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The work Christmas party is an essential part of office culture. It’s how the bosses say thanks for a year a hard work, it’s how everyone can get together before they head away for holidays, and it’s how you can remind employees of the perks of the job so they finish the year on a high note.

To ensure you tick off all of these objectives, you should start your Christmas party planning now – if you haven’t already started! Here’s why there is every reason to start today and not tomorrow.

 Availability of venues

 The largest companies around will start booking their next Christmas party venues even before the tinsel has been taken down from the workplace from the previous year. Smaller companies can get away with waiting a bit longer as there are more venues available for smaller groups, but they fill up quickly in the second half of the year.

Whether you’re looking at booking a restaurant, activity venue, bar or something else, pick up that phone and call them to find out which spots they have left in December.

 Availability of guests

 The other issue that can occur when you wait too long to organise your work party is that the guests themselves will start booking up, too. The more employees you have the more likely this will be, and if you’re inviting partners and children as well, you’ll need to consider them as well.

They will be invited to other Christmas functions for families and friends, and they may even be attending partners’ work parties. Plus, many people take time off for holidays in the lead up to Christmas, so you’ll have to keep that in mind, too.

Pick a time and a date early and spread the word to ensure as many people can attend as possible.

 Getting the details right

 A Christmas party isn’t your usual Friday night drinks where you can pull everything together at the last minute. Those extra details take work, and you’ll thank yourself later if you start sorting them out now.

Think about the date, the guest list, the food and drinks, the entertainment, the transport, the order of events and even any awards or recognition prizes you want to give out. If you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to research each option and ensure you have each part planned to perfection. Most people are extra busy in the lead up to Christmas, so waiting until the final hour to finalise details will only make this exciting time a chore.

Save money

 If you’re working with a budget (and let’s be honest, what company isn’t?), you’ll be looking to save wherever you can so you can spend on the more important things.

As Christmas creeps closer, you may notice that supplies and venues become more expensive as demand ramps up. Booking earlier may help your nab a bargain while the prices are low to either simply save on the final cost, or put those funds to better use elsewhere – such as the bar tab!