It’s only just starting to heat up for summer, but here at Sledge we’re already thinking about Christmas – and in particular, the elements that go into creating an unforgettable Christmas party. Here are our top 10 tips for creating a lasting impression with your work Christmas party:
1. Find a unique venue
There’s nothing worse than going to the same venue year in, year out for your work Christmas party, especially when there are plenty of quirky and unexpected venues up and down the country. Sipping on cocktails at the top of the Shard, while looking out across the City or a pretending to be in Downton Abbey at a private house is something that will excite even the most anti-social of co-workers.
Choose a location that is easy for your guests not only to get to, but more importantly to get home from. Even the best party, if followed by a two-hour attempt travel trauma, can suddenly be seen as the worst party in the world. Make sure the venue is easily accessible for public transport and the party finishes early enough for people to make their last trains.
The first impression your guests will get of the Christmas party is the invitation they get. Whether these are sent via email or physical invitations delivered to their desks, they need to be memorable. Make sure they’re in line with your theming and are unique. A nice tactic is to give away information bit by bit to make guests inquisitive and leave some aspects as a surprise.
4. Impress with your theming
A lot of venues start their Christmas theming from the end of November, so it’s worth looking at those venues first. For example, Dinerama turns into an alpine lodge complete with themed drinks and food, providing the perfect Instagram moment. If you’d rather create your own specific theme, then a blank canvas venue would be more suitable, to give you the freedom to completely change the space to your liking.
Since the Christmas party is designed to celebrate the past year of a company with their employees, branding is an important element. This doesn’t have to just be via standard roll-up banners, it can be done in a fun way that guests can engage with. You could create your own lollipops with the company’s logo printed on the back or commission a flower wall with the logo in the centre.
6. Create an interactive experience
Offering something more than just drinks and canapes, something that will get guests involved, will make your Christmas party stand out from all others. Edible alcoholic bubbles or mist orbs provide a great talking point and add a bit of excitement to the event. Or how about chocolates that are carved on the spot into sculptures of the guests faces?! It’s immersive moments like this that will leave your guests talking about the party for weeks.
Entertainment can either make or break an event. If it isn’t right for the audience, you’ll find people leaving early which is never the sign of a good party! Find out who your guests are, what sort of entertainment they enjoy and then find something to fit that brief. Would a band or DJ work if your guests are likely to want to dance the night away? Or are they more likely to want to be able to hear each other talk, so just want a background band. Have you thought about having a magician or pick-pocket artist at the beginning of the night to get the party started? Or a photobooth for guests to enjoy?
8. Get the drinks flowing!
The annual Christmas party is supposed to be boozy but make sure there’s lots of variety, including more interesting non-alcoholic options! Lots of venues have internal catering teams but some will also let you bring in your own suppliers. Create your own bespoke cocktail for the evening – chose the colour, flavor and name to represent your brand and bring in the Christmas theme. Personalisation is something that guests will remember as a nice added touch.
9. Soak up the alcohol!
Make sure not to leave your guests hungry with just a few canapes or nibbles – too often the case. They need something to soak up all that alcohol – especially if they have work the next day! So think winter-warmer bowl food with lots of carbs!
10. The final lasting impression…
Give-aways and keepsakes are a lovely way of making sure your guests remember the event. If these are personalized, that’s even better. For example, a Christmas-themed wine glass charm with the guest’s initial is a lovely gift that is likely to be used over and over. This is the ultimate way of ensuring you have left a lasting impression with your guests.
If you're struggling to get your mulled wine hat on and need to get planning for your Christmas party then just get in touch with one of the Sledge team today at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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