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How to Organise a Work Christmas Party

Christmas is approaching fast, and it’s time to organise your work Christmas party. The festive season can be stressful, but it can also be a time of fun, joy and excitement. If you’re stuck for work Christmas party ideas, we’ve put together a Christmas work party checklist to make the planning process as smooth as possible.

Get Organised Early

So, the end of the year is coming up fast and you’re in charge of organising a work Christmas party. The silly season is the busiest time of year for a lot of companies, so it’s best to get organised as early as possible. Organising a work Christmas party last minute is stressful, so there’s no such thing as being too early. Consider a few things first. How big is your company? What venues are close to the office? Browse potential venues in the area that hold functions. Think about your potential budget and the type of Christmas work party you want to hold. Is it casual or formal? Low-key or a little fancy? Jot down your ideas and get researching!

Set a Budget

First off, you need to find out which venues you can hire for the night that are within your budget. Find out how much you can spend on the venue, food, drinks, decorations and entertainment. Leave some wiggle room in case of last-minute arrangements or an emergency.

Allocate your budget according to what is most important to your workplace. Is it entertainment, a great bar tab or an elegant menu? Remember that your work Christmas party will be fun, no matter your budget!

Stuck for cheap work Christmas party ideas? Save money of the venue by holding the Christmas party at work. Organise your own drinks and finger food to have. Collaborate with your colleagues on a great playlist for the night. Organise some games and activities like trivia to play.

Choose a Venue

Unless you’re having your Christmas party at work, it’s time to choose a space to hold the event. Once you’ve set your venue budget, make a list of potential local venues and get in touch with them to enquire about their pricing, capacity and which dates are available. You may want to visit a few spaces to check they are right for the event. Make sure the venue has all the essentials: accessibility, enough space, a sound system, a bar, an outdoor area, and so on.

Save the Date

Once you’ve chosen and booked your venue, it’s time to let the guests know! December is one of the busiest months for many people. It’s full of parties, family obligations, festivals; the list goes on. Make sure to get in as early as possible so most guests can make it!

RSVP

Whether you send a formal invite or an email RSVP notice, it’s important to get accurate numbers. This will help you with the menu and bar tab for the night.

Dress Code

No one likes to be unprepared, wondering what to wear to a work Christmas party. Make sure to set a dress code, whether it’s cocktail dress, smart casual or semi-formal.

Menu

The menu for the night is a huge part of your budget, so make sure to consider all your options. From a three-course meal to appetizers to food trucks, choose based on the style of the event (and your budget, of course!). It’s also worth noting that some venues provide food and drink. Ensure you have all the information you need from the venue.

Once you’ve decided on the type of service, whether it’s caterers or a food truck, contact them and enquire about their pricing and availability. Make sure you are aware of all guest’s dietary requirements so no one misses out. If anyone has serious allergies, consider leaving that food off the menu entirely.

Bar Tab

If you’re serving alcohol at your work Christmas party, consider a bar tab that is within your budget. Some venues offer specific packs–for example, only house wine, basic spirits & tap beer. Whatever the case is, make sure there’s enough for everyone.

Cab vouchers are sometimes included at work Christmas parties, ensuring everyone get home safely. If this is within your budget, it’s definitely worth considering.

Awards & Speeches

If you’re planning on giving out awards and making a speech, carve out a time of night for it. The best time would be immediately before or after dinner, when guests are still sitting down and before the dance floor has started. Ensure the venue has the right equipment, like a PA, a microphone and speakers.

Entertainment

Here comes the fun part. Decide on the type of entertainment you want for the night. You might want to hire a photographer or bring in a photo booth for night. Think about the music–will you hire a DJ or live band, or create a playlist for the night? Do you want to give your colleagues the chance to belt out some Whitney Houston on a karaoke machine? Ensure the venue has the right equipment you need for music and speeches.

Decorations

Every good party needs a fun, party environment. Create a little ambience with decorations! Choose decorations depending on the style of your party, whether it’s semi-formal or casual. From flowers and personalised name cards on each table to balloons and fairy lights, decorations can make or break a party.

Before Your Work Christmas Party

There are a few things to do when your work Christmas party is fast approaching. Confirm the final headcount and let the venue and caterers know. Finalise dietary requirements for the caterers. Confirm the entertainment for the night and make sure all equipment is ready to go, such as the lighting and sound system. Get all your decorations and supplies ready for the party.

One week out from the party, send a reminder to all your guests with key details–how to get there via public transport, car parking, the time of the event, the dress code, and so on. We know it’s cheesy, but after all your hard work, make sure to have fun!

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