It’s time once again to start thinking about how to make your office Christmas party go off with a bang! We love December for this very reason: it’s the perfect excuse to begin planning end-of-year events to show your team just how much you’ve appreciated their hard work, and to work on those all-important points of morale and office cohesion.
When you’re organising an office Christmas party, however, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid. As any events organiser will tell you, there are plenty of people who immediately reach for their coat as soon as the subject arises…
After all, Christmas parties have, in some ways, become synonymous for repetitive, dull events, and are characterised by all the worst aspects of corporate ‘organised fun’.
We’re talking about boring speeches, unimaginative games and activities, and half-hearted attempts at a festive attitude that leave guests watching the clock and waiting for it all to end.
However, with our great office Christmas party ideas, this absolutely will not be the case this year! With our help, you can arrange an event which is not only going to bring your staff members together like never before, but which is also going to spread enough good cheer through your company corridors to last a whole year.
Want to find out more? Check out our list of office Christmas party do’s and don’ts below!
DO keep corporate chats and discussions at a minimum
At an office Christmas party, we want pies, not pie charts! Nothing turns a crowd off more than turning up to what they imagine to be a fun event, a break from the norm and a chance to let their hair down… only to discover their boss wants to go over the targets for the new year, and the highs and lows of the year just past.
This event is supposed to be all about showing your gratitude to your team – so give them a break from having to think about their day job!
- Top tip: host your office Christmas party at an outside venue away from the office, to provide a real change of scenery for the night!
DO choose an appropriate venue for your office Christmas party
This is something hugely important to bear in mind when you’re organising an office Christmas party: not all of your staff members are going to be the same, share the same beliefs and values, or appreciate the same kind of thing.
Inclusivity is paramount if you want everyone to have a great time, so think about hosting your party where each and every member of your team can get involved. As such, hosting your event in a pub might not be the best idea… find a venue where everybody is going to feel welcome, regardless of religion or lifestyle.
If you feel like you’ve run out ideas, don’t hesitate to check out our selection of christmas party venues.
- Top Tip: Hold your party at an unusual events space, such as a museum or guild hall, where there is plenty to see and do!
DO ensure your entertainment options are equally appropriate
In much the same vein as the last suggestion, it’s important to remember that not everyone’s idea of fun is the same, either. Drinking games might leave certain members of your team on the sidelines, as would any activity based around themes which are a little too adult for everybody’s taste.
Keep it friendly, light-hearted and fun, and you should be onto a winner.
- Top Tip: quizzes, games and creative activities such as art classes are all brilliant, fun activities which everyone can get involved with!
DO be aware of social media
Christmas office parties are a chance for everybody to let their hair down – this is no bad thing. Just bear in mind that in today’s networked and technologically savvy world, photos that are taken on the night can easily be uploaded to social media sites, and can cause embarrassment, resentment and worse to arise if people are snapped doing things they wouldn’t normally do on a normal night out!
On top of this, you could find yourself entangled in data protection issues, if you’re uploading or tweeting images of your staff without their explicit consent.
- Top Tip: It’s a good idea to brief everybody prior to the event on the importance of good social media practice, and be sure to check with your team a day or two after before deciding to upload any images of them on your company’s social media pages.
DO make your staff aware of pre-party policies
Rules aren’t exactly the first thing we think of when it comes to organising office Christmas parties, but they do exist for a reason: to make sure that everyone has a good time in the most effective way possible, and nobody ends up doing anything they regret.
Having a brief list of suggestions which everyone can agree on prior to the party itself can make a real difference, so bear this idea in mind!
- Top Tip: have a brainstorming session with your team a couple of days before the event, and get everyone to put in their suggestions to keep it nice and inclusive
DON’T forget to keep a limit on drinking
We get it: it’s the end of the year, and many of you and your members of staff will be looking forward to having a nice tipple to celebrate all the successes you’ve achieved.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a little merry at this time of year (‘tis the season to be jolly, after all…) but if you don’t put some sort of limit on how many drinks people can have, it’s easy for things to spiral out of control, and for mistakes to be made.
- Top Tip: don’t serve alcoholic drinks with your meals if you’re having one, and avoid hard spirits: stick to beer, wine, and have plenty of soft drinks to hand, too.
DON’T bore your team with company results and expectations
No matter how proud you are of what your team has achieved this year, save your big speeches on the successes of the season for another time. Your office Christmas party should be devoid of ‘shop talk’, so put away the flip-chart and leave PowerPoint well alone… there’s a time and place for all that, and it’s not at the party!
- Top Tip: dedicate a coffee morning later in the week to sing the praises of your team’s achievements, and keep up those good vibes in the office!
DON’T disappoint with your gift bags
Everyone loves a freebie, and gift bags and tokens like these are a brilliant way to show your appreciation and widen the smiles of your staff. However, unless you’re going to make an effort, it’s probably best not to bother.
There’s nothing more underwhelming that a bag full of company branded stationery and such-like… your staff can easily pick this stuff up from the store cupboard! Go the extra mile, and really think about what your staff will appreciate.
- Top Tip: If you’re unsure what to include in your gift bags, offer a handwritten card with a gift voucher inside. This way, your team members will be able to buy their own gift, and will surely appreciate the effort you made.
DON’T insist your staff be at work first thing the next morning
If your party is a mid-week affair, then give your staff members the greatest gift of all: the next morning off! If you do need them to come to work the next day at 9am, then give them a little treat like a cash incentive, or some extra nice coffee and bacon sandwiches waiting for them when they arrive.
- Top Tip: if possible arrange your party on a Friday or before a full day off.
Office Christmas Parties: The Perfect ‘Thank You’
We love helping to organise top-notch Christmas parties for companies all over the country. If you need any help in getting your event off with a bang, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our suggestions. As ever, we’d love to hear from you in the comments if you feel we’ve missed anything important from our list! We also want to know all about your office Christmas party experiences… good or bad… we look forward to hearing your stories soon!