We’re already halfway through the year – can you believe it? Whilst BBQs, drinks in the pub garden and summer escapes are at the forefront of your mind, I invite you to think ahead. Planning a Christmas do is time-consuming, but start early and use event planning documents to nail it!
Spontaneous outings are great but events run more smoothly when planned properly in advance. Of course, you don’t always need 6 months. It really depends on the type of event, the number of guests and timing. Do you want to hold your event at a popular time?
Celebrating business success with Christmas events
Christmas events are a fantastic opportunity to reward employees for their hard work and commitment. You might also choose to invite loyal customers, trusted suppliers and other associates that have supported business success. After years of restrictions on social get-togethers, a celebration is a real treat in the calendar.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford
3 Reasons to start Christmas event planning early
The challenge is that this is a very popular time of year for works dos and family get-togethers. Starting your event planning now is a good idea because:
1. You will have the biggest option of venues, dates and suppliers
Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are quick to fill up, so getting ahead of the game gives you the best chance of holding your Christmas event where and when you want to.
An early start also provides the opportunity to visit a few venues to check out their suitability. Ask about their Christmas packages and clarify what is included. Take note of what isn’t covered, so you know which other suppliers you need to source. You may consider using a venue finding service like that provided by the fantastic Venue Queen Ltd.
Consider transport and accommodation – how easy is it for guests to reach the venue and stay on-site or locally if required? In light of recent years, asking about the venue’s cancellation policy is also advisable.
2. More guests will be free to attend
With a date and venue confirmed, you can get the Christmas event on the works calendar. The more advanced notice you give people, the higher the chance they can make it. You don’t need to prepare the invites at this stage, but just get the date in the diary.
If you are having a weekday event, think about the follow-up. For lunchtime events, can you close the workplace for the afternoon? For evening events, is a late start the following day an option? If business continuation is essential, consider outsourcing tasks.
Advanced planning can also help manage customer expectations for the event date. Your team can avoid booking meetings or scheduling projects to reduce work pressures on the event day. Again, this encourages attendance and reduces the risk of people pulling out at the last minute.
You might be planning a ticketed event, in which case, more time offers more opportunity to market the event on social channels, in related publications and on your organisation’s website.
3. You spread the workload
There is no denying that organising a Christmas event is time-consuming. If an individual or team are tasked with getting something booked at the last minute, it can be tough to juggle this and their other work. Starting early means spreading the workload and preventing unnecessary stress. They should be able to enjoy the event as much as anyone else!
With time to plan, there is less risk that something important will be overlooked. This leads me to event planning documents.
Event planning documents
A living document, containing all the relevant information for your event, will help everything to run smoothly. I call it a living document because it can be updated as plans come together so it remains current. The information you collate can include:
- The venue and suppliers, their contact info, along with links to their website and any documentation including booking forms, cancellation policy and invoices
- A list of guests, with details of when the invite was sent, acceptances and details such as dietary requirements and confirmation of transport/accommodation requests
- Reminders – dates when numbers need confirming, final cancellation dates, when to order food and prompts for those final details
- Financial info – a breakdown of costs to help monitor spending and ensure that the event doesn’t blow the budget
- Evaluation forms – pre-prepared and ready to be sent out post-event to gather feedback
- A list of points to remember for next time
Having such a document also makes it easy for others to step in, should the need occur.
Branded document specialist
As a branded document specialist, I have created a basic Christmas event planning template. This is available to download for free from my template library. My services include branding and personalising this document for your organisation. This can set your Christmas event planners off on the right foot (and that is before they hit the dancefloor at the event!)
Please get in touch for further information.
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