Christmas parties are the light at the end of the tunnel for hard-working professionals. They’re also a unique opportunity to reward your people and let them know how valued they are – so it’s worth taking the time (and working with the right Virtual Assistant) to create a memorable, effective event.
Here are our 6 top tips for making sure your Christmas party delivers...
1. Budget and Track Everything
Agree a budget so you know your limitations before you start research and procurement for your event.
Then track everything – from how that budget is spent to attendee RSVPs. This will help you stay ahead of important decisions and make post-event ROI reporting and justification easier.
2. Set Key Event Objectives
Focused, effective events that deliver for attendees and your organisation start with clear objectives. What do key stakeholders want, need and expect from your Christmas party?
What does it need to achieve, and how will you measure if it has been successful? What do your employees want from the event?
A clear set of objectives and expectations will provide a framework for delivering your Christmas party, informing event planning, venue and entertainment choices, delivery on the day and post-event reporting.
3. Get the Venue Right
Amazing events need amazing venues - and amazing venues book up FAST around Christmas. Wow-factor and a space where you can create the right atmosphere are key, but don’t lose sight of the fundamentals.
Location and accessibility come first – where is the venue and how will people get there? Is there suitable accommodation nearby, and what activities or entertainment is there for your attendees to enjoy the day before or after the event?
Get the basics down then look for a jaw-dropping space that fits the bill.
The perfect entertainment for your Christmas party will depend on your attendees and the feel of your event. Does your audience want dancing and games, or would creating an atmosphere where they can mingle and talk with colleagues be more appropriate?
Often simple extras are all that’s needed – I've found that light entertainments like a DJ, photobooth, casino tables and Scalextrics are often a winner, but it's always worth asking your event planner what new options are popular this year.
5. Food and Drink
London offers endless options for catering your Christmas party – but there's no need to reinvent the wheel. In my experience, attendees generally want simple, good-quality food at their Christmas party.
Find a great caterer and make sure you have a tasting session before agreeing to a menu. Don't be swayed by your personal taste – make choices based on what you think your attendees will like.
I've also had feedback after multiple events that guests would like a full range of complimentary drinks throughout the Christmas party, not just wine and beer – something to consider when negotiating a good drinks deal with your venue.
6. Personalisation Makes for Jaw-Dropping Events
It sounds clichéd, but going the extra mile really does make all the difference. Think personalisation, from personal menus and gifts left in hotel rooms to having attendees’ favourite drinks waiting for them on arrival.
You can also go the extra mile beyond the Christmas party itself – from supplying or helping to arrange babysitting, to booking hair and beauty appointments and providing transport to and from your event.
A virtual assistant with significant events experience can be really useful during the planning stage. Talk to us about your plans, it would be great to chat through how we can help make them a reality.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes a great Christmas party – and we'd love to help you plan and deliver a memorable event that delivers on your objectives. Get in touch now, let’s talk.