Your boss thought you were the best person to oversee the planning because of your year-round reputation as the ‘life of the party’. You’ve bravely accepted the challenge but your limited budget is an immediate buzz kill. It is important to remember this event is about people; if they have a good time then it’s a success. While you may be working with a limited budget, you don’t want to skim on the things that matter. Here are five tips to make your company’s Christmas dinner a raving success.
Pay attention to details
There’s no room in the budget for a live band or to drape all the walls of the venue in white, but that doesn’t mean other things cannot be done with sophistication. Something as simple as the table setting can elevate the entire event. Making sure the dinner tables are beautifully set is a sure way to convey to the attendees that they matter and you’re glad they came. The colours and decorative pieces will help set the tone for the evening and charge the atmosphere with anticipation.
Have a gift exchange
Organise a secret Santa gift exchange that culminates at the Christmas dinner. After all, Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts and this is a great way to incorporate the tradition into the event. Have your colleagues choose names of people they will secretly bring little tokens for in the weeks leading up to the Christmas dinner. This is a sure way to get people excited and involved. Everyone can walk with their ‘big’ gift at the dinner and reveal themselves during a special gift exchange segment. This is also a great opportunity for management to express their appreciation to all workers and recognise a few outstanding individuals. Highlighting the accomplishments of the past year and talking about future organizational plans is a great way to bring a sense of occasion to the evening.
Make sure there’s dancing
It’s been a tough year and everybody’s worked very hard (hopefully). This is the perfect occasion to cut a rug and let loose. Your venue should have a dance floor or a designated ‘dance area’. Make sure the DJ is briefed on the musical tastes of your colleagues and that he has an impressive collection of upbeat, festive music that will make it impossible to not dance. Encourage an interdepartmental dance off. Harry in the Accounts Department is probably dying to show off his moves to Lisa in Sales.
Go big on the food
Let’s face it. Food is the main attraction at any event. People may let it slide if the evening is a little dull but you won’t hear the end of it if the food is disappointing. Thoughtfully plan the menu, then shop around for a caterer who is willing to do a tasting beforehand and who can deliver a great product. Don’t assume everybody eats everything, make sure to include vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Before the event, get an accurate head count so that the caterer will know how much food to prepare and what kind. This is probably the only time of the year when the whole company gets together so do it well.
Related: (If you’re still looking for a caterer check out MST Catering.)
Bring in a Christmas Tree
This may seem silly but how can you have a Christmas dinner if it doesn’t feel like Christmas? This is a smart way to save time and money on decorations. Instead of focusing entirely on smaller elements of the décor, have a huge, beautifully decorated Christmas tree. It can serve as a focal piece and would have everybody talking about it. A Christmas tree will bring in the Christmas spirit and set the tone for the evening.
Here’s to a successful event! Happy Holidays everyone!