chosen the sit down formal meal option then you will need to consider seating arrangements. Just as you might have experienced at a wedding, this can be a delicate operation. If there are any colleagues with slightly strained relationships then you may not want them next to each other consuming alcohol and causing problems. You may also want to mix teams up to avoid cliques occurring. This might help improve communications and relations between different departments.
12. The entertainment This is possibly the most important part of the Christmas party. This is the heart and soul of the event and it’s worth really taking the time to get this right. This is our forte and our passion so we know how crucial this is. An ipod pumping out Christmas classics may well be cheap but it also makes for a dismal party that send out the message that the staff are not really valued. Research the best entertainment to meet your budget and one that fits in with your theme.
Our events are tailored to fit with every different situation such as our live band The Right Hook, as well as our Rock & Roll Game Show which is a memorable and unique event that works well after dinner. This is always a huge hit with the Christmas party theme where we use an amazing compère and a live band to deliver the most interactive and outrageous music trivia quiz ever seen. This sees delegates up on stage playing kazoo solos, playing instruments with the band, singing and generally having an absolute riot. Our team building events have also proved popular for Christmas parties such as the Rock & Roll Experience where delegates get to learn a Christmas pop song on real instruments before performing it in a concert. Our Rock & Roll Choir also works very well at Christmas as we learn the harmonies for a Christmas song and then record the final performance. Another really great event at Christmas is our Make A Music Video event where we design and recreate a famous Christmas song music video. The edited result can then be passed around the office and enjoyed long after the event.But we also know that not every budget allows for a full band so we also have our live duo and even the option for a solo singer who creates the live performance to backing tracks.
But whatever you decide, plan the details early and then you can relax whilst everyone else tries to cobble something together at the last minute.
Get in touch with us to discuss how we can create a unique event that your colleagues will remember for years to come.