When should you begin planning your office Christmas party? Now. And depending on when you read this article, “now” might have been weeks or even months ago.
Each year around this time, we begin to blog heavily about planning for office Christmas parties? Why now? It’s simple: by this point in the year — just at the tail-end of the summer — it is officially “late” for companies like yours to begin thinking about the office Christmas party. Frankly, the scheduling, key reservations, and planning should have been done months ago.
The fact is, there is a real “supply and demand” problem when it comes to office Christmas parties: most businesses, small and large alike, hold some kind of party around the holidays. And yet, there is a very limited selection of appropriate venues, entertainment, catering, and available days to schedule around. Here are a few key variables to consider for planning an office Christmas party, and why now is the time to make those plans:
It’s naive to think that the large number of restaurants and pubs throughout the UK indicates a wide selection of venues appropriate for a corporate event. For most businesses, a large, clean, private venue is needed for a proper office Christmas party that has the necessary facilities for catering and entertainment.
Before you book a venue, it’s critical to have a sense of what your office Christmas party is going to be all about. We recently blogged about how team building events, professional entertainment, and themed decor are all critical for a successful party. First, before you even consider venues, you must have a clear idea of the full scope of your party.
Once you have that in mind, ensuring you have the space and facilities will narrow the field of possible venues considerably. This, combined with the fact that there are only a few weeks of possible dates for your party, is why booking your venue far in advance is advisable.
Whilst there are plenty of bands and DJs out there, what percentage of them are professional enough to entertain your employees all night long? Generally speaking, you’ll want to book professional entertainment that will play popular music that people love to dance to, and bring all of the necessary equipment to properly perform it live.
Unfortunately, there are very few professionals to choose from in this department. In spite of the fact that professional entertainment tends to be more flexible and isn’t as prohibitive as venue choice, the best bands and DJs get booked up well in advance. As a result, now is the time to make enquiries into entertainment.
Offering good food and reliable quality is also quite tricky for an office Christmas party. It’s never a good feeling to be left with making a generally uninformed decision about the food for your party, and yet, that’s often where party planners find themselves.
Should you go with the caterer that the venue offers or suggests? Perhaps, but typically that suggestion is based less on quality and more on some kind of agreement that the venue and caterer has with one another. Your best bet is to ask someone whom you know and trust, and make an informed decision based on their recommendation.
Leave it to the Professionals
If by this point you’ve managed to do none of the above, the best solution is to probably put it into the hands of the professionals. Professional event planning agencies like Accolade already have deep ties with venues, entertainment, and caterers. Unlike you, their business is predicated on dealing with these service providers. Perhaps it’s too late for you to find the right venue and services for your office Christmas party, but it isn’t for Accolade.