The most wonderful time of the year is upon us again. With less than a hundred days to go before Christmas, companies, and offices are yet again faced with an extraordinarily colossal task: the Christmas party.
While this may be a huge and demanding task, it is also really fun and exciting. It is that one task in the office that employees would gladly volunteer their time and events management skills. Company party ideas are a dime a dozen, but it takes a special group of people with extraordinary plans to make it happen.
If you have been tasked to organize this year’s corporate or company party, do not shirk or try to wriggle out of the responsibility. It may be enormous, but seeing your hardworking officemates have the time of their lives is also very rewarding. The important thing is you have the right people working with you who are as enthusiastic to cross off one item after another from the Christmas party planning checklist.
Take it one step at a time, and start with these ways to plan a fun and memorable company Christmas party.
Identify roles and delegate
If you have been asked by a company boss to be in charge of this year’s Christmas party, it does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. See, the fun starts with planning.
Identify all the roles and gather the right people to fill them. Create a committee to cover all aspects of events planning: program, games and prizes, food, styling, coverage, etc. Apart from making everything easier and more manageable, getting a committee or team members from different departments would also mean better representation. It does not have to be a large team, but make sure that the members are empowered to make decisions.
It would also help if you can create a chat group where all relevant updates can be posted and where team members may comment or suggest so that you are all on the same page.
Start with the two Ws: Where and when?
After you have formed the team that would plan and execute the holiday event, two things that need to be addressed and agreed upon as soon as possible are the date and the venue.
With only about two months to go, you can expect those party venues are now busy accepting bookings and reservations. You should act quickly. There are a lot of Christmas party venues in Metro Manila, from hotel ballrooms to restaurants to events places, and you should decide based on the expected number of people, size, proximity, and theme.
It is encouraged that you choose a venue that is strategically located and also flexible enough for your needs. The Tent at the Acacia Estates in Taguig City, a DMCI Homes property, is both easily accessible and flexible. It can accommodate 300 to 1,000 people, is fully air-conditioned, and has parking slots. It can be rented for weddings, bazaars, and corporate parties, so you can be assured of its flexibility and reliability.
Next are the date and time. Make sure the party does not coincide with other company events so as not to divide attention. Also, consider having it at off-peak days. Company Christmas parties in Manila are often celebrated on Friday nights or weekends, but if you want to save everyone from traffic and hassle, consider having it on another weekday or perhaps ahead of everyone else like late November to the first week of December.
Unique party theme
Coming up with Christmas party themes is usually the one that stirs disagreements, so tread on this carefully. Bear in mind budget, access, preference, and company culture. If you have time, it is best to make a quick survey just so you are sure that the top choice wins and everyone’s voice is heard.
Unique corporate holiday party ideas are usually centered on themes. Formal, time periods or decades, and masquerade are the usual suspects. If you want to go for a more unique and creative theme, you can explore the following: ugly Christmas sweater, Christmas around the world, holiday movies and characters, Gatsby, rock, and roll, etc.
Mind the menu
Make sure that the food is not only yummy and tasty, but also inclusive. Make sure it’s not all meat and sweets, for some of your workmates may be vegetarians or on a strict diet. And since the keto diet is a trend these days, perhaps there could be ketogenic meals too. Your menu should also reinforce your theme.
Most company parties offer buffets, but plated meals can be more cost-effective. It can be presented more elegantly, and save everyone from long lines at the buffet table.
Set alcohol limits
Setting alcohol consumption levels and limits must really be considered for your next Christmas party. You can’t risk having a drunk employee ruin the night or watch as employees can no longer walk to the exits, much less drive their car home.
Apart from safety, this company party idea is also cost-effective. Narrowing your booze selection, closing the bar early, and offering drinks only during the meal, will cut costs and keep intoxication levels down.
Source the equipment
Make a checklist of equipment that you will be needing. Check if your suppliers can provide them. For example, check with the venue if lights and sounds are covered. Can your caterer take care of the styling, too? Are projectors, stage, and backdrop provided or do you need to procure or rent them separately?
Keep the program short and sweet
It’s not a party when all you hear are the company executives talking. The Christmas party program must be short and sweet to give more time for mingling, dancing, and exchanging pleasantries. Decide what you need to accomplish before dinner, and what you can do while people are eating. For example, you might want to show an AVP of the year’s achievements as a way to appreciate everyone’s effort. The CEO can also give a brief message and awards to exceptional employees may be given out. Raffle can be done while eating or every 20 minutes during the whole program.
Organize shuttle service
As the planner, you have to make sure that your guests arrive and leave safely. One of the main concerns of people attending Christmas parties is how they’ll get there. Remember, not everyone has a car or can afford a taxi.
This is why it is imperative that you include organizing transport services in your Christmas party planning checklist. If your company has shuttle services, great. If not, arrange for carpool, contact taxi companies, or hire vans or coasters.
Book fun entertainment
What’s a party without entertainment? Most company Christmas parties in Manila usually book bands or local artists to their event, but if that would mean going off the budget, perhaps you can just hire a DJ or get a stand-up comedian and just make a playlist of music that matches your theme or event.
For a fun and engaging Christmas party program, you can also have departments prepare presentations. It is also important to get a great host or emcee for that will set the tone of your event.
Document the fun
This is often neglected, but a great company party needs to be documented. Hire a professional photographer and videographer for the event and give your co-workers something to remember it by. Adding a photo booth would also allow guests to take home something from the party. These photos can be posted on your company website to attract more clients and new employees.
Planning the office Christmas party can be your biggest task yet, so don’t blow it by not preparing enough. Remember that this is an important event that signifies unity and friendship within the company and among its employees, so plan it with your heart.