Plan Your Christmas Party With Ease.
Christmas is just over one-hundred days away – there, I’ve said it. Alas, I am NOT the excellent example of planning, more like the prince of procrastination. It’s inevitable, big holidays creeping up on your calendar, and we want to help you plan for success. This time last year the team at Bulging Baskets Vancouver launched the company and spent the Autumn getting our business rolling. It wasn’t until mid-November when we scrambled to organize a work Christmas party; We vowed to start the holiday preparations early this year and so should you!
Let’s put this crazy talk aside for a moment; I hope you had a relaxing Labour Day long weekend. We celebrated the completion of our first year in business on Saturday with a cocktail and a calendar planning out the next quarter. September brings excitement as families get into the school routine and our taste buds adjust to pumpkin spice everything. By the way, parents check your school calendar as there’s typically a Professional Development Day snuck in the first month and every month after that.
Christmas Party Planning 101
I write this post to encourage you to make a few phone calls and entries on your calendar to ensure the
upcoming holiday season is a breeze. The party planners I researched agree: Get the bulk of the work done early. Secure your venue, caterer, music, photographer, and rentals immediately. You should have an opportunity to finalize numbers before your event. Get started this month: If you are the Office Manager or party planner start connecting with your boss and the team. Discuss a budget for the event, Friday afternoons are a good time to meet with the boss over coffee. After financial figures assess the number of staff to invite (include their partners in your plan) and this will give you a good guideline of what costs you can afford per plate.
The greatest peace of mind will be confirming your venue; If they have adequate experience with groups, they will be your best resource and key to a successful event. Visit in person to see where your party will take place. Is there easy access to washrooms, the dancefloor, and the bar? If you approach a restaurant, do they shut down for your exclusive use or do they seat tables of other patrons? Take your plan with you and see what the venue can help with: think of a coat check, extra tables for gifts, and a sound system for your DJ. If they don’t have these items on-site, they should have a good contact at a rental agency that they have worked with before. In your agreements with vendors get a tangible acknowledgment. I usually ask them to send an e-mail after any phone call or meeting; Ensure the date of service, pricing, and details are all accurate.
After hours of research, I found an extensive checklist that starts eight weeks ahead of your event as well as a nicely formatted checklist with areas for your notes . These tools work for at-home events as well so print a few to ensure you are ready for Thanksgiving and the many parties that spring up with family and friends.
We hope you have fun preparing your events. Your energy and attention to detail now will allow you more time and energy to enjoy the party yourself.
Coming up in part 2 of our article we review the much-maligned gift exchange along with a line up of creative table favors and gifts.