Aah the month of December, marked by chaotic shopping sprees, the same 10 Christmas songs being played on a loop and stuffing your face with any food you can find. Yep, it’s that time of year again – Christmas is here and with it comes the infamously tricky to plan office Christmas party. If you’ve been tasked with the mammoth job of making sure your team has a blast this festive season and need some pointers, we’ve got your back.
The time is right
Timing is a real pain for office party planners across the globe. If you plan it too early, say at the end of November, people won’t be in the festive spirit as it isn’t near enough to Christmas. However, if you do it too close to the big day, you risk turning up to an empty room as a lot of people book their Christmas breaks the weekend before the 25th.
Usually slap bang in the middle of the month is your sweet spot – and you’ll likely get a better turnout towards the end of the week rather than trying to plan it on a Monday when everyone has to spend the rest of the week hungover.
Location, location, location
It might seem the easiest and cheapest option to simply fling some tinsel at your walls and host your work’s do in your office. But will your team really be able to switch off from work mode surrounded by all their paperwork? Unless your office has a board room or meeting room facilities, get yourselves out of the office for the afternoon for a true break.
You don’t need to hire an expensive room and fork out for entertainment, you could always take your team out for a nice meal somewhere. Alternatively, you could join a group party night at a hotel or convention centre with live entertainment for a fraction of what you would pay to host it yourselves.
If you do choose to go further afield for your Christmas do, ensure you arrange transport for everybody to and from the venue so people don’t need to worry about staying under the alcohol limit.
Food glorious food
While a finger food buffet never goes amiss at these type of events, this is your opportunity to use food as a real showstopper for the event. Sure, people enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch, but why not think outside the box a little bit and give them something quirky to remember for the rest of the year. You could go for Indian street food to warm up in the cold weather, or treat yourselves to a bratwurst at the German Market for something a little different to a sit-down turkey dinner.
Also: don’t forget the veggies! Vegetarians, vegans and those with allergies can often get left out in the cold at this time of year. With such an emphasis on rich food, meat and cheese, it’s important to be mindful that not everyone in your group will be able to eat the same thing.
Mind that seating plan
Yes, it may seem a little formal to utilise a seating plan, but you don’t want to end up sitting in your usual cliques all night, do you? The office Christmas party is one of those rare events where you get to have a natter with people you don’t get a chance to work with ordinarily, which obviously leads to better cross-departmental relationships in the long run.
Obviously don’t seat people miles away from their friends, but give the deck a good shuffle and try to mix people up a little!
Keep the evidence
Don’t forget to task someone with the role of designated photographer to capture all of the festive fun. These are great social media fodder for your company page, they also serve as a reminder of what a great time you had when those inevitable January Blues set in.
Why not buy a load of disposable cameras for the occasion and let everyone take their own photos. You could host a ‘Best Photo of the Night’ competition after Christmas break to give people a little reminder of all the fun they had.
Whatever you choose to do for your office Christmas party, just make sure you show your team how much you appreciate their hard work over the past year and have a good time.