Seven top tips for planning a bash on a budget

Here’s how to plan a fantastic event on a shoestring

The office Christmas party can sometimes end up being a costly affair, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s how to plan a fantastic event on a shoestring

1. CONSIDER HOLDING THE PARTY IN LOW SEASON 

You’ll be amazed how much money can be saved by opting for a date in November or January. Most venues offer special deals and discounts for parties that aren’t hosted in December. Rather than appearing cheap, having a knees-up after New Year is great way to boost morale and help with those inevitable January blues.

2. ASK PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO

It’s pointless wasting money on activities that will fill staff with dread. Send out an email to the company and find out what’s most important to people – and ask for ideas. Canvassing opinion is a great way to keep staff happy, and will give you a better indication of what they want to do.

3. HOLD THE EVENT DURING THE DAY 

Not only will staff be happy to have the time off work, but many external venues are cheaper when it comes to daytime events. Consider organising a lunch and drinks, as this is often more economical than an evening meal. Why not be extra nice and give everyone the afternoon off?

4. MAKE YOUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT

You don’t have to spend a fortune on hired entertainment in order to have fun. Speak to your team and see if anyone can help out in any way. There might even be people who are keen to perform. Alternatively, organise a Christmas quiz with prizes for the winning team. Or simply put on a Christmas film in the office, buy some popcorn and sit back and relax.

5. ORGANISE A SHARED PARTY

Shared Christmas parties are a great way for smaller businesses to be able to enjoy a lavish party at a fraction of the cost. It is an excellent option for companies that can’t afford exclusive-use hire. Just because the party is shared doesn’t mean having to mingle with other businesses (although there are always networking opportunities) as most venues will allow you to reserve tables.

6. LOOK FOR EARLY-BIRD OFFERS

Planning is crucial when it comes to Christmas. Lots of venues get booked up months before the festive season so it’s worth thinking well ahead. Do lots of research and enquire about offers for early bookings. The earlier you start thinking about organising your party, the more likely you’ll be able to find the best bargain.

7. HAVE DRINKS IN THE OFFICE BEFOREHAND 

Paying for drinks from a bar can be pricey, so consider having a tipple and some nibbles (it’s important to soak up the alcohol) before the party. If you’re having a sit-down meal, offer to pay for wine for the table – and then request that staff buy their own drinks from the bar. You’ll keep everyone happy and you won’t break the bank.

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