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So, you have been given the job of organising the office Christmas Party. Lucky you!

It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, early preparation is the key here because while everyone will have an opinion, you’ll be rather short on offers of help. We have the ultimate Christmas Party guide to keeping everyone happy and talking about your event for months to come.

Grab a pen and paper – or a spreadsheet – and let’s start with a few headings. Remember: If there is serious event planning to be done, it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas.

Christmas Party Guide

Keep the date

Christmas diaries fill up fast. That means you want to get a date confirmed as early as possible.

If your office isn’t too large, email potential options around to get a feel for the preferred date, while the responses will also give you an indication of numbers for the event. Remember, you can’t please everybody so it is usually best to go with ‘majority rules’ when choosing your date.

Thursdays and Fridays are most popular with younger staff who don’t want to ‘work’ at the weekend, but Saturdays are preferred by parents needing to sort cover at home and people who will need to travel any decent distance to your venue. Keep your age profile in mind…

What type of party?

There’s an endless amount of choice when it comes to what type of Christmas party to hold, and this is something that will be decided by a range of factors, from your budget to the size of your company. Are you organising a completely bespoke event on the work premises, or will you be purchasing a pre-packaged Christmas party?

Purse strings

Your budget will be a key factor as it impacts on every aspect on your Christmas party; from the venue, to the entertainment, to food and drink. You need to have a clear idea of how much you have to spend early on, so that you don’t start planning anything unrealistic. Also, always keep some back as a contingency – something will always crop up.

Location, location, location

With venues, timing is everything. Good venues get booked up quickly so time is of the essence.

Most good venues have their own in-house events team. Make the most of them; they’ll know the space inside and out. Organise a site visit to work out the best theme option for the space you want to use.

Find out what the venue has available and ask them to help you to create a list of everything you need to hire – For event hire inspiration, view our website www.nationaleventhire.ie

Check that the venue will be willing to clear up after you, otherwise you’ll have to allocate some budget for hiring extra help.

Research your theme thoroughly.

Theme

Popular ideas include: Traditional Christmas, film inspired, vintage/retro (50s 60s 70s etc), circus, ballroom and winter wonderland to name but a few.

Once you’ve chosen a theme, consider every element of the venue that will need to be themed like the entrance points, the bar, table centres and any unique features in the venue.

You should also consider every stage of the event such as: Arrival, reception drinks, dinner, after-dinner dancing and drinks. You also need to account for any other element that can be themed like dress codes for guests and staff, choice of music food and drink menus and any outdoor areas.

Food & Drink

What are you going to serve guests to eat and drink is the central part of any party. If you have a theme, don’t feel like you have to stick to Christmas food either, there’s only so much turkey and ham you can eat!

Consider you want the food to be served. Do you want a formal, sit-down meal, or do you want a buffet-style event? Make sure you consult with the chefs to choose a style of food that incorporates your theme and don’t forget to check that all dietary requirements will be provided for on the evening.

When it comes to drinks, are you going to prepay a set amount for your guests, or are you just going to pay for everything that gets consumed on the night? Consider having drinks vouchers for guests to spend as they want.

Let us entertain you

A live band can really add something special to a Christmas party, creating an exciting party atmosphere that will bring everyone together. A lot of bands also include a DJ option, so that you can turn things up a notch and dance the night away into the small hours.

You don’t just have to have a live band as entertainment however, you could also consider alternative options like comedians, magicians, jugglers, stunt shows or after-dinner speakers.

Party games and exercises are also great ideas and popular options include: Wine tasting, cocktail making, casino tables, murder mystery and if you want to send things off with a bang, fireworks.

If you want the party to act as a thank you to staff, then you should factor in some time for speeches. Ask the Managing Director to prepare a short speech and co-ordinate with the band/DJ to use one of their microphones, otherwise you may have to hire one. 

Manage the event

With all this pre-planning, you too can enjoy the night, but remember to stay on the ball during the party, as unexpected problems can crop up. Keep a copy of the itinerary on you at all times, introduce yourself to all your suppliers in advance, so that they know who you are and who to come to if they have questions or problems.

At National Event Hire, we have decades of experience in supplying quality furniture, crockery, cutlery, kitchen equipment and linen to office and company parties of all shapes and sizes. If you require help with planning your Christmas Party call us free phone on 1800 759 759 or email us at info@neh.ie

For Christmas Party inspiration check out www.natinaleventhire.ie

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