What will happen to the Christmas party??
In these difficult and unprecedented times, when it seems our everyday life has been turned upside down, it is positive to have something to focus our minds towards that seems a million miles away from these troubled days. What better way than to get that challenging job out of the way, and start planning the office Christmas party?
We don’t know what the coming weeks will bring and it seems absurd to be thinking of such silly matters, but better times will come and the events industry will be in dire need for us all to get back to planning those events to celebrate the end of this pandemic.
So what things should we consider when planning this auspicious event? Let’s face it; our colleagues aren’t always that forgiving if we get it wrong!
Here are a few easy tips to help start the search
Finding the right venue.
It is important to find the right venue. Things to consider are the location; can everyone get home safely at the end of the evening? A good strategy is to base it fairly near to the office. That way guests will be familiar with the surroundings and used to getting home from there.
Another key point is the demographic of your colleagues. You may have 20% that want to go nightclub, flashing lights and loud music, the remaining 80% may not be quite so enthused, and your turnout numbers may plummet as a consequence. Try and find a middle of the road venue that suits all tastes and ages.
It is vital to the success of any party to have food; most importantly to soak up that alcohol. We all know that those that normally might only have the odd glass of wine tend to drink much more at the office Christmas party. When food is on offer this lessens the chances of guests becoming too drunk too soon.
We also know that food is the easiest thing to moan about so you want to make sure that at your event, with your reputation behind it, you want good food and a reliable caterer. That doesn’t mean it has to be formal. There is a trend nowadays to have roaming or a grazing offer, food stations or a street food style offer, but we still want good quality food even if it is played down in style.
Again consider your audience, it doesn’t have to taken from an episode of I’m a celebrity – but it is good to have something unusual on offer as a talking point.
This can be a big problem. Having enough, not having too much, covering for all tastes, is it included in costs, will people have to pay for their own? The list of considerations is endless. If your budget allows, it is much better to have drinks included. Some good party companies offer an inclusive package so that you know in advance what the costs will be and guests know on the night what they can have or not have. (Some will include beer, wine and soft drinks, others might include spirits). What’s more there isn’t any worry of having to get rid of leftovers the following day, or even worse, running out on the night!!!
You absolutely cannot rely on everyone to make small talk for any long period of time, so you will have to get some entertainment organised. Most Christmas party planners will be able to assist you with this, but again like your choice in venue and catering, your entertainment should be middle of the road. Think of your audience and their tastes. You don’t want to alienate any of them.
So if I haven’t already put you off, the above will help you take the first steps for organising your staff Christmas party.
You can of course make things easier from the off, and seek the advice and help of a party planner. These come in various guises, or consider using a venue finder. There are loads of these out there, offering a free service and working across loads of venues right across London. Venue Reservations www.venuereservations.co.uk is one of these, and they have the benefit of not only having a wide portfolio of venues but also working with some key catering partners.
Alternatively you could go straight to the caterer like Seasoned. Many event caterers in London today work with an array of venues. They have worked with these venues for a period of time and have experience on how the venue works, what entertainment works, which style of food offer and also understand if the venue has restrictions on food or drinks being served. They also will have set packages that include venue hire, entertainment, food and drinks. By speaking directly to them, they can offer a one-stop shop and get the party started with much less work and hassle with more safeguards in place.
Seasoned are listed at most of the London iconic venues and can offer just this. They have been around for 40 years and so know their stuff by now, and you can relax in safe hands.
So just think. You are sat working remotely, looking for tasks to keep you busy. You might be a little sad that there is nothing to look forward to in the coming weeks and definitely no parties, so why not start using the time to make those plans? December will soon be here, you can take advantage now of getting the key dates you want and the venues you fancy still having availability. I guarantee you, you will start to feel chipper once you get into the swing! One word of warning though…. please do not start playing Christmas hits to get you in the mood. This would be a very bad thing and your neighbours would start to worry about your well-being!