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10 Steps to Plan the Perfect Office Christmas Party

by Damien

The job of planning and organising the company Christmas party can often seem a scary and unwelcome prospect. You’re not alone. The time constraints and pressure of creating something that everybody in the office will enjoy can make it a stressful ordeal.

For your work party to run smoothly you need to be organised. It’s never too early to start planning your office Christmas party. With this in mind, we have listed 10 steps to make sure you deliver a real Christmas cracker of a party!

1. Set the budget

If you have been delegated the task of organising the Christmas party, the first thing you will need to know is the budget. You don’t want to start making unrealistic plans for an event that requires twice the budget you have, so find out what it is and make sure you also have a contingency for emergencies or unforeseen costs.

2. Decide on the type of celebration you’re having

There is so much choice on the type of event your company could host. If you’re really unsure and you wish to please the most people, you could poll staff to find out what they would like from a Christmas party. Give them a few choices and take a vote. Will there be a meal? Will people be going for drinks afterwards? Are partners invited? Is there a dress code?

3. Set a date

The day of the week is as important as the date itself, so decide on this as soon as possible. Weekday nights are often cheaper and have more availability but you have to think about whether you’re staff will be in a fit enough state to come in next day. Friday and Saturday nights are more popular for this reason but availability will be limited and prices will be higher.

4. Find a venue

Arrange a site visit to a venue to see whether it is suitable. You are running a huge risk if you book somewhere without viewing it first. Ask the venue manager what is available to use and what is included in the price. A cheap venue may not be such a bargain if you have to organise furniture hire, entertainment equipment, pay for staff, decorations, etc. additionally.

5. Food and drink

A meal or a buffet is generally expected at a Christmas party. Would everyone prefer a sit-down meal or a light buffet? Don’t forget to plan for vegetarian or special dietary requirements in advance. Again, it would be a good idea to use a survey to decide this. The food that’s served at a Christmas party can make or break an event so make the right choice for your company and your staff.

Getting the balance right with free drinks is also important. Too many and you could end up with uncontrollable and unruly staff; too few and you risk the company appearing miserable and lacking in Christmas spirit. A happy medium is what’s required. South Africa  An open bar is a dangerous option, both in terms of cost and potential bad behaviour.

6. Music and entertainment

Get the music and entertainment right and your Christmas party will be talked about for a long time afterwards. Dancing is usually a must and it’s the perfect opportunity for everyone to unwind and have some fun. Choose the entertainment to suit your event and your staff. There are endless options if you decide to go with something other than just music and a dancefloor. You could go for a live performer such as a comedian, magician or a stunt show, or you may want to choose casino tables, karaoke or something unusual like bumper cars.

7. Speeches and awards

The Christmas party is the best time to present any awards and thank staff collectively. Using technology such as Symphony to collect nominations can streamline this process for you. Organise a microphone if one is needed, and make sure it won’t go on for too long. Staff won’t want celebrations to be disrupted so keep award-giving and thank yous short and sweet.

8. Organise transportation

Venues are not always close to where every member of staff lives, so it’s important to arrange transport for staff to get home safely. Mini buses arranged in advance for everyone to get to and from the venue are an economical and safe option. Otherwise collect local taxi numbers or details about local transport and make them available both before the event and on the night.

9. Invitations

Once you have all the details of the date, time and venue you need to invite everyone. Make sure the way to RSVP is clear and gives a cut-off date well in advance of the event so that numbers for food can be confirmed. translator directory You will most likely have to chase people for responses so ask managers of each department to help if you have large numbers of staff.

10. Seating plan

Once you know how many are attending, you may want to organise a seating plan if you are having a sit-down meal. Allowing everyone to sit where they like on the night may result in a bun fight for seats and some people may be very disappointed about who they ended up sitting with (or not sitting with). Much like organising a wedding seating plan, it can be a stressful and extremely difficult task so you could talk to staff and managers for ideas and suggestions about how to put one together.

After the event

Asking staff for feedback about the event is extra work but can be a huge help for the next Christmas party. By creating a survey you will find out what everyone liked and didn’t like and possibly save you money the following year.


Are you organising your office Christmas party this year? To find out how we can help, give a member of our support team a call on 0114 279 4990.