The key to a successful party is being organised and forward planning. It's never too early to start the party-planning process for your special End of Year function as most venues and packages are booked up to nine months in advance. It's now time to start turning talk about office Christmas parties, client Christmas parties or any other festive season event into action.

Here are our Top Seven Tips for planning the perfect Christmas Party

Theming: Will your party have a theme?


Before you think about booking venues or hiring entertainment, decide on a theme, should you want one. You’ll find venue selection much easier if you already have an idea in mind. Entertainment, catering and invitations should all reflect the theme too.

There's no limit to theme possibilities. It could be a winter wonderland and Santa/Elves dress, casino party, TV show like Mad Men, beach party, circus, destination or fun way of reflecting your brand.

Choose Your Venue: Onsite or Offsite?

As early as possible, start contacting potential venues most will offer site inspections with their in-house events manager. With our Platinum packages, we offer the flexibility to run our services at your own premises or at a selected venue. Things to consider when choosing a venue include:

  • capacity – is it large enough or would you have to compromise your guest list?
  • location — is it accessible, good for cabs and public transport? If not, you may need to consider hiring buses or even overnight accommodation.
  • facilities — is the PA system modern and functioning? You may require equipment for speeches, presentations and live entertainment.

Invitations — make a good first impression

The first taste of your event for guests will be the invitation, so it needs to either stay on theme, or at very least give a hint of the type of event they can expect.

For example, if your event will be an old-fashioned theme consider sending parchment invitations, while an electronic invite sends a more modern message.

If budget allows, hand-written invitations always stand out from the crowd offering a personal and sophisticated touch.

Endeavour to finalise your guest list as soon as possible so you can get your invites out early and give your guests plenty of notice. A manageable RSVP date is essential.

Party catering — consider your theme and guest needs

If you've decided to go with a party theme make sure the food and beverages reflect it. Platinum offer customised theme packages to fit within your style and budget. Whether it's something as simple as the colours or, for example, a Mad Men theme where you'd serve cocktails such as Martinis and canapés with a 1950s flavour. Platinum can design your beverage menu to fit within any theme and budget.

Always consider your guests’ dietary requirements; a vegetarian option is essential and an even selection of proteins is always appreciated.

A generous spread will always be well received, especially as people tend to overindulge during the festive season. If you are planning for the event to be a late one, it’s always a good idea to send out some supper.

Entertainment — think about everyone's taste

A good performance act can make or break your event, so do your research and choose wisely. A decision based on your personal taste will often backfire, so be democratic and gather a panel to help make the final decision.

Experienced talent agencies will provide CDs, or DVDs if it’s more performance based. A touring act will rarely disappoint, although it’s important that you use your allotted money wisely and don't put all your budget eggs in one basket.

Formalities— run a tight ship

The mantra ‘short and sweet’ has never been more pertinent than when it comes to corporate Christmas party speeches and presentations. Keep any speeches relevant and humour will provide some light relief.

If it's an audience you need to impress, you can limit stress levels by employing a professional to write the speech and a production company to manage any video content required.

For both speeches and live entertainment, audiences always appreciate a tight running order.

Finally…enjoy yourself!

It's the end of a long year, so even if you're in charge of everyone else's festive cheer, make sure you take some time out to celebrate with your colleagues or clients.