Have you booked a venue for the company Christmas dinner yet? If the answer to that question is “no”, then you should get onto it before it turns into a planning nightmare! And if you think it’s too early to worry about it, then you’ve probably never been landed with the unwelcome task of planning the company Christmas dinner before. And while it’s true that some details can only be discussed later in the year, you should at least secure a venue as soon as possible, while there’s still plenty of choice and the prices are still relatively competitive. And how do you find the perfect venue for your company Christmas dinner? After spending over ten years planning corporate events in Italy, we have a few tips to share.
There’s no such thing as “planning too early”
You might feel silly talking about the company Christmas dinner and discussing ornaments in September. It may sound unnatural to you to consider menus that include massive roasts and cinnamon-everything while it’s still warm outside. The truth is, no matter how ridiculously early it feels, someone, somewhere, has already done it and they probably beat you to your preferred venue. Another reason why September is actually the perfect month to plan your company Christmas dinner is the fact that you probably aren’t working at full speed yet. Everyone in the office is just back from their holidays, projects are being picked up again after a long break and you still have more energy than you can use in a day’s work. Planning this event before the daily grind comes back to claim you is actually a very good idea. And finally, last but not least, everyone’s December schedule is still pretty much empty, which will make it easier to find a date that works for everyone.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” company Christmas dinner
When picking a venue for your company Christmas dinner, remember you can’t keep everyone happy at all times. Save time by not trying. And saving time here is crucial, because the longer you wait, the fewer venues will be available, which will increase the probability of your coworkers being unhappy with your final choice. Draft a list of possible dates and circulate it among those who will be attending the party, asking each of them to pick two preferred options. Don’t forget to give them an inflexible deadline for that, and to say that any submissions that come in past said deadline will be disregarded. None of this will make you popular, but they will thank you when they get to enjoy an awesome party!
Let’s talk about budget
Budget, of course, is the main reason you are starting to organise the company Christmas dinner in September. One of the consequences of leaving it too late to plan this kind of event it the inevitable, steep increase in prices for the few available venues on the market. There are also other elements that will affect your budget. For instance, you might be able to get a better deal for a Wednesday evening than a weekend, which may allow you to invest more in the menu and entertainment options. The drawbacks of hosting the company Christmas dinner mid-week, of course, may include reduced productivity on the following day, but chances are that the approaching holidays will be making your colleagues feel wistful and distracted anyway, so you might end up hardly noticing the difference.
Too big, too small or just right
When picking a venue for your company Christmas dinner, you will also have to decide whether you want to book a table for your team and be one of many groups dining at your chosen venue, or if you want to book the whole place for an exclusive party. Now, this depends mostly on the size of your guest list, but that’s not the only consideration at play. If you are hoping to create a special occasion and to make your team feel appreciated, nothing beats having the whole venue to yourselves and being able to choose the entertainment and set up company-themed decorations as well. And if you are worried that your group is not big enough to warrant an exclusive party, it’s because you are not looking at the right venue. Of course, booking a very large venue for a small group is not a good idea, but there are plenty of unusual, smaller spaces that will be happy to accommodate your team and shower you with attention at very competitive rates. And of course, if you need help finding the perfect place, you should just ask a professional!