The Ultimate Christmas Party Checklist
There’s no getting around it, organising a Christmas party for your company is a daunting and difficult task. It’s equivalent to arranging a large-scale event and one common pitfall is not realising the importance of starting early.
Venues often book up many months in advance with the most popular dates snapped up a year or more in advance.
With over 15 years’ experience in Christmas party planning, we’ve put together the ultimate checklist to help you deliver a real cracker of a party!
#1 Set The Date
Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year. It’s also one of the busiest with plenty of social and family events filling the diary. That’s why it’s so important to set the date early in order to make sure you have a good turnout.
If you’re planning months in advance, then you may want to give date options and see which is the most popular, while those with less time to spare may want to base the date on the availability of the venue.
#2 Check The Budget
Organising a Christmas party when money is no object is very different from having a tight budget.
Make sure you know the size of the budget you have available and whether there is any contingency within this. It’s also a good idea to set aside some of your budget as a backup for unexpected costs.
#3 Package Or Bespoke
Do you want to create something yourself, or would you prefer something that’s been put together by a venue or Christmas party planner?
A package is normally a good option for companies who don’t have the time or budget to organise everything themselves. Packages tend to feature set menus and drinks packages and the venue is dressed in a theme.
The bespoke option gives you more freedom but takes longer to organise and put together as you need to source everything from the venue and decorating to entertainment and catering options.
Of course, if you’re set on having something truly special then a Christmas party planning company can help you create something totally unique.
#4 Venue Selection
Now that you know your date, budget and whether you want a bespoke or package party it’s time to look at and select the venue.
The earlier you’re able to book a venue the better chance you have of securing the one that you really want. As you can imagine the best venues tend to get snapped up early so this is where being super organised really helps.
If you are finding it difficult to find a venue our venue finding service can help. Some of the things to check with your venue are:
- Location – is it easily accessible?
- Decorations & Theming – are these provided?
- Accommodation – are there suitable options nearby?
- Do they have an events team?
- Clearing up afterwards – is this something they provide?
#5 Choose A Theme
Help staff get into the party spirit by creating a theme for the Christmas party. Not only can this be incorporated in the décor of your venue but it’s an excuse for your staff to dress up and make an effort. Check out our Orient express themed Christmas event for inspiration:
#6 The Food
The food is the backbone of a Christmas party but just because you’re having a traditional party doesn’t mean you have to stick with a turkey dinner. There are many options available for catering but often the cheapest will be sticking with the in-house catering at your venue. Make sure you get a menu tasting to check the quality of the food before you commit to your menu choice.
#7 The Drinks
Some may argue that the drink is more important than the food as it will help get everyone into the party spirit. Arrival drinks are a popular option and will help start the night off on a high note, but make sure there are a couple of options including soft drinks. Check out our fantastic mixology cocktails.
#8 Music & Entertainment
The Christmas party is a chance to let your hair down and having the right music will go a long way to getting everyone up and dancing. Whether you want a DJ, Drummer, live band or even just a sound system with the option to pick your own tracks, getting the music right will help create a great party atmosphere.
As well as music you may want to have other entertainment options available such as a magician, circus acts, casino games, arcade machines, funfair, karaoke or caricaturist. There are lots of options to keep you entertained and if you’re struggling for ideas then a Christmas party planner can help.
If your party is going to be in the middle of nowhere or somewhere that is difficult to get to, then you may want to consider putting on transportation to get your guests to and from the venue. A coach may be overkill for a smaller company but a minibus or local taxi company may be able to help ensure everyone gets to and from the venue safely.
Once everything is booked and confirmed its time to send out the invitations which should include the following details:
- Venue Location
- Start and End Time
- Dress Code
- Menu Options
#11 Table Plan
Once you know how many guests will be attending and have details of their menu choices you can start putting together the table plan. Whether you choose to seat people with their friends or mix up the seating so guests mingle is up to you. Don’t forget to create a large format seating plan for the venue and also name cards for the tables.
#12 Create An Itinerary
You know the old saying “failing to plan is planning to fail”, well putting together a full itinerary will help to make sure things go smoothly on the day.
Include details of all suppliers with contact numbers, timings and other important information. Make sure you give a copy to your venue and any suppliers ahead of time so they know who to contact if something goes wrong.
We hope that this checklist helps you create the perfect office or work Christmas party but if you’d rather get someone else to do the work for you, then please get in touch!