What to look out for when choosing the venue for your company’s Christmas party
We know it’s still the summer and we know that the government still has covid restrictions in place, but they are due to be removed on July 19th (let’s all hope that is the case) and if you wait too long, all the best Christmas party venues will have been snapped up. So here is our guide to what makes a great Christmas party venue – helping you to make the right choice for your 2021 Christmas party.
The right size
It almost seems daft saying it, but you need to choose a venue that is the right size for your Christmas party. Too big and you will feel lost and it looks like nobody could be bothered to turn up. Too small and everyone is squeezed in together. Especially this year, when Covid will still be fresh in the memory, you don’t want that.
Christmas parties usually happen towards the end of the day. You finish work sometime between lunchtime and the normal end of day time and everyone needs to get ready – to put their gladrags on. Some will want to go home for this, but many will simply get changed at work. You don’t want to then spend a long time getting from the office to the party venue, so it needs to be either really close or really easy to get to.
The other location consideration is getting home afterwards. As most people are likely to have had a drink, or three, driving is out. Public transport close by is therefore essential, whether that is trains, tubes, buses or even riverboats!
Assuming you have the right size Christmas party venue, you are halfway there, but the right atmosphere is essential. The entertainment and the decoration will impact this, but much of it will come from you – the organiser. You need to there, having fun and ensuring everyone relaxes and enjoys themselves. Banning “work talk” may sound like a good idea, but may leave some with little to talk about. Remind people it is an end of year celebration and don’t make it compulsory. Some people simply aren’t party goers and would prefer to be elsewhere.
Will you want a sit down meal, or have a buffet style arrangement instead? Do you want people to help themselves, or have staff bring canapes around throughout the evening? There are lots of options and a great Christmas party venue will help you decide which is best for you and for your team.
Getting the combination, and quantity, right can be tricky, but your venue will help you out. We definitely recommend a combination of soft and alcoholic drinks. You may also want to ensure tea/coffee are available. Your budget will dictate much of what you do here, as the drinks are probably going to be a big part of that spend. If you start adding cocktails to the choices, you will be popular with the staff, but maybe not so with your Finance Director. Make sure you discuss your budget beforehand and then with the venue to get the drinks right.
Music is, pretty much, a must. But how far do you go? If you’re having a more formal, sit down, event, low level music over the sound system will be fine, at least until dinner is over and the dancing starts. If you are really pushing the boat out and getting a band in, make sure the venue has the sound system to make them sound great.
Some venues will have an annual theme that they use to decorate the whole venue for the Christmas season. Others will work with you to decorate your spaces how you want them to be. Obviously this will add cost, but a great Christmas party venue will know the best suppliers and be able to help you with that.
Talk to you venue about the type of event, your company culture and the type of atmosphere you want to create. They will help you make the right choices.
We touched on budget before, but as its Christmas(!) and we don’t want to be the party pooper, we left it until last. It is, however, important and it will be a factor. The more famous the venue, the more central it is, the higher the price. If money is no object and you’re having a big event, the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum starts at £19,950 – plus food, drinks and entertainment!
Many venues will make things simple and provide a price per guest. That prices covers the venue, drinks, food, and, sometimes, the entertainment. The earlier you start talking to them, the more they can help you.
It may seem daft talking about Christmas in June, but all the best venues can quickly be booked up, and all the best DJs/bands too. The earlier you start the process, the more likely you will get the Christmas party venue you are looking for – especially as you didn’t have one last year!
For more information about how Glaziers Hall can help you have a great Christmas party, give us a call on 020 7403 3300 or click here to email us