The season of ‘The Snowman’ re-runs, sprouts and moderate weight gain is fast approaching, and you’ve been asked to arrange the staff company christmas party. This can seem like a hugely daunting task, especially when you start considering the wide range of people you have to accommodate and please.
Having spent many years in a band, I have attended and performed at many company staff christmas parties, witnessed good and bad, the excitement and unfortunately sometimes the fear on the face of the organiser who forgot the xmas crackers. With this in mind, I have put together my very own guide to creating a successful Christmas event focusing on the aspects which are often most overlooked and yet make the biggest difference.
First thing to consider is the atmosphere as the guests walk in, the part which sets the mood for the entire evening. One of the most important aspects is lighting. It surprises me that something so simple is often an after-thought. The mood of the lighting can really make or break the event. Lots of white light is a big ‘no no’. Too much light makes people feel exposed and inhibited, less likely to let their guard down and to join in the party. Spot-lighting certain parts of the room and table lights work great and can contribute towards a sense of warmth and intimacy. Yellows, reds and some blues work well.
Theme… This is usually a nice way to tie up the room colour scheme (alongside the lighting). Popular themes still seem to be based around films and the red carpet thing but I would encourage out-of-the-box thinking. I remember performing an event for which the theme was a traditional African/safari party. This involved lots of wood, plant life and cosy hammock style swings. There were cool chill out areas and tribal drums. It set a great vibe straight away, got people moving around the room and talking to others and most importantly was memorable and different. Many people enjoy having the opportunity to dress up. It is always a good way create talking points as people walk in and set the social environment.
The Entertainment, the Entertainment, and let me repeat THE ENTERTAINMENT. This can be the most talked about part of the event. And of course budget does play a big part, often leading to question… Band or DJ? In my experience both play their part in different ways. A great band’s job is to engage and involve the audience in the room, helping to drop the inhibition of even the most dance-floor phobic attendees. A band, alongside providing the audio and visual ‘Wow’ of live music, has far more access to the audience on a personal level. They can bring certain party attendees on to the stage to sing, dance and be centre of attention briefly. A band can personalise an event and make people feel special in a way in which a DJ can struggle to do, creating lasting memories.A good DJ helps to set the mood throughout the dinner service, slowly raising the energy levels in the room leading up to the after dinner performance from the band. Without this progression it can be a serious shock to the system for your audience moving from polite chats with colleagues to outright dance floor mayhem. It’s all in a great DJ’s hands to step through these stages and once the band has played, to keep the audience entertained until curfew.
The Playlist… Xmas songs or No Xmas Songs!!! Just because it’s a Christmas party, does everyone really want to listen to Christmas songs all night? Lets be honest, at the time of your party the audience will have probably endured their ten thousandth listen to “I wish it could be christmas everyday”!! So maybe just a sprinkle of christmas music during the welcoming reception, and then move quickly on.
I hope this has helped you on your way towards delivering a spectacular staff company Christmas party. If you’d like to know more about the author and his band please visit thetzars.com