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10 Tips for Planning a Work Christmas Party

‘Tis the season to be jolly and to eat seasonal treats such as mince pies, chocolate and mulled wine (in sensible quantities, of course). It is also the time of year when the infamous work Christmas party takes place.

The work Christmas party is the one annual event in the year that many employees look forward to the most. It is a chance to let loose, celebrate and spend time with work colleagues in a less formal office setting. Christmas parties are an excellent way to bring the entire workplace together, and celebrate all the hard work everyone has done and achieved throughout the year. It is also a fantastic way for employers to say ‘thank you’ to everyone, and mark the end of the year.

If you are planning a corporate or office Christmas party, it can be challenging and it is definitely no easy feat! A lot of time, planning and preparation goes into the delivery and success of this key annual event. We’ve formulated a few things for you to consider, and hopefully help you create and deliver the perfect work Christmas party.

Our top 10 tips on how to plan a work Christmas party:

1. Choose the right time and date

This is number one on our list of top tips for planning a Christmas party for a reason. It’s important to make sure everyone within your organisation is available to attend. There’s nothing worse than organising a fantastic party and nobody being available to turn up and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

It is worth remembering, there are certain dates and weekends in December that are very popular for holding a Christmas party. In conjunction with this, many other workplaces in your area will also be booking and planning their Christmas party for similar times and dates, so venues do get booked up fairly quickly. Get in there early, and choose a date and time before proceeding any further with your planning.

2. Decide on a Christmas party theme

Christmas tree close up

Deciding to make your Christmas party themed is very much optional. It all depends on you as a party planner, and whether your attendees would enjoy it. It’s also important to note, that not all Christmas parties need a theme. It is very much a ‘luxury item’ for your Christmas party. 

The most common office Christmas party themes are: The Roaring 20s and Winter Wonderland. Here at Jaspers Event Hire, we have collated some interesting event themes for your office Christmas party for you to check out, and hopefully inspire your next event!

3. Budget, budget, budget

Whether you a party planner, event organiser or project manager you will understand how integral budgets are to the success of any project, party or event. Now, you may be rolling your eyes at this point on our list, and yes, it is stating the obvious, and yes, we all know budgeting is a must when planning anything. 

But, our main reason for including it, is to reiterate how important knowing what your budget is and making sure you stick within it. This is particularly key if you want to create a more elaborate, extravagant party for your colleagues.

4. Choose a unique party venue

Location, location, location – Kirstie and Phil were right – venue is key. It is always important to make sure you select a suitable venue for your theme (if that’s the type of party atmosphere you want to create), or one which is ideally located for your guests. Although it is tempting to go for a magnificent place that’s miles away, it’s not very practical for your guests – typically, your guests will decide whether to attend or not based upon how easy it is to get to, and how far away it is from their home. 

5. Select tasty food & drink

an image of a Christmas cake

This has got to be one of the best things about attending a Christmas party. Everyone loves to eat and drink, particularly yummy seasonal food we only get once a year! Selecting food for your guests also depends on how adventurous you’re feeling, and whether you’d like to select foods that are more unusual and different, or stick to something a little more traditional.

6. Use last year’s feedback

Feedback is a gift, or so they always tell us. Jokes aside, feedback really is a gift when it comes to planning parties. We can use feedback from previous years parties, both successful and ones that perhaps needed a little improvement or better planning, to inform this year’s party or event. So if you planned a Christmas last year, use the feedback you received, and let it help you create something spectacular this year. 

Also, you don’t necessarily have to use feedback specifically from a Christmas event or party, it can be more general event feedback. You can even use ideas, inspiration and feedback from others in the industry who have shared their successes and ‘failures’. Remembering always that failure is never a bad thing, it’s just a learning point. A chance for us to do it differently next time. All kinds of feedback are a gift, and an opportunity for us to see what works and what doesn’t, what people like and respond to, and what people don’t like and don’t respond to.

7. Send invitations out early

Christmas party invitation

This point on our list very much links back to our first point regarding choosing the right time and date. Christmas is a busy time of year, and people are often invited to lots of different events, or have lots of family and friends to visit. So making sure that you send your invites out early  ensures people are well-informed, can better coordinate their busy schedules, and means that your event is more likely to have lots of people attend!

We all want the party or event we’ve organised to be successful and have lots of people attend. The best way to put your work Christmas party off to a flying start is to get in their early (or first) with your party invites. By sending your invites out early, it gives people enough time to pop it in their diaries and fit it around other holiday plans, parties or events. The best time to start sending invitations out is between September and October, and definitely no later than mid-November.

8. Hire fun entertainment

If you have decided to hire entertainment, our first piece of advice is to know your audience/ workplace and choose suitable entertainment based on this. Most party planners will immediately think of hiring a DJ or some form of musical entertainment, like a band or artist, and these are typically popular choices for entertaining guests. However, there are many other alternatives, from holding a quiz or raffle, to interactive photo and video booths, to classic games or casino tables.

9. Hire an event manager

Depending on the scale of your event and your budget, it might be worth hiring or tasking someone in your team (or a friend/ family member) with helping run and manage the event on the day. 

Having an event manager on the day is a great idea, particularly if you have planned lots of different activities, or have set timings for food, activities and entertainment. It means you can stick to your schedule or itinerary and helpful guide your guests through the event in an organised, but fun way.

10. Decorate and furnish your venue

Table decorated with Christmas plates and glasses and decorations

Walking into a beautifully decorated and furnished Christmas party and hearing people exclaim ‘wow’ and ‘this is amazing’. Hearing people praise us on the aesthetics and design of our party is the ideal scenario and dream result for many event planners. We want to metaphorically ‘blow our guests away’. We want to amaze and surprise them. We want them to take multiple pictures with their friends and work colleagues showcasing our hard work in the background, and most of all, we want them to have fun and be transported into the world we’ve tried to create.

One of the ways to do and achieve this for our guests is to hire furniture (chairs and tables), crockery, cutlery, catering and kitchen equipment. This helps decorate and furnish our chosen venue. Here at Jaspers Event Hire, we specialise in providing table, chair and table linen hire for a wide range of Christmas events. From an office Christmas party to a New Year’s Eve event we can cater for all types, both private and corporate. If you’re looking for inspiration on the types of furniture you could hire for your event, check out our informative blog on: what furniture do you need to hire for your Christmas party?

Christmas furniture hire from Jaspers Event Hire

Jaspers Event Hire has the perfect furniture to decorate your work Christmas party and make your perfect Christmas party look incredible. We have a wide range of furniture available to hire and can cater for all Christmas events from Christmas parties to New Years Eve events, both private and corporate.

We are proud to offer a wide range of furniture available to hire from tables, chairs, benches, kitchen equipment, refrigeration, cake stands, bar items, Catering hire: cutlery to crockery, linen, glassware, and many more!

Contact Us

If you’re planning a work Christmas party or event and would like to hire Christmas furniture or catering equipment to accommodate your guests, look no further than Jaspers Event Hire. You can give one of our friendly team a call on 01582 749 966 or fill out our online contact form and enquire about any of the items that we have available to hire.