So, you’ve been generously given the enormous and important task of planning the office Christmas party. Depending on the type of person you are, this could be something you absolutely can’t wait to do, or it could be the worst moment of your working career.
If you’re the latter, take a moment and calm down. We are here to help. Your Christmas party can be a success even without you spending every waking moment planning it, you just need to be organised and have the right help! So, without further ado, here are some of the main things to remember when planning your office Christmas party.
Finding the right venue to hire is one of your first steps to planning your party. The reason for this, is because you won’t be sure what the venue will offer or what requirements they’ll have for the party. For example, some venues may not allow outside food or drink in, and you’ll need to use their specified alcohol provider and caterer. Depending on the venue, this could be quite pricey to have an open bar, so make sure you look into this before booking.
Other venues may have specific rules, like not having certain decorations or bringing in live music. Whatever type of venue you go with, you’ll need to make sure you’re reading through their entire contract and taking notes along the way. Failing to abide by certain contract rules can cause you to potentially lose your deposit on the venue.
Decorating for the Christmas party is a surefire way to get the guests in the mood for the holidays and create the type of ambience you want for the party. Think about bringing in beautiful fresh flowers for table centerpieces, or even to decorate the food and alcohol areas.
If you want to really change up the decorations that you use year after year, start with some of these amazing alternative Christmas themes you can do for the party. One example is to turn the party into an interactive one, where everyone brings gifts to donate to the local charity, and you provide the gift wrapping materials at each table. This way, everyone is working together to give back to the community, and gives the attendees something to do during the party instead of talking about work.
Speaking of decorations and alternative ways to theme the party, we might as well bring up a few different ways that you can make this year’s Christmas party stand out from the usual eating, drinking, and chatting the night away suares.
As mentioned above, one possible way to make your Christmas party meaningful is to turn it into a way to give back. You can do this by encouraging donations of gifts, but you can also do it by having various games and challenges throughout the night. Have some prizes that are given away to the best donor to charity, as well as door prizes from raffles, to which the proceeds to go charity as well.
If your Christmas party is for a small office, or a small department only, you might also consider doing more of an outing for a Christmas party. For example, having everyone do a cooking class together or volunteer at a local charity can help provide team bonding as well as giving your employees a one of a kind Christmas party.
Depending on your budget, entertainment for your Christmas party can be a multitude of options. Music is common, whether it’s a type of cabaret or a live band, or even a DJ and dance floor. If you’re looking for more interactive entertainment, consider a comedian or a magician to liven up the evening. Photo booths are also quite popular, and easy enough to hire and give the guests something to take home with them at the end of the evening.
If your venue is the type that allows you to bring in your own catering, alcohol, decorations, or all of the above, you’ve been given some good news and bad news. The bad news is, you’re now going to need to do some research to find the best catering and drinks for you and the staff. The good news is, you not only have the freedom to do this, but you can really personalise the food and drinks to fit the needs of your office party. Here are some tips to help you get started with planning the food and drink.
For example, if your office tends to focus on healthy living, you can find a healthy catering company to provide simple and delicious food, and bring in some of the best organic coffee to keep everyone going through the evening.
Alcohol can be much cheaper by bringing it in yourself as well, especially if you do something like order red wine as a case deal online. That way, you can control exactly what type of alcohol, and the amount, as well as have it delivered directly to the location. Plus, any leftovers are yours to keep, which can be perfect for Friday after work gatherings!
Beyond some of these ideas, there’s also the basic party planning tips you’ll want to keep in mind. Make sure you have a clear budget from the company before you even start planning, as well as the expected numbers of those attending, then once you have these details, start planning as soon as possible! The sooner you’ve secured your venue, catering, and any other vendors, the better, as every other company in your area will be trying to do the same thing at the same time.
A lengthy planning time will also give you the freedom to be creative and explore some of the options we’ve gone over above. Remember that simplicity can actually go a long way, and that adding in some ways for your team to bond and perhaps give back to the community as well, will make your Christmas function one to remember!