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9 effective Christmas work party planning tips for PAs

Christmas work party planning tips

Christmas work parties are fun, but arranging one can be daunting for PAs. It’s a time-bound process that requires a meticulous strategy to ensure organisational goals are met at every stage.  From defining ideas to managing a budget and creating a timeline to drafting contingency plans, every step requires attention to detail. Managing office Christmas parties can be more challenging for PAs who are always  juggling tasks. Even if you are managing a small party, missing a small detail can point to your incapacity. That’s why we have put together these useful Christmas party planning tips for PAs. And it’s good to know that industry experts recommend sharing the burden with an experienced event production company to meet demands and deadlines.

This article discusses the step-by-step process of Christmas work party planning from start to finish. By following these guidelines, you can easily organise a work Christmas party that you’ll feel proud of and your guests will enjoy.

Define your objectives for your Christmas work party clearly

The key to a successful Christmas party is understanding your organisation’s goals and purpose of arranging a Christmas party. Normally, businesses hold Christmas parties for the sole purpose of team building and celebration. But some use it as an opportunity to recognize staff efforts and show appreciation.

As a PA, knowing the event objectives will help you plan it flawlessly. So, ensure you understand what your organisation wants to achieve and then make arrangements accordingly. If the management is going to reward employees with bonuses and prizes, you must be prepared.

Setting the Christmas party budget

No two Christmas parties are the same, as organisations have different objectives, so you cannot follow the one-size-fits-all approach. It entirely depends on the kind of event your organisation wants to hold and the resources it’s willing to allocate. Therefore, as soon as you are informed of what the organisation wants, consider estimating your event budget.

Factors like venue selection, audience size, and utilities may also increase the Christmas party budget. For instance, rent for event venues in South Bank will differ from venues in Central London. Similarly, you may have to spend extra on LED video walls or spontaneous interpretation services for a bigger audience.

Create an event planning timeline

Christmas work party planning may take weeks, and you may lose track of progress. The best approach here is to create a detailed timeline which is cut into short milestones. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep track of progress while ensuring that different errands are completed on time.

How you create the Christmas party timeline is entirely up to you. Generally, event timelines include details about tasks such as:

  • Selecting the venue
  • Shortlisting vendors and suppliers
  • Assigning roles and duties
  • Curating lists of guests and speakers
  • Sending invitations and confirming details

You should aim to start planning the Christmas work party as early as possible. Venues and vendors are often hard to find in November and December. Book early to secure your preferred venue.

Delegate your tasks

It’s a PA’s job to ensure the Christmas party goes well, but it’s not your duty to do everything by yourself. So, don’t hesitate to hire dedicated event production services, as they can help you in many ways. Having a knowledgeable team besides you means you can rely on their expertise.

You can assign responsibilities, and they will help you with technology selection and audiovisual setup. They may even recommend you skilled AV equipment hire services along with the right Christmas lighting equipment.

Manage guest list and invitations

Sending out invitations to guests isn’t as easy as it sounds. If not done right or sent on time, you may jeopardise the whole office Christmas party. Fortunately, there are tools and templates available online which you can use to manage such a task.

The choice of sending invitations through mail or email depends on your Christmas party theme and budget. You can send invitations through emails and WhatsApp or HR tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Don’t ignore catering

Refreshment is one aspect of office Christmas parties that PAs and organisers often overlook. You should ensure the dining experience is as seamless and orderly as possible. The trick here is to pay attention to your menu and plan it considering the dietary preferences of all participants.

Vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes all need to be equally well thought out to show that all guests are well catered for. Adding healthy options such as low-fat meals and healthy snacks is considerate for all attendees. Also, don’t forget to include non-alcoholic Christmas drinks and make them as festive as the alcoholic options.

Be thoughtful about sustainability

Do you know that five million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies were consumed last year in the UK?

If this wasn’t enough, wrapping papers used and binned during last Christmas were enough to cover Guernsey. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t send gifts, but you can find more environmentally-friendly ways. We don’t have to remind you why sustainability is essential and what’s its importance is for the Mother Earth.

We urge you to use a sustainable Christmas tree at your office party and purchase equipment from local shops. Moreover, go with reusable cutlery and glasses, and choose waste-free gifts for your colleagues.

Pay attention to the event schedule

The most important task of a PA during an office Christmas party is to ensure event flow. Also, don’t forget to introduce fun activities and games to keep your guests engaged and enjoying themselves. You should create an event schedule defining the Christmas party agenda, including when the presents are handed out or bonus presentations.

Prepare contingency plans

Your Christmas work party may not go totally according to plan even after putting hours of effort into it. For instance, your AV equipment hire may stop working, or participants may get bored during a session. You must have contingency plans and backup support for technical glitches to encounter such difficulties.

Sometimes even the tiniest mistake draws huge attention at office Christmas parties. In fact, it can suck the fun out of your event, so make your work parties foolproof. Preparing contingency plans will enable you to act promptly and rectify issues quickly. Furthermore, you’ll be less prone to risks if something goes south.

Final note

Christmas work party planning can be stressful and feel like a daunting task, but you can overcome the challenges with the right guidance and preparation. The tips we’ve mentioned in this blog will help you throw an eco-friendly party as a PA. All you have to do is follow Christmas party objectives and create an effective timeline after deciding on the budget. Pay attention to your office Christmas party schedule and hire an event production company if you need help.