Planning your company’s Christmas events – getting in early to make the most out of them

From here on out, EAs and PAs are going to be finding themselves needing to start preparations for Christmas within their companies. Christmas parties and events are a major part of ‘the most wonderful time of year,’ and planning them can make for ‘the most stressful time of the year.’ Here’s some tips and tricks to ease the pressure.

Initial planning stages
Make sure you know who your guests are. This is a key component to the planning process. For example, if the majority of your guests fall under the category of millennials, your party will need to delight and engage them. The best party is the one where the guests feel almost sad when it’s time to leave.

After you’ve identified your guests, book your party dates in as early as possible. Not only will this ensure you don’t miss out altogether, but it will also allow you to pick prime dates for your parties. Think about it – Christmas is an insanely busy time of year and for every party you need to plan, someone else is doing the same. Now imagine that a decent portion of your guests are likely having to attend those parties planned by other companies, as well as yours. Make the date of your party too early in the season and you’ll likely get some eyerolls from your invitees. Make the date too late and the guests are probably going to see the party as another tedious event, even if you’ve planned the soiree of the year.

Choosing the venue
It’s a no-brainer that you need the right venue to match your party or event. The question is – how do you decide what kind of venue you is the right one?

Step one is to figure out the general demographic of your guest list. Are they millennials who enjoy modern, tech-savvy events? Maybe they’re high-level corporate executives who prefer a more elegant, low-key scene.

Whatever the demographic, you need to find a venue that will suit the type of party or event your guests are expecting.

Now you know who you’re catering to, you can decide what kinds of features you’ll need the venue to have in order to create a memorable, entertaining event. Do you need special technology or a breathtaking view? Will an outdoor venue provide a better atmosphere?These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself while deciding on the right place.

The final, and probably most obvious step is to consider your budget. It can be more cost-effective to choose a place that will provide most or all of your event needs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best choice. These points have to be weighed carefully before committing to anything.

Keeping the guests intrigued in the lead-up
You’ve sent all the save-the-dates and invites out and now your guests have to wait for the big night (or day). A way to keep the excitement building in the lead-up to the event is to send out periodical updates to remind your guests of the exciting time you have planned for them.

You could create some mystery by letting them know there’ll be some exciting elements at the party, but only give them clues as to what those things might be. Ways to distribute clues could include sending close-ups of items and riddles to get the invitees thinking. This creates an element of fun to the event before people even start thinking of what they’re going to be wearing to the party.

Catering to event
Whether it’s a cocktail party, formal dinner or casual get-together, food is an all-important factor in the success of the event. Not only does it need to taste amazing, but it has to suit the theme and atmosphere of the party.

Don’t forget to cater to any food allergies and dietary requirements. By taking the time and care to ensure each and every guest is catered for, you’re helping to make the event feel more personalised for each person in attendance. Some things to look out for are gluten allergies, vegetarian and vegan diets, religious dietary requirements, and, if children will be in attendance, easy to eat food that will entertain the younger demographic.

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