Glenn’s Top Tips for Planning for Christmas
Christmas is the one time of year that everyone loves to celebrate – it’s the perfect way for organisations to say thank you to staff for all their hard work throughout the year. Entertaining your staff at Christmas will see them return the favour in hard work, loyalty and motivation. The Christmas party should be about people from different sections in a business getting to know each other and celebrating together, so booking a venue you have exclusively to yourselves is always more beneficial. If your workforce is small, why not think about inviting clients or business partners as a way of saying thank you. You want the event to be chic, memorable and fun. You want people walking away saying – I had a great time and I can’t wait to see what we do next year. For the season that’s in it, I have a few more tips than usual, but they are all very valid and you’ll thank me in the long-run – read on for inspiration
1. IT’S A DATE! – set the date for your Christmas celebrations NOW ! Yes you heard me, right this minute ! Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days for Christmas parties in November and December – hosting it on a weekday can be more cost-effective, making it easier to hire entertainment and book your venue. Also, consider having your function early afternoon. A lunch is less expensive than a seven-course dinner. Sonix can provide lunch-time entertainment as well as evening. Give your company the next day off – it is a small gesture but one that will be remembered – it also gives staff a chance to truly let their hair down, hang out with their colleagues and not worry about catching the last bus home ! If your business is busy during the Christmas season, consider having your event in November or January. Once you have your date set, announce it to the organisation before people’s social calendars start to fill up. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything else organised, send out a ‘Save the Date’ !
2. VENUE! – You have the WHEN, now you need to decide the WHERE. Consider a venue the organisation has not used before – a boat, a cool new venue, OR transform the office! Pick a location that is convenient for your group with amenities like transportation, parking, etc. The farther out you pick your date, the more choice you will have for your employees, so get cracking ! Call Fiona on 087-738-2090 for venue suggestions near to you.
3. BUDGET! – The ‘B’ word – almost as bad as the ‘C’ word ! Some might say budget should be first thing on the list to consider, as it does affect all your decisions. Recognise where you are getting value for money, but also set realistic expectations with the budget you have – be prepared to make some sacrifices. The old rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. If it appears too inexpensive you may not be getting what you expected. Get the best value possible with the resources you have available. Always keep in mind (and remind your management team with the purse strings!) what the overall impression of guests will be.
4. THEME – Make your event one to remember – do something different – choose from one of Sonix’s various themed nights such as ‘ Christmas Capers ‘ , ‘ A Rock & Roll Christmas’ , ‘Vintage Glamour’, ‘Viva Las Vegas’ , ‘Festive Quiz Night’ and more.
Give your employees an excuse to dress up and enjoy a night that will be talked about for years. By incorporating fun events into the party, you can engage your staff in team building activities which will help to strengthen bonds and unite your workforce. Call Fiona on 087-738-2090 for more ideas, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5. FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD! – Make sure there are enough choices for all tastes and food preferences – vegan, gluten/dairy free, chicken, beef or fish… Good food sets the tone of a Christmas party, food has the power to lift moods and a lot of people will judge the success of a party on the food. Create a great atmosphere by choosing the most wonderful festive food and drinks – have a look online for some alternative Christmas food that fits with your theme.
6. DÉCOR – Pinterest is a great free resource to give you ideas for décor – we also work locally with a number of event suppliers so if you want X Y or Z we are here to help. Consider items such as color scheme, centerpieces, flowers, games, trinkets, party favours, company colours etc
7. ENTERTAINMENT– Bands, DJs, Santa’s, magicians, comedians, party games, or a combination of several of the above. Choosing the right entertainment will make or break your event. At Sonix we have a huge range of entertainment options, which can be booked as part of an overall theme or separately. We love dreaming up ideas and are constantly suggesting new themes and forms of entertainment to our clients. Talk to us as soon as possible so we can book your preferred entertainment and you won’t be disappointed.
8. AUDIO-VISUAL – Sound, lighting, projection equipment and audio visual materials – some venues will have everything you need in-house, but if not, Sonix can provide all of the above – we will look after the delivery, set up and collection of equipment and you won’t see us carrying equipment in and out disturbing guests during the event.
9. SETTING THE PARTY SCHEDULE – For larger organisations, the Christmas party may be the only time of year that everybody is together. It could be an idea to take the opportunity and incorporate other acknowledgments into the event, such as recognition awards, mission statements, speeches from the board etc. Be warned though – keep the speeches brief and to the point. The number of speakers should be kept to a minimum and encourage them to keep it light and informal – people are there to be sociable and not to get a lecture! If you need some help setting the schedule, give Fiona a call on 087-738-2090, she has lots of experience organising all types of events and parties.
10. GETTING HOME – Encourage sensible drinking and have some taxis to hand for anyone that over-indulges. Go the extra mile and offer those who live further away the option to stay over night.
Finally, not everybody likes to booze and it is also nice to mark Christmas in a way that does not cause pressure or massive expense. Consider alternative events such as a ‘Bring Your Child to Work’ Christmas Day with Santa’s grotto, stocking-making workshops, kids disco, magician etc.
You can also do something special for staff that don’t have kids or have ones that are past the Santa stage – contact us for some ideas on what we have done for our clients before. If you decide to go down this route – all the tips above will still apply – call Fiona for more information on 087-738-2090, e-mail email@example.com, or have a look at our brochures here :