How to budget for a company party

What to budget for… company parties

So you’ve been given a budget for your company party. Excellent, however staying within that budget can be quite hard, especially if you want to book a larger than life party that nobody in your company is going to forget any time soon! So what do you do? Settle for something mediocre? Or go over budget and suffer the wrath of your boss (even though they were really impressed with the party at the time.)

Well with some clever planning – hopefully neither! You’ll have to trust us: it is possible to book a fantastic company party without going over budget, admittedly it’s far more cost effective to book through an events agency (like Eventa) because if you plan to book somewhere expensive and in demand like a London Christmas party then it can be tricky to put together the kind of event you want during peak festive season.

So if you plan to book your own party from scratch then here are a few tips from us that you need to consider…

Decide on a date

This is a huge consideration as the date of the party affects everything from the price to the availability. Fridays are normally the most expensive date to book as everybody wants the weekend to recover (for example, Friday the 20th would be the most expensive date to book in 2013.) So make sure you keep that in mind when you decide on dates. In fact, we suggest having two dates in mind before you start ringing around – just in case.  Another thing to consider (if you want to save the pennies) is to have a Christmas lunch rather an evening meal, as they will be less in demand and more reasonable price wise.

Venue

Naturally keep your budget in mind when booking a venue and don’t pick a venue you know is going to be expensive. Another thing to consider is space, now it may seem obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people forget this. Don’t book a venue that’s too big or too small for your party. Also if you plan to decorate yourselves and hire entertainment, then make sure you inform the venue before booking/buying any of these as some places won’t allow certain entertainment/decorations (fire eaters for example!)

Food & Drink

This is normally a priority for most companies (particularly the drinks part!) so make sure you split your budget up and make plenty of room for this! Obviously most people prefer an open bar but if your budget won’t push that far then you can allocate drink tokens (which is what most of our clients do) so employees still get a free drink but they are limited. Also if a sit down meal is going to push your limits then maybe consider having canapés instead of a full sit down meal.

Transport

If the party is in a venue that is hard to get to or if you’re worried about people getting lost (or heaven forbid drink driving!) Then maybe budget in minibuses to get people to and from the venue.

Decorations & table arrangements

Most of the time the venue will have its own decorations and table arrangements, however if you want your own then make sure you put aside some decorating money from budget. This may seem excessive but as an agency we always try and encourage some company branding at a corporate party as it helps with company morale.

Music & Entertainment

You don’t have to go for the whole DJ & disco thing if you don’t want to (as that normally costs extra) but a party without music is just a conference. So don’t forget to provide some tunes for your event! Entertainment is also a good choice if you really want to go all out, but we only really recommend this option if you have a large budge and/or are booking a shared party.

Optional: – Security & Event management

By no means necessary but still rather nice addition to any company Christmas party! These features normally come included when you book a corporate event through an agency. However if you’re concerned about things going wrong at the event and you don’t want to be the one who deals with it, then it may be best for you to get some external help. This help can come in the form of event managers who will oversee that things run smoothly, to security who will ensure that no external gate crashers get in and that there is no trouble caused during the course of the evening.

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