CHOOSING THE PERFECT VENUE FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY!
The festive season is only a few months away and the office Christmas party is an event that is most looked forward to… That is, unless you are the person tasked to plan it!
Planning the perfect Christmas party can put the organiser under a lot of pressure, especially if the event is being used as an added incentive to have the team push through the busy time of the year. Many organisers are more interested in thinking about the best Christmas party ideas and how to make it bigger and better this year, however the importance of venue selection for an event is key in ensuring it’s success! Venues can book out quickly this time of year and the theming of the event will come down to what you can do with the chosen space – once you have decided.
Organisation is key in creating the best office Christmas party and we have put together 8 important factors to consider when choosing the right venue for your Christmas party.
This is one of the most important things you need to establish before you can start planning your event. There is no point booking out a ballroom, locking away entertainment and theming if you don’t have any money left to cater the event. If you have already planned the event in the past, you many have an idea of what you can spend, however it’s important to sit down with whoever is signing the cheque at the end of the night before you spend valuable time choosing your venue and planning the perfect event. If you need to stick to a tight budget, consider mid-week dates as you may find pricing is a little more competitive and the venue may be willing to negotiate on minimum numbers or add in something for free to fill days earlier in the week.
If you already have the perfect venue in mind – well done you! However, you may be foiled by venue availability on the date you have selected. If you can, try to have at least 3 alternate date options which you can choose from which will give you a little more flexibility when selecting a venue. Check that the event date you are selecting doesn’t clash with busy periods in the office, this way you can ensure a better turn out on the day.
3. Know your team
This is often the most overlooked element of planning a Christmas party, yet it’s crucial in ensuring that the event is one that will get everyone excited. . While you can’t always please everyone – especially when you have larger teams – it’s a good idea to understand the office demographic. Think about age groups, family commitments or proximity to the event which are important considerations. After all, you may like the idea of holding your event on a sunset boat cruise along the river, however some people may not be able to stay for the duration which could mean many of the team potentially missing out. Putting an ‘idea’s box’ in the team lunch area where people can make suggestions or a ballot system where the team can vote on ideas is a way to make them feel involved in the process. You can also establish a ‘Christmas Party Committee’ but be ready for some passionate and energetic ideas to come your way!
4. Style and Theming
Deciding on the style and theme of the event is key to choosing the correct venue. If you have a larger team a cocktail event where people can mingle rather than stay seated at the one table may be a better option, for a smaller team a seated dinner or a more casual afternoon barbeque with team building games on the beach is a great idea. Theming your event can create some excitement in the lead up to the occasion with team members discussing what they will be wearing and an opportunity for departments to compete in order to “out do” other departments – make certain you allow plenty of time for invitations to go out however, so they have plenty of time to work on their outfits.
5. Flexible Function Spaces and Packages
Having an idea of the number of guests and your event space requirements when selecting a venue for an event, will make the whole process a lot easier. If you have your heart set on a venue, make sure that they have flexible function space options to suit the number of guests as it becomes costly to theme and fill out a large venue if you have smaller numbers. Likewise, squeezing 80 people in a space more ideal for 60 means your guests won’t enjoy themselves on the night. If you are looking at an indoor event, are there out door options for guests wanting a little fresh air?
Flexible packages are also important, look at the inclusions they offer and whether there are enough options to cater for all dietary requirements. Quality food & beverage are important elements in a successful event so having the flexibility to upgrade certain elements of a package is ideal.
Why is location important for an event? The office Christmas Party is often the one celebration where team members can feel like they can let their hair down. Often the office is winding down just before the event date so having a WOW factor venue can build excitement and employee satisfaction. Having a similar venue each year can be a little boring so it’s a good idea to mix this up. If you held last year’s event in a function room in the city, an outdoor cocktail event complete with fairy lights in the trees and an informal set up under the stars allowing guests to mingle and watch the sunset is guaranteed to WOW!
If the chosen location is away from public transport, arranging transportation for the team can make certain that everyone arrives on time and makes it home safely after the event.
When choosing the right venue, it’s important to find out what inclusions they offer as part of their package. The venue hire might seem like a good price however if you are having to hire your own tables, dancefloor, basic theming and lighting it can really add up so it’s important to understand what’s included. Set up a simple venue requirements spreadsheet with your short-listed venues side by side with all the important elements listed with a dollar value beside it – this will help you understand which venue best suits your budget and help you leverage a deal at the venue sitting at number 1!
Venues like ours include a dedicated functions coordinator who will be with you every step of the way, assisting you with your planning and helping to ensure your event runs smoothly.
8. Team Activities
Keeping the team engaged during a Christmas Party is an important element to ensuring a successful event, so it’s a good idea to see if your short-listed venues have any activities or entertainment on offer to liven up the event. Look for team building activities that get departments who normally don’t mix, to start talking and laughing together – our popular “Outbreak!” program is perfect for this, which sees your entire company quarantined at the Q Station, and you need to work together in groups to collect vaccine to survive! If it’s an afternoon event you can treat your colleagues to a casual beachside afternoon of kayaks, stand up paddleboards and giant games, or scare them silly as they take part in one of our famous Ghost tours.
If you are looking for the perfect venue for your next Christmas event, then look no further than Q Station. We have stunning views overlooking the Sydney Harbour, an array of outdoor spaces and dedicated function rooms and our 2018 Christmas Party packages offer exquisite food and beverage selections that they entire team will enjoy!