It can be tempting to leave planning for official Christmas events until late in the year, often delegating the responsibility to junior staff.

However, it’s important to remember that your Christmas event is the last impression you leave your guests with, often until well into the New Year. What’s more, is a poor final impression can sometimes last the whole year through.

Here’s some pointers to help make your Christmas event a cracker.

You’re One of Many

Your Christmas event is likely to be one of half-a-dozen such events taking place over the same week, or even the same day. It’s important to remember many of your guests are likely to attend a number of such soirees over the festive season. Make sure your event stands out and does so for the right reasons!

Practical Venue

There are a few critical factors to remember when choosing a venue and most are intuitive. Make sure you have the right amount of space for the number of guests you’re inviting. Too little room will obviously make people feel crowded and stuffy; too much room will make it look like half your guests didn’t show up. Outdoor venues are fine as long as there is a nearby rain contingency. Boats are a no-no. If your guests don’t feel like they can come and go as they please, they may decline your invitation altogether.

Tasty Treats, not Fancy Fails

As we’ve concluded in the past, food can make or break an event. People are likely to be attending your event around meal time. Providing simple and tasty bites is the best way to keep your guests happy and leave a good gastronomical impression. Chicken skewers, burger sliders and even the humble mini-sausage roll are all winners. Too many complicated or unusual canapes could see your guests depart early to find sustenance elsewhere.

Relationship-building 101

Your Christmas event is an outstanding opportunity to gather your key advocacy targets in one place. One of the central motivations for hosting a corporate Christmas event is connecting your members/clients with Departmental representatives, State and Federal MPs and even journalists over a beer or a glass of wine.

Short Is Sweet

One of the most common ‘fails’ for official Christmas events is that the ‘official’ part drags on for too long. The number of speakers should be few, speeches kept short and time limits strictly adhered to. Visual presentations should also run under 10 minutes. Remember, your guests have primarily come to network, not to hear a sermon.