With the summer hols over, it’s back to business, with the final sprint to the end of the year now well underway. It’s time to start the annual mild panic of securing an awesome Christmas party booking before it’s too late. What’s more, the pressure to throw a party that people will remember (for the right reasons) and actually enjoy, is now beginning to bear down on those of us responsible for putting them on!
Well fear not! Here at Grazing Christmas Party HQ, not only have we thrown more epic parties for our clients than we can remember, but we’ve also roped in the help of some of our venue partners and fellow eventprofs to put together 5 tips to help plan this year’s office Christmas party. So grab a coffee or a cold brew chai latte, sit back and take a look at our top tips for festive fun:
- Focus your search within your budget
Right, let’s deal with the money bit right up front. It’s super important to know your budget in the first instance. You’ll save bags of time and energy if you get the low down on what’s in the Christmas party kitty before you get going.
- Timing is everything
Think carefully about which night of the week is best for your bash. Hold it midweek and run the risk of some no shows in the office the next morning or hold it on a Friday night and run the risk of some no shows from people with family commitments. It’s a balancing act getting it just right for as many people as possible, so gauge opinions from colleagues to find out what works best in your company.
- Eat well – it’s Christmas after all!
Christmas catering is essential for any Christmas party. Beautiful and dainty mouthfuls of deliciousness, who doesn’t love a canapé, right?! It is indeed hard not to love these divine little things but much like kids, there’s a time and a place for them and it’s not at the work Christmas party! Perhaps an afternoon of canapés and drinks in the office for clients to pop in and share a drink and a bite with you before heading off home for dinner, yes canapés are perfect. But try filling up Phil from IT with eight tasty but tiny canapés to soak up the evening of free drinks you’ve laid on and this is unlikely to end well.
Think bowl food, street food or a fork buffet, rather than canapés, if you’re planning a standing party but still want to give everyone a great feed. Or, if you’re after a seated lunch or Christmas dinner, why not pick something a bit different this year and go for the added interaction of a family style sharing feast?
Oh and if you’re partying on a school night, then why not treat the team to a hot bacon roll and a power smoothie in the office for the morning after the night before to pick everyone back up?
- Embrace the task
Too many people see planning Christmas as a chore, rather than an opportunity to plan a great party, delight your colleagues and impress your bosses, as well as a great night out that you should really enjoy too. It’s all a state of mind! Go into it with a Positive Mental Attitude and you’ll smash it. Go on, you’ve totally got this!
- Know your audience and be inclusive
If you work in a super hip start-up full of millennials it might be a pretty easy decision to pick an equally hip venue for your party. Or perhaps you work in an office with a more serious, suit wearing crowd and need somewhere to have a great time but perhaps without the music so loud over dinner that you have to yell at the person sat next to you to have a conversation.
Think about the venue and location carefully and the before and after bits. Maybe start with some late afternoon drinks and nibbles in the office so even those who have to make it home for the kids or other commitments can enjoy at least part of the festive fun. Or perhaps pick a venue in an area with plenty of late-night drinking spots (think edge of City locations like Borough or Old Street) for those who want to carry on into the wee hours for the after-party.
Whatever you’re planning this year, the team at Grazing are here to help and we’ve got bags of ideas, menus and venues to choose from to help you create the perfect Christmas Party. Check out our Christmas menus and some ideas here, call our Christmas elves on 0207 283 2412 or drop us a line at email@example.com and let’s talk turkey (or not!).
And a final word of wisdom to keep in mind when planning this year’s work Christmas party, not from an eventprof this time but from American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou:
“PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU SAID, PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU DID, BUT PEOPLE WILL NEVER FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.”