Christmas is just around the corner and I am sure many of you are busy buying gifts, planning family celebrations and preparing for your office Christmas party.
It is a fun and happy time of the year, but for those who are tasked to plan party games, programs, gifts and raffle prizes; it can be a very stressful time indeed.
Planning your Company Christmas Party is a major event. You need to put on your Events Coordinator hat and make sure the things are done properly before, during and after the event. But with all the many details that you have to look into, you are probably wondering: Where do I start?
Here are a few tips that will help you plan a great celebration for your Company Christmas Event.
CELEBRATION EVENT TYPE
This is one of the first things that you should decide on with your bosses and office mates: What type of event would you like to have?
It is important to start here because this will determine your venue, date, logistics and budget for your Christmas celebration. Here are a few ideas to start with:
Company Party – Would you like to have a singing party, a dancing party, a talent contest party, a bring-your-family party or a simple but sumptuous feast?
Company Outing – Would you like to go on a company outing and celebrate Christmas out of town with some outdoor activities and sightseeing?
Company Teambuilding – Would you like to have a teambuilding workshop with groupd dynamic activities as a way to bring people together before the year ends?
Company Retreat – Would you like to let your people spend some quiet time to reflect on life and strengthen their spirituality?
Volunteer Work – Would you like your people to learn more about Company Social Responsibility CSR, experience helping other people and give back to communities like Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm, White Cross Orphanage, Golden Acres Home for the Aged?
These are just some event ideas that you can share with your company. Try to see what is most appealing to them and go with what your boss or the majority wants.
TIME AND PLACE
Once you have figured out what you and your company want to do this Christmas, you need to decide the date and venue for your event. You need to make sure that the venue and your co-workers are available for it and that your business operations will not be too hampered by your Christmas Celebrations. Once set, book the venue right away to secure it. Other companies may beat you to it.
Of course, Budget is a major factor when planning your Christmas Party. You will have to sit down and list down all the things you will need and how much these will cost. Some of the things that you may want to allot for in your budget, if applicable, are: food and drinks, venue rental, raffle prizes, gifts, game and contest prizes, sound, light, presentation equipment, decor, etc… Have your budget approved by management before doing anything.
YOUR EVENT TEAM
You cannot and shouldn’t do everything alone for your Christmas event. You want to include people in the planning stage so that your co-workers can experience the excitement and encourage the whole company to get involved and participate in the celebration. Include contests with hard to resist prizes to get people to express their creative juices. For this, creating a Christmas party committee with representatives from different department will help a lot. And once you have formed a special events team for this year’s celebration, you can then give them assignments and deadlines to offload yourself as well.
In any event, a program of activities is crucial if you want people to be entertained and be guided. It is not that difficult to make a program. You just need to weave together a series of entertainment, games and activities then arrange them according to the sequence and timeframe you prefer. Prepare a detailed one for the events team and print out simplified ones for the party so that people will know what to expect next. While you are at it, get a good host…someone from your company who is articulate, funny and well-liked by everyone. An event host can make or break your party, so be sure to get one who is reliable, organized and engaging.
THEME AND SPECIAL TOUCHES
To make your Christmas Celebration extra special, you can add a theme for your party such as colour motifs, party era, movie themes or anything that will allow people to dress up and prepare for. Having a theme will also provide a unique identity for your party. It will also make your life easier when choosing decors and giveaways for your event.
Then add special touches that can surprise and delight your party guests. Sparkles, confetti’s, bubbles, special prizes and souvenirs are usual favourites but think of other ideas as well, things that have not been done before to add that element of surprise.
The real skill that is needed for party planning is your ability to be organized. Tools like Event Tracking Sheets that include logistics, materials, assignment, deadlines and people in charge are very helpful. Suppliers contact lists and contracts, as well as accounting vouchers are must haves. Be sure to stay on top of things by reviewing progress, keeping files in order and staying in touch with people and deadlines.
When it comes to events, everything will not go as planned all the time. So expect the unexpected and do not allow yourself to get too stressed about the small stuff. At the end of the day, what is important is people have positive experience. Concentrate on letting people enjoy the party. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make the event a happy one.
Have a great holiday celebration! We all deserve to have good cheers this season!
Need more info on Events Planning, check out Businessmaker Academy’s Professional Events Management & Marketing seminar.
Note: This article was originally published at Manila Bulletin Newspaper.
Jhoanna O. Gan-So is president of Businessmaker Academy and HR Club Philippines. Her organization offers public seminars and in-house training on Human Resource Management and Business Skills Development. You may email your comments and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org