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The ultimate guide to planning the year-end party

We’re rolling into the silly season. And it’s getting to that time when the invites need to go out for the company year-end function. If it’s your responsibility to pull it all together, we know first-hand how tricky it can be to strike the right balance of fun, food and formalities.

Over our many years in the industry, we’ve picked up a thing or two 😉 So to help guide your through the process, here’s our year-end party planning check-list:



  1. Choose a theme

Deciding on a theme comes down to knowing your audience. A year-end party needs a theme that reflects the company culture – and let’s just be honest, sometimes that can even mean no theme at all. Nothing wrong with just a straight up good time. Make your decision and let it guide the rest of your planning.

  1. Know your budget

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, make sure you have a very clear idea of your budget. Get it in writing and stick to it.

  1. Find the right space

With a vision and a budget, anything is possible (within the budget!). Decide whether you’re going to throw the party at your company or if you’re going to book another venue. To make the office park look and feel like the holidays, consider looking into our different tent and marquee options. Or simply transform your space with some choice event accessories.

  1. Set the date

With a theme, budget and venue, you can now set the date and send out the invitations to the guests. Make sure you set a deadline for RSVPs and tell your guests exactly what time they need to be where, the dress code and advise on any transport arrangements.

Don’t forget to make it clear if spouses, partners, children or friends are invited, and get all dietary requirements as part of the RSVP process to help with your menu planning.

  1. Book your suppliers

Now’s the time to secure your suppliers and supplies. Make sure you’ve covered all the important ones:

  • Tents, tables, chairs and other accessories
  • A caterer and bar service
  • Entertainment (DJ, live music, games, or anything else that fits your theme)
  • A photographer if needed



  1. Iron out the details

Decide on the finer details of the decorations and start sourcing everything you need to bring it all together (or check in with the professionals you’ve brought on board).

  1. Think about gifts

If your company wants to give all employees a small token, personalised gifts can be a great touch – but they need a longer lead time for production. If company gifts aren’t on the cards and something like ‘Secret Santa’ is a better fit, make sure this is organised to give everyone enough time to get involved.

  1. Finalise the food and drinks

Work with your caterer and bar service to decide on the menu based on the dietary requirements you received from the guests. Once the menu is finalised, now’s the time to also secure any additional catering and serving equipment.



  • Send out a reminder
  • Finalise the seating (if need be)
  • Create a playlist if you’re having a DJ
  • Check in with all suppliers
  • Finalise the schedule for set-up



  • Start any pre-event set up that can be done (such as setting up marquees, tables, chairs, lighting and some table decorations)
  • Finalise the running order for the day
  • Find out if everyone can leave work early to prepare for the party 😉
  • Send out the final reminder
  • Get ready for a great time


The MPR Hiring team are seasoned eventing experts who can take any brief and bring it to life. We love working on year-end parties of any size. Get in touch for a custom quote and expert advice on how to pull off the ultimate office party.