Spice caught up with Taronga Centre GM Alex Emson to talk about planning pitfalls to avoid for this year’s Christmas party.
As events planners know, successful corporate Christmas parties are the result of months of careful planning. It’s essential companies begin planning their festive events now to ensure their preferred venue is available, and there is plenty of time to source and secure the most competitive suppliers.
Standing room only
Cocktail parties can be fabulous events, though not if your guests have nowhere to sit down and relax (particularly for guests who are partial to high heels). To prevent this pitfall, Emson recommends planning ahead and having a conversation with your venue of choice early in the piece to ensure there are plenty of stools, benches or couches for your guests to relax on throughout the evening.
Even the most incredible Christmas party, with beautiful theming, décor and entertainment, means nothing if your guests leave early for a Macca’s run. While catering can be expensive, it’s worth thinking about how to minimise spend on other aspects of the event, such as invitations, décor and entertainment, to ensure there is plenty of food to go around.
A very ‘merry’ Christmas
When it comes to office Christmas parties, the last thing you want is an awkward situation arising from a guest who has had too much to drink. If alcohol intake has been a concern before, it may be worth speaking to your office leader about the best way to set clear behaviour expectations and boundaries before the event. Events planners can assist guests to pace themselves by limiting the bar tab to house wines and beer, and providing plenty of food and water throughout the evening.
When deciding if you want to assign seating or make the event free and easy, it is always worthwhile considering the current company culture (are people cliquish or do they get along with everyone?) and how that might affect the atmosphere of the event. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to have a good time and celebrate with the people they know and like best. Consider having a team building activity as a part of the Christmas event agenda so that employees can network and meet new people in an informal setting ahead of the big festive lunch or dinner.