Christmas Party Planning Guide – Top 5 Things to get RIGHT!
You’ve found it!
The “how-to” on Christmas Parties – this is the 5 things you need to ensure that your Christmas Party is perfect.
Number 1 probably won’t surprise you too much!
Did you get the short straw and get selected to organise the Office’s Christmas Party? or did you throw your hat into the ring because you wanted the responsibility of the Corporate Work’s Do?
As a professional close-up magician who has performed at countless corporate events providing Christmas Party entertainment and as a result I have picked up some great knowledge on how to ensure your Christmas Party is a successful one.
Let me explain why this matters….
Why getting your Xmas party right is so important!
But before I get onto the 5 most important things to have in order to make the party a success I’ll tell you WHY I think it is important, nay, VITAL to make sure you plan a good party.
The Office Christmas Party is the staff’s chance to celebrate the end of the year, having a big blow-out before well-deserved time off with their families over the Christmas period, the big thing here is that they will want to let off some steam and really enjoy themselves.
If you make this event a success then it will be well remembered and people will thank you and congratulate you for doing such sterling work BUT get it WRONG and no-one will forget – is getting wrong a risk you want to take.
Getting the following 5 things right means that you are almost guaranteed to have success!
5 – The Format
The Format of your Christmas Party will define the sort of evening that you are likely to be having, this comes down to knowing your staff/workforce and knowing how you want to make them feel.
Would a sit-down 4 Course Meal make them feel special or alienate them? Is sitting down the pub wearing jeans and t-shirt eating a basket meal of sausage and chips exactly what they want or their worst fear.
Will there be a disco at the end? A string-quartet on arrival? Will there be games for people to play.
Are you having party-poppers and rocket balloons on the tables or are you keeping it classier?
I have a tendency to believe that a Staff Party is the employer’s chance to do something FOR the staff and generally suggest organising something that they wouldn’t normally experience, they can go to the pub on any given Friday night!
Keeping people happy means there bellies will have to have something in them which brings us too…..
4 – The Food
Canapes on arrival, followed by a 3-course meal?
Party Rings and Cheese & Pineapple on a Stick?
Following on from the Format of the evening, as it is somewhat led by it, is the food.
Unless the company is forking out to bring in Gordon Ramsay to cook then the chances are that the food isn’t going to be a hugely memorable part of the evening but it’s very important that people are enjoying it on the night itself.
Much more memorable is next on our list…
3 – The Theme
Put a real stamp on your evening!
This is your chance to make your christmas party stand out, the theme is an integral part of making the night a big success and as such is the 3rd most important thing to get right!
A theme can be as simple as telling everyone it’s a black-tie event, or maybe go slightly more fun by making it a Masquerade Ball.
Perhaps it will be a fancy dress evening where you have to dress up as something beginning with the first letter of your name, maybe a casino night to let your staff bring out their inner Bond/Pussy Galore!
Add some glitz, some glamour, something to remember – something that your staff don’t normally get to do!
Something your staff might not normally do might include the “where” which leads us onto…..
2 – The Venue
Castle, Hotel, Pub or at the office itself?
2nd most important thing has to be the Venue and not just for the reasons you might think.
The Venue does the job of establishing exactly what sort of party you are having – grand, informal, fun, quirky etc.
The Royal Oak down the road might well have its charm (and its pools of spilt beer on the floor) but it doesn’t exactly say much about your thought into the event and unless you work in a particularly fancy office then having the party there is probably not a good idea as it’s the last place everyone will want to celebrate.
Your Christmas Party Venue should say “Hey everyone, thanks for all your hard work this year – let’s enjoy ourselves!” and to do that you want a venue that is going to wow them.
It doesn’t have to necessarily be the Royal Opera House, although I did perform for Google there in July 2015 *cough cough name drop*, but a stately home or a manor house style hotel will say what needs to be said without breaking the bank.
One of the bigger considerations is the location of the venue in relation to transport links.
People will want to have a drink, can you offer them accommodation at the venue and if not how are you going to safely transport them home?
Is it close enough for a Taxi ride to be economical?
Are there bus/train links?
Could the company pay for a bus to transport everyone to and from the venue?
Making the journey to and from the venue simple will be much appreciated by all staff.
But what about making your evening unforgettable?
1 – The Entertainment
It had to be didn’t it?
Your Christmas Party Entertainment is the NUMBER ONE thing to get right at your Christmas Party.
I don’t just say this because I am a professional entertainer but because it is true.
This comes down to the most key part of organising the night, making it UNFORGETTABLE for the right reasons.
Think about this – two months after your Christmas Party which of the following are people more likely to remember
How good their chicken tasted? OR The Hypnotist making Susan from the HR department believe that he was Tom Cruise
How glamorous the venue was? OR The look on the MD’s face when the magician handed him back the watch he’d just stolen of his wrist.
The fact you organised a casino night? OR the magician making a borrowed, signed bank note appear inside of a lemon which itself appeared out of nowhere.
The type of champagne they drank that night? OR the Mindreading Stage Show that had everyone completely baffled and thinking they’d just witnessed the new Derren Brown.
I think you know the answer to this.
Life is built around memorable moments and although the Format, Food, Venue and Theme all add something to create the “skeleton” of a memory that people create it’s the incredible moments that professional entertainers are paid to provide that really add “meat” to those bones and make them UNFORGETTABLE!
Those UNFORGETTABLE memories are what MAKE a successful Christmas Party and without Top Quality Entertainment these moments will be hard to come by.
Quick Tips on Hiring Entertainment.
- Hire Professionals not someone who does it as a hobby or a part-time job.
- “Cheap Work ain’t Good and Good Work ain’t cheap” – That balloon modeller who charges half the price of the other guy you asked is half the price for a reason.
- Agency VS Non-Agency – If you hire your entertainment through an agency then you will likely be paying around 20% more to cover the costs of the work that the agency does for you.
If you are intending on just hiring one entertainer then you might be better off finding someone and going through the act directly.
If you are looking for different types of entertainment or several entertainers then using an agency could well be simpler. Tell the agency your budget and requirements and leave the timings, contracts, invoicing and payment to them.
- Go for something different – everyone has been to a disco, yes they’re great but why not try something more adventurous!
- Tell the entertainer as much information as you can and they will normally come back with a 2 or 3 different packages as well as their recommendation as to which is the most suitable for your event.
If you think that you might want a Magician who is bald, does mindreading, has a beard and is a hypnotist as well then I can thoroughly recommend myself – I’m brilliant – click here to visit my contact page
Book me early to avoid disappointment, my December will be fully booked up, make sure you’re not one of the ones to miss out.