For the majority of 2020, our social activities have been restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic which first arrived in the UK in January. While the government is still advising people to “stay alert” and observe social distancing rules where possible, the restrictions on our lives are gradually easing.
In August, non-essential leisure facilities such as casinos and bowling alleys were allowed to reopen and indoor performances and celebrations are now permitted (in compliance with government guidelines).
September will see schools and universities open their doors and “if prevalence remains around or below current levels” in October, the government will bring back audiences in stadiums and allow conferences and other business events to recommence.
Businesses are currently permitted to host indoor gatherings of more than 30 people (the limit for private homes) provided COVID-19 secure guidelines are adhered to. If transmission rates remain low, it seems likely that these rules will be further relaxed later in the year.
The outlook is good for corporate Christmas parties. Now’s the time to start planning an amazing event that will boost employee morale and strengthen business relationships in a fun, informal setting. Never have people needed a festive event to look forward to more — this could be the party of the year!
Decide Who The Party Is For
An internal office party is very different from a corporate Christmas event for clients and business partners. Do you want to thank your employees for their hard work and dedication throughout the year with a fun opportunity to let their hair down?
Or is your primary objective to impress your clients and encourage networking? Considering your objective in hosting the party will help you choose the right setting, theme and entertainment for your event.
Choose The Date And Time
Even a small event requires the presence of a number of busy professionals that will be inundated with Christmas party invitations, work and family commitments at this time of the year. You could throw the most amazing event, but if no one shows up, it will result in time and money down the drain.
A corporate Christmas party is a great opportunity for employees to interact with colleagues in different departments and for business partners and clients to network. When setting the date and time of the event, consider the working patterns of your employees, peak periods and the potential for date clashes with other events.
Hosting an event early in December may increase attendance as many businesses will book events closer to Christmas. An early event also means you avoid event fatigue — your party will be the first of the season when people are enthusiastic and energised to network and have fun.
The time of your event is important in setting the tone. A lunchtime event will have a very different feeling to a party that goes on into the small hours of the morning. Choose a time and date that suits your target audience and objectives.
Review Previous Events
Has your company hosted similar events in the past? If so, what feedback did you get? There may be a clear preference for a particular type of food or entertainment and people may feel strongly about the time and date of the event. Use this information to help you build on previous successes and plan an even more amazing event this year.
If you don’t have feedback, set up a quick email survey to circulate internally to find out what people loved (or didn’t love) about previous events. If this is your first corporate Christmas event, set up a poll asking for ideas and preferences.
Set A Theme
Consider setting a Christmas or winter theme. This will help make your event stand out and it’s a good way to tie all the different elements of the event together, from the venue and entertainment to the food and drinks.
This is another area of planning where it’s helpful to get people involved. Set up a party planning committee and ask your staff to come up with ideas. Not only will this mean that people buy into the idea before the party starts, but it’s also a great opportunity to strengthen working relationships across departments.
Create A Unique Experience
The best corporate Christmas parties need a healthy budget. Once this is in place, make a list of all the costs involved and prioritise spending. A sizable chunk of the budget should go on creating a unique experience. This means choosing a memorable venue, impressive food and drink and engaging entertainment.
If you’ve chosen a theme, all elements of the event should seamlessly link together to create your fantasy world. Don’t skimp on refreshments — the standard red wine, white wine or orange juice options are not going to make your event one to remember.
Cocktail bar hire is a fantastic way to add a sense of fun and exclusivity to your event. A professional mixologist can recreate the classics or whizz together an innovative concoction that will wow your guests.
The venue should be chosen with care. Your team has worked hard throughout the year and they’ll appreciate a change from the office — or their homes if they’ve been working remotely. Find a place that allows people to enjoy themselves while ensuring that the space allows compliance with COVID-19 secure guidelines.
Designate An Event Manager
Corporate Christmas parties that live on in our memories long after the final song has played are those that are well organised, innovative and unique. Divvying up tasks and responsibilities between employees that are juggling heavy workloads and family responsibilities at the end of a long, tiring year will not result in the party to end all parties.
Appoint a designated event manager, either internally or externally. If you choose an existing employee, clear their workload and allow them to give 100% of their focus to making your 2020 corporate Christmas party one to remember.
If you are interested in even more entertainment-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.