They say the key to a successful party season is forward planning. So, with the Christmas festivities just around the corner, now's the time to start turning talk about office Christmas parties, client Christmas parties or any other festive season event into action.
While the ‘to do’ list can seem overwhelming at times, enlisting the help of professionals is often the smartest option. AccessNSW, the official Business Events Sydney event planning team can take the worry out of planning your Christmas party planning. Simply tell us what your requirements are and we will go out and source quotes from available venues. All you have to do is choose the one that suits your needs best.
Here are some tips from AccessNSW, to help make your Christmas party or corporate event the talk of the Sydney social calendar.
First question…will your Christmas Party have a theme?
Before you think about booking venues or hiring entertainment, decide on a theme, should you want one. You’ll find venue selection much easier if you already have an idea in mind. Entertainment, catering and invitations should all reflect the theme too.
There's no limit to theme possibilities. It could be a winter wonderland and Santa/Elves dress, casino party, TV show like Mad Men, beach party, circus, destination or fun way of reflecting your brand.
What to look for in Christmas party venues
As early as possible, start contacting potential venues most will offer site inspections with their in-house events manager. Things to consider when choosing a venue include:
- capacity – is it large enough or would you have to compromise your guest list?
- location — is it accessible, good for cabs and public transport? If not, you may need to consider hiring buses or even overnight accommodation.
- facilities — is the PA system modern and functioning? You may require equipment for speeches, presentations and live entertainment.
Remember the Christmas party season is incredibly busy. Venues start getting booked up from October. If you find the ideal venue this year, consider pre-booking it for the following year.
Invitations — make a good first impression
The first taste of your event for guests will be the invitation, so it needs to either stay on theme, or at very least give a hint of the type of event they can expect.
For example, if your event will be an old-fashioned theme consider sending parchment invitations, while an electronic invite sends a more modern message.
If budget allows, hand-written invitations always stand out from the crowd offering a personal and sophisticated touch.
Endeavour to finalise your guest list as soon as possible so you can get your invites out early and give your guests plenty of notice. A manageable RSVP date is essential.
Party catering — consider your theme and guest needs
If you've decided to go with a party theme make sure the food and beverages reflect it. Whether it's something as simple as the colours or, for example, a Mad Men theme where you'd serve cocktails such as Martinis and canapés with a 1950s flavour.
Always consider your guests’ dietary requirements; a vegetarian option is essential and an even selection of proteins is always appreciated.
A generous spread will always be well received, especially as people tend to overindulge during the festive season. If you are planning for the event to be a late one, it’s always a good idea to send out some supper.
Entertainment — think about everyone's taste
A good performance act can make or break your event, so do your research and choose wisely. A decision based on your personal taste will often backfire, so be democratic and gather a panel to help make the final decision.
Experienced talent agencies will provide CDs, or DVDs if it’s more performance based. A touring act will rarely disappoint, although it’s important that you use your allotted money wisely and don't put all your budget eggs in one basket.
Formalities— run a tight ship
The mantra ‘short and sweet’ has never been more pertinent than when it comes to corporate Christmas party speeches and presentations. Keep any speeches relevant and humour will provide some light relief.
If it's an audience you need to impress, you can limit stress levels by employing a professional to write the speech and a production company to manage any video content required.
For both speeches and live entertainment, audiences always appreciate a tight running order.
It's the end of a long year, so even if you're in charge of everyone else's festive cheer, make sure you take some time out to celebrate with your colleagues or clients.
Or make your Christmas Party planning a whole lot easier and talk to our AccessNSW event planning experts.