How to Plan Your Work Christmas Party

How to Plan Your Work Christmas Party

6 min read

An Easy 8-Step Guide

Are you organising this year’s Christmas party / end-of-year celebration?
Are you daunted by the idea of adding a big project to your already crazy workload? Fear not, and get smart!

Use this step-by-step guide to planning corporate Christmas parties and cap off the year with a fabulous celebration that everyone will remember.

Christmas Parties 101: 8-Step Guide to Planning Your Work's EOY Event Click To Tweet

1. Define Event Objectives

It’s important to be clear on goals right from the start, because these will guide your decisions along the way.

Often used end-of-year party objectives:
  • Celebrate a year of hard work
  • Acknowledge achievements by company, teams and individuals
  • Motivate staff for the year ahead
  • Promote employee retention
  • Build relationships with key customers and suppliers

What’s the purpose of your event? Whether it’s a Christmas Party, Gala Dinner, End-of-year (EOY) Celebration or Awards Night, it’s usually less about Christmas and more about celebrating!

Free Event Planning Template

Download the Event Planning Template now to:

  • Understand and track key event details
  • Plan any event, from 14 days, 90 days or 6+ months away
  • Save time

Available in Excel and Google Sheets, pre-filled, fully editable, ready to print and free for a limited time. Download now

2. Create a Budget

Know your budget before you begin! The total event budget may already have been set, but you’ll need to keep track of all spend: venue, entertainment, catering and theming.

3. Set the Date

Try to set the date as soon as possible, if it hasn’t already been decided.

Check for family celebrations and school holidays, because colleagues might take leave at this time. You want as many people as possible to enjoy your fabulous Christmas party!

Get Organised

Use this FREE Event Run Sheet and:

  • Easily plan your event program
  • Streamline communication with suppliers and stakeholders
  • Save time

4. Create a Guest List

The next step is working out how many people will attend. Is it just staff, or are partners invited too? If one of the event objectives is building relationships with key customers and suppliers, find out who these are and list their contact details.

Pro Tip

Keeping all your contacts in one place will make invitation management fast and accurate.

With an estimate of how many people will attend, it’s time to source the venue.

5. Book the Venue

‘Tis the season for most businesses and organisations to have a party, so it’s best to book the venue asap to avoid missing out.

Dockside Group‘s L’Aqua provides two exclusive five-star private function venues on Sydney’s waterfront, The Gold Room and The Terrace Room.

Key things to check:

  • Capacity
  • Easy transport from your workplace
  • Venue hire fees
  • Private room or shared space with public
  • Type of food (including special dietary requirements)
  • In-house or outsourced catering
  • Food & beverage costs
  • Alcohol service
  • Atmosphere appropriate for your party

Unless you know the venue well, consider a quick visit to sense it for yourself. Website photos don’t always tell you everything about space and ambience.

You want the food to appeal to as many people as possible, including those with special dietary requirements; ask colleagues for feedback, or if they’ve had prior experience at the venue. Although unlikely, it’s best to know up front about any service or food quality issues!

Here's how to plan your EOY work party like a boss. Click To Tweet

6. Design a Theme

Many Christmas party planners inject that extra ‘wow!’ factor with a theme.

It doesn’t need to be Christmas-related at all, and it’s your chance to get creative!

Decorations, lighting and music all help build the right mood. Of course, any creative theming will have to fit with your budget and venue facilities.

Free Run Sheet Template

Here's an Event Run Sheet template so you don't have to waste time making one from scratch.

7. Book Entertainers

Hiring professional entertainment is a fantastic way to take your corporate Christmas party to the next level. There are many different types of entertainment to choose from, whether your event is day or night, seated or standing, or casual or formal.

Live bands and stage shows – think comedians, dancers and circus performers – are great for seated celebrations. For a standing, cocktail type party, roving entertainers move around the space to keep your guests thrilled and engaged throughout the party.

8. Send Invites

With the party details to hand, it’s time to send out your invitations. Try to send these out as soon as you have sufficient information about the event.

Include clear information about time, date, venue and transport, as well as the fabulous entertainment and festivities you have in store.

8 easy steps to an awesome work Christmas event. Click To Tweet

The lead-up to the event is also a great opportunity to build extra buzz about the party, with posters, emails and intranet banner ads. It’s amazing how much the anticipation contributes to the mood on the day!


Managing the work Christmas Party or EOY celebration may be a daunting prospect. Fitting it on top of everything else is a challenge, not to mention making it a fabulous event to be proud of! Follow these 8 steps and you’ll be on the right track.

Next steps

About the Author

Gav George

When his school music teacher loaned him a cassette tape (yes, he's that old) of a fusion band, Gav entered the jazz world after years of classical music training. He was lucky enough to play with some of the greatest living jazz musicians and toured key festivals. Then Enhance founder Alison Clarke called on Gav to work on the company's marketing. This led him to his new passion of… marketing! Gav oversees Enhance's marketing initiatives, gets a kick out of connecting with clients and unearthing new talent. Gav still has that cassette tape, so if his music teacher reads this, please get in touch so he can return it.

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