You’ve been asked to organise the office Christmas party. Well, there are two ways to feel about this. You’re either:
Either way, we’re here to help. Here are some top tips on how to organise your office Christmas party.
First, pin down a realistic budget. It stops your imagination running ahead of what’s feasible to spend.
How many guests will there be? Will partners be invited? Does your company have a party fund? Would your colleagues be OK to chip in towards a more spectacular evening?
OK, you’ve done the maths and set your budget. What’s next?
Now, depending on the size of your company, choosing a date that suits everyone can be a bit like pinning jelly to the wall.
Should it be at the weekend, or during the week? A weekend office party may sound perfect for some. For others, it’s a deal-breaker. Christmas is a busy social time of year and besides, they may not want to do a `work’ thing at the weekend.
The best way to choose your date is to send out a survey to staff. It saves you an endless to-and-fro nightmare.
In a large company, you’re unlikely to hit the jackpot with everybody. A survey allows you to figure out a date which suits the majority.
Let’s be honest, classic office parties — at the local pub, or in the office with warm white wine and sad sausage rolls… They don’t set the world alight, do they?
You want to organise something that gets people excited — an event they genuinely look forward to. A Christmas party should be a heartfelt `thank you’ to your employees for their hard work.
You can keep it simple — a meal in a restaurant, say, or perhaps a pub quiz night or (if you want to embarrass the boss) a Karaoke bar.
But here’s the thing:
After the meal is eaten, the quiz is won or lost, or the CEO has murdered `Dancing Queen’… well, that’s it for the evening. The party is over.
So, here’s the next tip.
Try and avoid the obvious. The idea is to get people invested in the entire evening, and raving about it until mid-summer.
Ideally, you’re aiming for an escape from the ordinary — something memorable.
You could, for example, get some interactive teamwork going at a murder mystery Christmas party. And if dinner is involved, avoid the postprandial fizzle-out by booking an event with after-dinner entertainment such as live music and dancing.
Actually, talking about dressing up… There’s nothing worse than arriving at a party dressed to the nines, only to realise no one else has made the effort (apart from Graham in accounts).
If you’re dressing to a theme, try and encourage everyone to join in. Make it easy by sending round some DIY dressing up ideas beforehand.
When it comes to office Christmas parties, location is important.
Out-of-town shared parties in marquees and stadiums can be fabulous. However, with limited transport links, your employees may struggle to get home afterwards. It’s easy to feel stranded.
And bear in mind that when they leave, it’s going to be late at night.
Opt for somewhere central. Your guests will thank you for it because it’s easy for them to get there, and safer to get back.
An evening with your colleagues is great, but you can do that any time. A shared party gives your guests the chance to experience something different, extravagant and memorable.
Your previous Christmas parties may have been good, but did you get flapper girls greeting you with a glass of fizz and dancing the Charleston? Did they involve casino tables, a glitter bar and live Motown band?
Sounds expensive? You actually save money with a shared party because the venue, food, drinks and entertainment are included as part of the package. In short, you get more bang for your party buck.
Now, we know what you’re thinking:
There will be hordes of people at a shared party. You’ll lose your colleagues halfway through the evening and end up wandering through the crowd in a panic.
Actually, it doesn’t have to be like that. Compared to the massive edge-of-town marquee events, we organise relatively small shared Christmas parties — so nobody gets lost in the crowd. Also, our venues are high-class hotels right in the city centre.
If you like the sound of that, check out our shared Christmas parties.
And finally, whatever you decide to do this year, let your hair down and have fun!
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