A corporate Christmas party is a nice way to allow your hard workers to loosen their tie for one day out of the year. It’s the one time the staff can actually enjoy showing up to a work-related function. A party at the office, while better than nothing, won’t be that impressive. To really make your staff feel appreciated, treat them to a lavish event at a high-end venue.

Here are a few corporate Christmas party tips for hosting an event with a mega wow factor.

1. Venue

Think about it: your employees spend 40 plus hours a week at the office. Do they really want to spend the party at the same place they spend their working hours? Make the event memorable and rent out a venue actually designed for holiday events.

When making a selection, the following points should be considered:

  • Is the venue located fairly nearby? Attendees shouldn’t have to commute for half the day to get there.
  • Is the venue opened for holiday events? Some venues are only open for rent during certain times of the year.
  • Are you open to a shared Christmas party? If you have a fairly small expected turnout, you can opt for a shared Christmas party at a larger venue.
  • Does the venue have additional amenities that would be nice to have, such as complimentary spa or massage services? It’s also nice if the venue has a meeting room where staff can gather for a formal meeting before kicking off the festivities.

2. Entertainment

How will you entertain your guests? If the venue has a dance floor, then you can hire a DJ and that pretty much solves the entertainment aspect. However, there are far more choices. Have you considered a live band? This can be a classical or contemporary R&B band depending on the vibe you’re aiming for. You can also hire comedians, musicians, acrobat performers, etc.

The theme may also influence the type of entertainment you provide. If holding a Las Vegas theme, for example, then activities can include casino games with various card tables and rented slot machines.

Guests can play for actual money or donate their earnings to charity. Entertainment ideas for a Christmas party may also include children-friendly activities, such as arts and crafts, or an outdoor movie with a serving of hot chocolate sundae.

3. Catering

The venue may have its own catering department. If so, then that takes care of the food. Some people, however, may opt for a third-party food vendor. Be sure to check with the venue to see if this is okay. Some venue rental policies include a surplus fee if you use an outside catering company besides its own food service.

Food options are diverse. There is an array of ethnic cuisines to consider, or you can opt for the traditional holiday-specific meal, such as stuffed turkey and ham. You should also decide between a buffet or single-course meal.

There is also the decision whether to serve light refreshments or appetizers before the main meal. Finally, the presence of a bar with a professional mixologist on hand will surly make a few attendees happy.

4. Theme

Some people think that Christmas is the theme in a Christmas party. Yes, Christmas is the main theme, but you can have a smaller theme within a themed event. A Christmas party can be pretty generic if it’s the typical celebration with holiday decorations and a Santa for the kids to sit on.

You can go further and have a theme that makes the whole event more memorable and worthy of mentions on social media.

So, what are some theme ideas for a Christmas party? Here are a few for starters:

  • Nutcracker
  • Winter wonderland
  • Masquerade ball

These are all holiday-related. Keep in mind, though, that themes can be totally outside the realm of Christmas. Some alternative Christmas party ideas with a more eccentric theme includes:

  • Hawaii Luau
  • The roaring 1920s
  • Murder mystery
  • Gothic, or a blend of Christmas and Halloween
  • Football, or some other sport-related theme

5. Date

You’re not going to be the only company planning an out-of-office Christmas party. In fact, hundreds if not thousands of other businesses are going to be looking to do the same. Companies like to host parties usually on the weekend before Christmas.

However, with venues being booked left and right, this may not be feasible unless you made reservations months in advance. Even the week after Christmas is usually booked as it’s also not uncommon for businesses to hold a post-Christmas/pre-New Year’s celebration.

This is why you should be flexible and be willing to schedule the party slightly earlier. Early December or even as early as late November may be more feasible. If you absolutely insist on holding the party on Christmas week, then be sure to enquire about space availability at least six months in advance if not earlier.

6. Acknowledgement

The holidays aren’t just about gifts and parties; it’s also about being grateful for the people in your lives. Your staff is the backbone of your company. You can acknowledge their hard work by also doubling the event as an award ceremony. This is where you hand out a trophy or plaque to an employee or department that you felt exceeded expectations.

You can also hand out some other token to the rest of the staff. This can be as simple as a gift card or a bonus on their next paycheck. Obviously, this will cost the company a lot of money, but it certainly makes employees feel appreciated and raises morale when they return to the office next year.

It’s quite convenient that Christmas is near the end of the calendar. It’s a good way to end the year on a joyous note. This also makes it the perfect opportunity for holding a corporate party. A company celebration not only acknowledges the staff’s dedication but also ensures a more readied team when business operation resumes.

This is a guest post by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has five years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.