A-Z of Planning Corporate Christmas Party in London - Part 2

Here is the second part of out A to Z list of important things to consider when planning a corporate Xmas party, regardless of whether you are hosting a small gathering or an international soiree. In continuation of A-M list, here is N-Z list of office Christmas party planning.

N – Numbers
It’s the number of invitees that will help you decide the type and of venue, seating arrangement, and scale of catering required. So, first prepare your guest list, so you can get started with other aspects.

O – Outside London
The idea of taking everyone outside the city may sound tempting but consider the fact the number of attendees will fall. If you are a multi-national company, go for a central location that is accessible to most people. In fact, there is no other city better than London in hosting international guests.

P – Parties are No Substitute for Bonus
Always remember that no cash-poor hardworking employee will ever appreciate a Christmas party instead of a bonus. Don’t think overspending on your Christmas bash will work as a substitute for bonus. In fact, your employees are likely to resent the extravagant décor, food, and see everything coming out of their pocket. So, a better idea is to send out an announcement months in advance saying, “The Company will not give any bonuses this year”. Don’t complement this statement with, “Instead, there will be a huge holiday party."

Q - Quality not Quantity
There is no need to overdo the party decorations, favours, or anything for that matter. Keep it simple and it will turn into a memorable event. Focus on the quality of the event, not the quantity such as how posh the venue is or how extravagant the décor is. Chances are that you guests would be so busy mingling with each other that they won’t even notice all these things.

R – Rules
As the organiser, there are some rules you need to follow to pull together a successful party this year. Instead, these are some ’don’ts’ for you.

  • Try not to only converse with other managerial people. Rather, mingle with everyone which will help set the right mood.
  • Don’t take it as a business event. It’s a social gathering not a team meeting or a conference. It’s not the right time to bring up that issue of the lost file!
  • In an attempt to make it a social event, don’t force anyone to do things that are out of their comfort zone. Like if you have planned a karaoke night, there will be enough people who are willing to embarrass themselves. You don’t need to drag any unwilling person.
  • Don’t expect employees to work too much next day!

S – Set a Budget
Set up a budget and stick to it as much as possible. But if your budget allows, make it an event to remember. Employees work hard all year round wearing formal clothes in a formal atmosphere. Make it a fun night where they can let their hair down, wear funky costumes, and enjoy.

T – Theme
Though Christmas is in itself a theme but you can inject some fun into your party with choosing a unique theme. Theme will help build excitement amongst everyone to attend the event and keep the fun quotient up. Costumes, props, decorations, and food will keep everyone in the party mood. Some classy themes you can easily pull together are:

  • Winter Wonderland
  • Christmas in Narnia
  • A Victorian Christmas
  • Christmas Karaoke

U – Understanding
You need to understand what your delegates, employees, and clients expect to get out of the event. Understand your team and decide what type of event will suit them. A conversation oriented social gathering, an activity-based fun event, or just a dinner dance will work. Think what works for them the best.

V – Venue
Here comes the most time and budget consuming task ahead; choosing the right venue. In London, choices are endless. If you budget allows, you can literally hire anything from an open air deck or an ancient fortress to a museum or an aquarium. But when looking for venues, you need to consider so many factors including budget, capacity, location, type, and of the venue. Take the stress out of your task by using one of the online London venues finding websites. Take a sneak peek at different venues, their images, and read their detailed description. If you fall in love with one, simply make a call or send your enquiry online.

W – Working Relationships
Don’t just see this party as an annual festive bash. Instead, don’t underestimate the fact that you can use this party to improve working relationships amongst colleagues and business acquaintances. Provide plenty of seating area where people can chat and mingle whilst having their favourite sip.

It’s never too early to start planning for an office Christmas party. The best venues get snapped up months in advance, sometimes a year in advance. If you want your 2013 Christmas party to be a cherished event, make sure to leave extra time for planning process. Also, make sure to have extra food, drinks, and space at your venue. It will be helpful if there are any last minute additions to your guest list.

Y is for Why?
Whatever your goals may be, don’t forget to celebrate the very spirit of Christmas. If you’re still unsure as to what all to include in your party schedule, the tried and tested way is to go traditional. If everybody has fun mingling, congratulations! You have done it well.

Nothing feels as good as a good night’s sleep. But this certainly something you don’t want to see at your Christmas party. Make your party a fun event, not a boring and dull corporate affair that urges guests to catch a few zzzzs.

With Christmas just few months away now, every detail of the festivities is to planned now. Follow this A-Z guide to make your yearly bash a little different this time. To view out A-M list, click here.

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