Right about now thoughts in many companies are turning to the Christmas office party and this is especially true for those tasked with organising business-based merriment!
It’s super difficult to please everyone, so when it comes to generating ideas, go with your judgement but do make sure you get some feedback on your ideas for.
Your idea of a good night out or fun might be radically different to that of your colleagues, so make sure you get other peoples’ opinions before settling into the planning process and making it all happen.
Remember though that the more feedback you get (and the more people involved in organising and decision making) then the more difficult it will be to reach a consensus. Keep those involved with decision making to a minimum and base your decisions on what the majority wants, not just on whoever is able to shout the loudest!
Leave it until the last minute at your peril!
December usually passes by in a flash with companies busy trying to tie up business in time for the Christmas break, but whatever you do, don’t leave planning your works office party until the last minute as this is a recipe for disaster.
If you are holding the party outside of the office, as most companies do, you’ll need to book whatever you wish to do well in advance, so as I write this at the end of October, if you still haven’t arranged the Christmas do, get it sorted, now!
Arrange your party late and you risk your preferred choices being booked up and unavailable, leaving you with either midweek options, terrible times or even worse, you’ll have to wait until the new year. I’ve known companies have a Christmas do at the beginning of March, festive huh?
Seriously though, leaving things to the last minute is not a good idea and sends your employees a message that you don’t really care about them and see them as an afterthought, it’s meant to be the season of good-will after all so do your best to make sure you aren’t achieving just the opposite!
Office Party Planning Tips
- Be thoroughly modern and crowd source ideas and suggestions for the office party direct from your staff.
- Think of a theme and develop your party idea around that. For example, have you had particularly successful product or client account this year? Has there been a pervasive office in-joke?
- Take note! No one wants their works Christmas do on a Tuesday in February, so whatever you do, book it early and make sure it’s a weekend so people can really enjoy it without needing to drag themselves out of bed to get into work the next day.
- Be democratic and open this years’ office party up to employees and let them vote on a short list of options.
- Remember that not everyone finds fancy dress fun. If fancy dress is involved, try not to make it compulsory as whilst some love it and are always up for a laugh, others loathe it!
- Don’t be a scrooge. Subsidise as much as you can, from travel to food and drinks – the less they have to pay for, the more your employees are likely to be grateful and the more likely they are to want to come along.
Office Party Theme Ideas
Think sharp suits, evening gowns and glamour. Employees can try their luck at roulette or raise the stakes in a game of poker. Serve Champagne and canapes or take the lead from Vegas and really go to town with the glitz by making sure you’ve got over the top decoration and event props.
Christmas is a time for indulgence and what could be more indulgent than attending a great feast? Medieval banquets usually include entertainment as well as food and drink, making this a great fun option that should be simple to arrange.
A masked ball can be a lot of fun, not only do your employees get to dress up, but choosing a Venetian style mask to hide behind can be a lot of fun. This theme lends itself well to dancing and quick ballroom dancing lesson (don’t underestimate the popularity of TV shows like Strictly) will help loosen people up and get them in the party mood. Give prizes for the best/most elaborate/strangest masks.
There are more and more experience companies that have popped up lately offering a live role play experience. Players are attacked by zombies and have to work together to defeat or get away from them. As well as dressing up (always fun), this sort of experience really gets the adrenalin pumping.
Hollywood Aftershow Party
Party goers can dress up as their favourite movie star or as paparazzi and get given access all areas or VIP passes. A movie related quiz or game would work really well and you could even present fun awards as part of the evening.
Alternatively, there are some swanky little cinemas that provide private screenings along with food, bar and at-your-seat waiter service – a real treat for film fans.
Over the last few years escape rooms have popped up all over the country and they offer a great fun way to pass away an hour. Teams work together to solve clues and find the key that will lead them out of the room they are locked in.
Team work can be fun, but it can also get competitive, so perhaps pay attention to who you put together in teams – being locked in a room for up to an hour with a colleague you clash with could turn out to be no fun at all, but largely, escape rooms are a great activity for a works Christmas night out, especially for smaller businesses. If you don’t fancy an Escape Room (remember some people may feel claustrophobia thinking of this) then how about trying out the Crystal Maze Live experience available in London or Manchester?
A Traditional Do
Of course, there is nothing wrong with sticking to something simple and traditional. Invite your employee for turkey and all the trimmings at the local pub, pull crackers, wear daft paper hats and just spend the time eating, drinking and making merry the good old-fashioned way. Tasteless Christmas jumpers optional!
Crate Hire UK – Christmas Office Party Ideas & Planning Tips