How to organise a genuinely exciting Christmas 'do'
Being bestowed with the responsibility of organising the staff Christmas shindig is rarely a burden cherished for long, if at all!
The amount of elements to bring together, timings to juggle and people to please can soon become pretty daunting.
So today we've put together a checklist of 10 bitesize steps for you to follow to ensure your Christmas office party is exciting and memorable, for all the right reasons!
Read on for some fresh ideas and time saving tips...
1. Figure out the budget
Often a bit of a boring task, but doing this first will make the rest of your job a whole lot easier. This way you can rule out the options that are never going to be feasible, saving you a great deal of time.
2. picking the date
Picking a date that works for many can be a potential minefield. Tools like Doodle, where employees can select several dates that work for them, usually prove invaluable!
Also bear in mind that these days, many businesses avoid the pre-Christmas-craziness by holding their parties in January. As this is a quieter time for most, it tends to be more convenient when it comes to finding a date AND there's the added bonus of helping to lift any January blues.
3. Picking a venue
If you are on a tight budget and have some (potential) socialising space at the office, preferably away from your tools of the trade, this can be a great option. With some creativity, you'll be able to allocate more of your budget on the really important things: food, drinks and of course some decorations!
If budget allows, finding a local venue such as a converted barn (check out the wonderful Gate Street Barn), a town hall or events venue can really add to the sense of occasion. Not only do these make the event a little bit special, they usually free you up to using out-of-house caterers and decorate to your hearts content.
It can be fun to keep it a secret - right up to the last minute if arranging transport for everyone to and from your office is feasible - but at least until the day if not.
Local restaurants and hotels are always a solid option. Alternatively, go all-out with a destination party. If the business has had a good year - and the team isn't too huge - even going abroad is achievable! Head to France for a fancy lunch via Eurostar. Or, a little closer to home, there are fantastic themed nights in the city. Check out these suggestions from Design My Night for some super fresh ideas.
4. Pick a theme
Whether it's Christmas jumpers, glitz and sparkle, under the sea (for a real curveball!), Will Ferrel's classic Elf! or any other office favourite, picking a theme is a great way to add a little silliness and free entertainment to the night.
A theme helps build anticipation and excitement in the lead up to the do, as everyone discusses important things like outfit ideas. Then on the night there are sure to be several ensembles that get guests giggling and add a healthy dose of fun.
5. People pleasing party food!
Central to any party is, of course, the food. Whether you've got much of an idea on what you'd like or are feeling a little lost, do not panic, we love coming up with party menus!
Check out our menu page for some ideas and give us a call on 07793 356131 for a party planning brainstorm!
Again, an important component of any party. If your venue is a restaurant, this should all be in hand.
If you are using a catering company, they will be able to advise you on quantities. A fun arrival drink is the perfect way to get everyone into the swing of things. Alternatively...
7. Add to the occasion with a cocktail tuktuk (or a normal mobile bar!)
There are so many fun additions that can be brought to parties these days, from cocktail tuktuks to candyfloss stalls to pizza vans to photo booths and even adult face painting, people have thought of everything by now! Just try not to get sucked tooooo deep into the internet while researching!
8. Music and entertainment
Hiring a band or entertainment act is a fantastic way to bring the party to life. We recommend using a site such as Warble Entertainment to track a goodie down.
If this is beyond your budget or the scope of the venue, there is plenty of fun to be had by having a good party game up your sleeve for people to play!
Get a whole lot of brownie points by making things super easy for your guests by organising transport to and from the venue in advance.
10. Pushed for time? Hire a party planner
Sometimes, pulling off a great Christmas party if just too much to ask. Whether you have lots on at work or your family Christmas plans are enough to deal with, it can be more than worthwhile getting help from a professional.
We regularly work with Vivienne and Vicky at Surrey Hills Concierge who are adept at organising parties that perfectly suit the occasion. Pop an email to them at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling.
Still up for taking on the task yourself?
Email us at email@example.com to discuss options and plan your menu.