It’s never too early to start thinking about your Christmas party. No matter how far Christmas is away, you can bet that someone else has already started to plan their party, and that the venue you want might get booked up pretty soon.
Here at Ultimate Events, we’re here to help. We’ve helped thousands of teams to plan their Christmas parties, and have options that are suitable for all kinds of parties.
We also understand that planning a Christmas party can be a stressful business. So today we’re going to take you through the steps of planning the ultimate Christmas party. Then we’ll explain how we can help at every stage.
Let’s get started.
How to Plan your Christmas Party:
9 Steps to Success
1. Set the Date
Christmas is the busiest time of the year and people’s diaries fill up fast. It’s best to start your planning as early as possible, so send an email round your team to see what dates they can do.
Even before you’ve confirmed all the details of your event, it’s also worth sending a ‘save the date’ email so people don’t forget!
The budget you have to spend on your party will determine many of the decisions you make when planning it, so it’s best to be honest and up-front about the amount of money you have available.
If you are working on a tight budget, the best approach is to focus on what will please your staff, rather than directors. The Christmas part is, after all, a way to say thank you to staff.
3. What Type of Party?
There are many different types of Christmas party and once you’ve got your budget confirmed it’s time to decide on one. There are essentially three options here: either a bespoke party, where you will need to organise everything; a party hosted by a local events venue (like a pub or a restaurant); or an ‘off-the-shelf’ event organised by an events company.
As an events company ourselves, you can guess which we would recommend! Booking one of our packages means that we will take care of all the fiddly details, and allows you and your team to focus on what is important: having fun.
4. The Venue
One of the most important elements of your party is where you hold it. The right venue, whether this is a trendy bar or a historic palace, can add a dash of magic to your Christmas party and get guests in the mood to dance the night away.
Three of our most popular venues for Christmas parties are:
- City Central at the HAC is set in the stunning grounds of the Honorable Artillery Company and offers a calm oasis in the middle of the city. The period features of this building give Christmas parties an aura of Old London and make for an unforgettable festive experience.
- The Vaults is an exclusive venue hidden underneath the historic Old Billingsgate Market. Once the den of thieves and other miscreants, this secretive space is now host to chic parties of all kinds. The Vaults are perfect for giving your party a contemporary vibe.
- The Pavilion at the Tower of London also makes a great space for Christmas parties. This is a modern and fully-featured event space set in the shadow of the iconic Tower. This venue adds a touch of glamour and sparkle to any party and comes with musical entertainment and a secret dance floor that will keep your guests dancing into the small hours.
5. Food and Drink
No Christmas party would be complete without an opulent meal! When it comes to planning food and drink for your event, our advice is to ask the experts: once you have selected a venue, give them a call and discuss what kind of catering they can offer.
Of course, if you book your Christmas party through us, we can also give you the benefit of our experience. We’ve provided a huge range of different meals for Christmas parties – from the trendy to the traditional – and so can find the perfect menu for your team.
6. Plan Your Speeches and Awards
Christmas parties are a great time to say thank you to your staff and organising an award ceremony is a good way to make sure that your staff feel valued. This need not be too serious, of course and you can hand out humorous awards alongside more serious accolades.
7. Go the Extra Mile
Your staff have probably been to dozens of office Christmas parties before, and making yours memorable can be tough. Beyond the basic elements like the venue and the food you provide, there are a number of extra touches that make a world of difference.
- A nice touch is to hire a photographer. Though people will be taking pictures on their mobile phones anyway, having some professional photographs taken will make your party feel even more special and provide guests with great souvenirs of the event.
- Christmas is the time for giving, so you can also give goodie bags to your guests. Make sure that these are packed with items that your staff will actually appreciate, and not just corporate merchandise: think wine and chocolate rather than branded pens!
- A cloakroom is also a must for Christmas parties. This will not only provide convenience for your guests, but will also signal that you’ve thought about the details.
8. Send Invitations
A common mistake when planning Christmas parties is to forget to include all of the necessary information on the invitations you send out: if you’ve spent months planning your party, it can be easy to forget that not everyone is as involved as you.
When sending out invitations, make sure all of the following details are included:
9. Get Feedback
Once the party is over and done with, make sure that you get feedback on how it went. This can help you to plan the next party, but is also a great way of building on the relationships that your staff will form during it.
If some guests have particularly good (or funny) photographs of the event, you can ask them for permission to use them. Putting these together on a page will allow everyone who came to look back on the night and ensure that your Christmas party lives long in the memory.
Why Our Shared Christmas
Parties are (probably)
Perfect For Your Team
Of course, following all these steps is a lot easier if you have some help and here at Ultimate Events we can certainly provide that.
Our shared Christmas parties are a very popular option for teams of all sizes. As part of these packages, we can provide you with a space at any of the killer venues we’ve mentioned above: the Vaults, the HAC, or the Pavilion at the Tower of London.
During these events, you will have a private table for all your team members, but will be sharing the venue with a number of other teams. This provides the perfect atmosphere for a Christmas party, allowing your team members to socialise whilst in a buzzing, festive atmosphere.
A shared Christmas party is a great option for small teams, because it can be hard to create the right atmosphere without the numbers needed to fill out a venue. They are also great value for money and so are well suited to teams with a limited budget.
Perhaps best of all, our shared Christmas parties allow you to delegate much of the planning of your event to us. We will handle the details and you can get on with having a good time.
Shared Christmas Party
Ultimately, the decisions you make when planning your Christmas party should be driven by what your staff want. If you know that they love cocktails, make sure you book a space with a killer cocktail bar. If they are foodies, spend some time asking them what kind of cuisine they want to try.
If done well, Christmas parties are also about far more than just having fun. Some firms find that a successful Christmas party that allows staff to network and maybe even discuss business ideas, is a powerful spring for future business success.