preloading image preloading image

How To Plan Your Christmas Event Like a Pro

24th October 2016
How To Plan Your Christmas Event Like a Pro

Only just started planning your company’s Christmas Party? Never fear, we have 10 Christmas Party tips to make sure you deliver an unforgettable event like a professional.  Using our years of event experience and generous helping of organisational creativity, we've compiled some essential tips to Christmas event planning. Follow these and your event will be a success. 

1. Choose A Venue That Shines

When Christmas party planning - the venue is key. You need to make sure it has great facilities, is in a prime location and is well connected. But that’s just for starters. 

Opt for a venue that will leave a lasting impression on your guests: a place that sparkles and not just with Christmas decorations. Choose somewhere that has unique qualities and stands out from the crowd. This could be an architectural feature, a stunning view or an unexpected space.

Christmas Party Venue

2. Plan Well In Advance

Planning as far ahead as possible is always advisable. It allows you to secure the venue you want and get good deals on food and drink. Your stress levels will also be dramatically lower. However, if you are planning later, just follow our tips and you’ll be fine. 

The Importance of Christmas party planning

3. Give your chosen venue a 'recce':

Immerse yourself in the setting of your Christmas party. Take the opportunity to fully explore the space and meet the staff that will be helping you on the day. This way you can visualise your event and really understand what you need to do to make it special. Suss out the lighting and decide which areas you want to accentuate to wow your guests. 

via GIPHY

4. Have a Christmas Party Theme

Having an original theme to focus your event is gold dust. It could require some form of dress, help people immerse themselves and make it stand out from the ordinary. It also helps make decisions around decorations, food and entertainment easier, leading to a more cohesive event. Popular themes include Winter Wonderland, Circus, Alpine, Masquerade or even a Mad Men focus. This list from the job management software company WorkFlowMax.com is great for inspiration, especially if it’s unconventional ideas you’re after. 

via GIPHY

5. Focus on your employees above all else 

Use the event to celebrate your employees' achievements and make them feel appreciated. Brainstorm ideas on how to make them feel special. Providing fantastic prizes should create a buzz that will have everyone wishing they could win something next year. 

Make employees feel appreciated with great gifts

6. Send out winning invitations

Remember most people are likely to be having a least one festive meal over Christmas, so be creative and give them something they won't be expecting. You can include a few classics of course (don't reject mince pies), but try to mix it up. Push for a tasting whether you're using an external caterer or an in-house team at the venue.  If this really isn't possible, then go over the menus and customer reviews with a fine tooth-comb. 

Start as you mean to go on with show stopping invitations, that also encourage people to RSVP. To avoid frantically chasing people at the last minute in an attempt to secure numbers, try incentivising people to reply. You could offer employees bonus drinks tokens if they respond online.  Create a beautiful digital invitation using the wonderfully simple design program Canva, or use a template from Paperless Post. You could use an event app, to make the process easier, so you know exactly who's coming. 

via GIPHY

7. Use food to spoil, delight and surprise 

Most people are likely to be having at least one festive meal over Christmas, so be creative and give them something they won't be expecting. You can include a few classics of course (we love a mince pie), but do try to mix it up.

Push for a tasting whether you're using an external caterer or an in-house team at the venue. If this isn't possible, then go over the menus and customer reviews with a fine tooth-comb

The Importance of good Christmas party food

If you're opting to hold a banquet style Christmas event, read our advice on creating a memorable spectacle that everyone will remember for the right reasons. Browse Senate House 2017 Christmas Menus.

8. Offer cocktails

Impress your guests by offering a selection of cocktails – push the boat out and make the first couple free. The beauty of a cocktail is that you can tie it in with a party theme, if you've opted for one. By offering a choice of three carefully selected but different classics, you can add sophistication and variety that your guests won't be expecting. For an Art Deco themed-event choose a Gibson or a Dark & Stormy. For a minimalist, modern festive theme choose a Cosmopolitan for example.

The Right Christmas Party Drinks are key

Be inspired by our Winter cocktail recommendations.

9. Pull off the entertainment in style

When you know how large the budget for entertainment is, you can decide whether to go large scale or whether you'll need to rein things in. Either way you don’t have to compromise on quality.

If budget allows then hire portable stands such as casino tables, popcorn or pic 'n mix stalls, and photo booths – these are all a nice treat for the partygoers. A smaller budget doesn't need to mean less fun though. Hire or buy a giant Jenga and some games to put on tables, such as festive Pictionary. You could even hire a sketch artist to capture the evening, with guests able to take home unique mementos.  

Christmas party entertainment

10. Go simple on decorations

Achieve an amazing decor to wow your staff, without going overboard on cost and let the venue speak for itself. If you have a theme, then obviously you'll want to tie the decorations in with this. However, minus a theme, go for straightforward colour palettes such as silver and black or red and white. Add festive highlights with sprigs of holly berries and pine cones as table centrepieces. 

via GIPHY

Senate House is a Grade II Listed building which exudes history and elegance. We have an excellent in house events team, with an events manager on duty to provide key support during your event. We have special working relationships with local hotels, to provide competitive rates, as well as our own catering team who will tailor menus to suit your individual needs. Contact us on 020 7862 8127 or complete our enquiry form for further information on Christmas Party Bookings. 

Posted by
Charlie Vernon
Menu