Make sure you have a cracker of a Christmas party this year

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It may feel a bit ridiculous thinking about the festive season before the clocks have even gone back but Christmas parties can take time to organise, and in the hotel and catering world, Christmas is just around the corner.

Christmas is a busy period and diaries fill up fast, so get something pencilled in as soon as possible.

Many places have already prepared their festive menus and made plans, not only for festive party nights and Christmas Day, but for New Year as well. It is more than wise to make your choice early and place your booking. Ask around for menus and prices – the internet is often a handy tool in his process.

Email potential dates around those attending your office party to find the preferred date and responses will give you an indication of numbers for the event.

Usually when selecting a date, the majority rules – and remember you can’t please everybody. Typically, Fridays and Saturdays are most popular, but don’t expect a productive workforce over the following Monday!

Then make your booking. Doing it early is another way of removing much of the stress and strain that has become associated with what should be a relaxing and enjoyable time of year.

Send a save-the-date email to everybody as soon as you’ve settled on one. At this stage it doesn’t matter that you don’t know any details about the party, it’s more important to get as many people to the event as you can.

To make life easier, later on, request info on any special dietary requirements or allergies that you’ll need to consider when selecting menus.

Set the budget

The size of your budget will ultimately impact on the type of Christmas party you organise.

Find out how much money you have to spend.

Allocate the budget by what is most important to your group. This will depend on the type of company you work for and the expectations of the people you work with. Remember that the Christmas party is a chance for everyone to relax and let their hair down, and also a chance for company bosses to say ‘thank you’ to their workforce.

Leave some money aside as a back up.

Establish the type of Christmas party you’re organising. The easiest option is a packaged Christmas party – this is an ‘off the shelf’ party organised by a hotel. The staff theme an entire evening during December, with the same entertainment and serve the same menu every night.

The hotel does all the hard work for you, and you’ll just have to select the best option for you. But the earlier you book the venue, the better – good venues go quickly!

Identify suitable venues that have availability, are within budget and easily accessible for guests then request a quote from each based on your requirements.

If you are happy you can formally confirm the booking with the hotel of your choice and book accommodation if required.

Dress code

Most shared Christmas parties request smart dress (no jeans or trainers), some offer the option of fancy dress. For your Christmas party you may want to make an occasion of it and go for formal dress or colour themed dress (black and white, sparkles, red, etc.), or simply dress to impress!

These tips can go a long way to making your Christmas party an enjoyable and memorable occasion. All you have to do now is study the adverts in this feature and pick your venue!