The office party is the time of the year for your employees to let their hair down and reap the benefits of their hard work.  Planning a party can be time-consuming, finding the right venue,  choosing the theme and deciding on food, all take a lot of thought.  Check out this step by step guide from Apples and Pears Bar for more information on planning a party to remember.

1) Find The Right Venue For The Party

An office party is generally either going to happen in the offices themselves or at an offsite venue. Let your budget and your expected numbers of guests guide your selection. For a quick rundown of your offsite options, see below. Specific venues in your area can easily be located via a quick Google search.

Especially grand events call for a setting that will be appropriately memorable, such as a famous public space or a fancy hotel. Smaller parties can be easily accommodated in spaces like village halls or pub function rooms.

2) Set A Date

This needs to be fixed as quickly as possible. The difficulty of fitting an event into multiple people’s schedules grows exponentially as you expand your guest list, and establishing a firm date as far in advance as possible is absolutely key.

In order to maximise participation, pick out a range of dates that work with your venue and then put the final selection to a vote in the office.

3) Send The Invitations

Once you have a date picked and a venue secured, it’s time to make sure everyone knows what’s coming. You can send out a brief notice as soon as these key details are settled, typically in the form of a ‘Save the Date’ email. Follow up with a more extensive invitation once all of your arrangements are made. As a rule of thumb, try to get formal invitations out at least a month in advance.

4) Choose A Theme

If you’re celebrating a specific holiday or joining a larger party, you needn’t worry about giving the occasion a theme. If your team is celebrating on its own, it’s up to you to pick out a theme that will enhance the party’s memorability. Remember that if your gala is big enough to involve a professional event planner, he or she can be a tremendous source of ideas for themes!

The theme comes in handy because it gives you guidance in picking out your decorations and props.

5) Arrange Food Choices

The time to start thinking about catering for a major event is two to three months in advance. If you are planning an exclusive party or a shared one, most of the catering choices may have been made in advance. You’ll simply need to circulate menus in advance and keep track of the attendee’s responses. Things get much more complex when you have sole responsibility for planning the food!

Your top priority is to address any special dietary restrictions your attendees might have. Vegetarians, vegans, food allergies – you need to account for all of them!

Finding a reliable caterer can take a lot of the hassle out of your food arrangements. Let the caterers present you with menu options in order to narrow down your selections. It’s generally a good idea to look for the most diverse food offering you can fit into your budget.

6) Attend To Beverage Service

This is another consideration that might be handled in advance if you’re planning a package affair. When you’re in charge of the arrangements, though, you need to estimate your drinks needs and find a reputable provider!

As a general rule of thumb, each guest is likely to consume two drinks in the initial hour and one drink per hour as the party continues.

When providing table wine with a meal, the general practice is to allow two glasses (i.e. half a bottle) for each diner.

Always remember that alcoholic drinks must be accompanied with soft drinks and water. Some of your guests will have moral, religious, or medical reasons to abstain from drinking. Besides accommodating guests who cannot or choose not to drink, you also need refreshing options for designated drivers.

7) Plan Out The Entertainment

Some venues include entertainment in the services and facilities they have to offer when you plan a party. If this is not the case, it’s up to you to lay on music suitable for dancing. In general, this is sufficient entertainment for an office party, but special events may call for going above and beyond. If you have the time and budget for it, take a look at additional entertainment options you could present to your team!

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