How to plan the perfect Christmas party

The job of planning the company Christmas party can often seem something of an unwelcome and scary prospect. You are not alone if that’s how you are feeling about it, as the time constraints and pressure of wanting to organise something that all your colleagues will enjoy can make it a stressful ordeal.

We have come up with some tips to make the process run smoothly: -

Date - Setting a date as earlier as possible is crucial. Christmas is a busy time of year for venues, dates fill up very fast. Send the date around the office, and find out whether it pleases all of your guests. Typically Fridays are most popular, but remember, if you want the date you desire, booking early is your best bet.

Budget - Your budget is going to have a huge impact on what your party entails. It will determine everything from booze and food to entertainment. Agreeing on a budget early means that you can start planning your office Christmas party. With early planning come cheaper costs, so it is definitely always a great idea to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Expectations - After establishing a budget, you can then establish the expectations. Let everyone know in the office what the price will be able to get them engaged from the start. Once they know this, there will not be anything disappointing surprises if maybe some of the guests expected more.

Venue - The venue is possibly one of the most important decisions within the planning of the office Christmas party. Finding a beautiful venue, close to all of your party guests, with all the facilities that you require isn’t an easy task, especially for such a universal celebration.

Food - Catering is one of the most important decisions you can make, it’s the cornerstone of a successful Christmas office party. You will need to decide between using in-house catering and hiring in external caterers for a more tailored menu. An office survey may help you decide what food you choose to serve at the office Christmas party, but a traditional turkey dinner usually goes down well. And of course, there will have to be a vegetarian alternative.

Drinks - Decisions will have to be made in regards to arrival drinks. Some of the Christmas favourites include Pimm’s, mulled wine, sparkling wine and Christmas cocktails. A great idea would be to come up with a special cocktail that relates to the theme of your Christmas party. Your budget could be the deciding factor of whether you include welcome drinks on the night.

Music - A party is not a party without a little music. It is always a great idea to hire a DJ, live bands and musicians are usually icings on the cake. A DJ can play all of the Christmas classics as well as current pop music and genres of your choosing. But choose wisely, it contributes to the atmosphere of the night.

Entertainment - And if a DJ and disco aren't all you want at the office Christmas party, it’s time to start deciding what else you would like. Booking acts are also something that will have to be done well in advanced; entertainers’ love Christmas as it’s the busiest time of year for them, acting fast could guarantee your first option.

Transport - Making sure people can get to and from the venue is important for ensuring that things run smoothly. The evening is as hassle-free as possible for the guests when they have transport info, even if it is just numbers to local taxi ranks.

Table plans - We all know there are conflicts in the office sometimes; a table setting is an important way to keep the piece. It can be a tricky task to get right but it is worth the effort to make sure everybody gets the most out of the Christmas party.

Itinerary - Your itinerary is what will help you stay organised and ensure everything remains on the right track for a smooth-running event. Both guest itineraries and timetables for chefs and entertainers is a crucial way of keeping everything organised throughout the night.

Management - Planning your event and paying attention to the small details means that you can be prepared for any issues that arise on the night. Of course, there will be hiccups, but if you plan it right, you will be able to relax a little and enjoy the night’s festivities.

At Cheltenham Ladies’ College, we try to take away the stress of organising the company Christmas party. You will have a dedicated event co-ordinator who will be able to guide you through the process and help you enjoy the night. After all, it is your Christmas party too!

We still have a couple of dates in December available so please give us a call. Our packages start from £38.50 + VAT per person.

Visit our website (www.clcvenues.co.uk) or call 01242 707484