The time is coming…Christmas party time. It’s time to dust off the absurdly silly Christmas jumper (you know, the one with the flashing Rudolph nose) or the fancy ball gown dress you save for very special occasions and get ready for the office event of the year! If you’re reading this and you haven’t started prepping for the event, you need to get started straight away!
Whether you’re the poor soul who has to organise it last minute, or the lucky attendee, you all have one task – to be prepared. We’re here to help, and to give you some tips on how to be prepared for the office Christmas party – organiser and attendee alike.
To the poor soul organising the party
Oh boy do you have a task ahead of you! Not to put too much pressure on you, but you are organising the office event of the year! But don’t worry, RightTrack Consultancy is here to help!
To start, you need a location. If you’ve left it a bit late, there’s nothing wrong with having the event at your office (you’ll save a fortune on reserving somewhere!), but make sure you don’t have it somewhere where people work, or in your tiny break room. Find a space within your office that is big enough for you, your bosses, your colleagues and their partners.
You also need to square away a date for this amazing party. Send out emails in plenty of time to find out a day everyone can do. Naturally not everyone will be able to make the dates you suggest, but a general rule of thumb is “majority rules”.
Food is also very important. Your guests will get hungry, and if they are going to remember anything, it’s the food. You then have to choose between a sit down meal or a buffet. Sit down dinners give your guests a chance to chat before the party gets into full swing, but with a buffet, people can have food when they want.
Don’t forget – the evening is more than just drinking with your work colleagues. Make sure your boss makes a speech to thank everyone, and maybe have a few awards for those employees who went the extra mile in the year, they’ll really appreciate it!
That’s it! Go have yourself some fun at the best Christmas party – the best simply because you organised it!
To the lucky attendees
Congratulations, you get to do the fun part of the Christmas party – attend! You need to make sure that the person organising the event has the easier end of the deal when it comes to parts of the event that involve you!
That means when they send an email around asking for your dietary requirements, or a date that best suits you, or if you’re bringing your partner, or….you get the picture. If the person organising the party sends you emails asking you questions, answer them as quick as possible! They will really appreciate it.
The person who is putting this party together last minute is likely to be doing it alone. Be the Good Samaritan of the office and volunteer to help wherever you can. This could be offering to collect decorations or alcohol for the party, or to put up decorations around the office. You could even volunteer to co-organise the party if you’re feeling generous.
On the day, try to be on time when going to the party. We know it’s the “thing” to be fashionably late, but the last thing the party organiser needs to think when the clock strikes 6:05pm is that no-one is coming. If you’re going to turn up a bit later, make sure they know.
Now that you’re at the party, it’s time to have some fun and let your hair down. Make sure your hair doesn’t fall to far though and you make a fool of yourself – you still have to go to work on Monday morning. Make sure you don’t drink too much, or start shouting at your secret office enemy about the fact they keep stealing the stapler. Worst of all – don’t quit your job…it has been known to happen.
Views from the experts
Mel Atkins – Ex Events – @
“Choosing the right venue is crucial to the success of any Christmas Party. You need to know your audience and ensure the venue is both suitable & the right size to maintain the atmosphere.
“By leaving it late you can find some great bargains along with premium dates but be prepared to make some quick decisions. You need to know exactly what you are looking for as you won’t have the luxury of months of planning and you may well miss out on the food tasting dates.”
Catherine Murphy – Moonlight & Mistletoe Christmas Parties – @
“In my experience the best Christmas parties are those that create an impression from the moment you enter!
“For all of you late Christmas party planners- have a look around to see what different Christmas companies are offering and what would best suit your group. With shared Christmas parties you buy into the luxury of having a professionally managed Christmas party event without the stress of organising it yourself! So you can sit back and enjoy your night with everybody else, safe in the knowledge that your Christmas party is being organised by the best!”
Melanie Miles – Managing Director of Story Events – @
“If you have left it a little too late to secure that perfect venue then a creative agency like Story can come into any venue of your choice or even your office space to completely transform it into something you’ve never seen before.
“Whether you want to go all out on a theme or simply just enhance it with some gold touches, office installs are a great way to save costs whilst showcasing to your colleagues how amazing your work space can look in a different light. Just a little bit of additional lighting here and there can make such a difference as can immerse your guests in some entertainment to suit your theme.”
Rosalind Shelley – Managing Director of Venue Search London – @
“Ensuring your office Christmas party is held in the perfect venue is key to ensuring the best possible event. With so many venue options available, narrowing down your choices can often seem like an impossible task. We always advise our clients that venue size is crucial – too large and you’ll never create that all important party atmosphere, too small and you may end up having to disappoint colleagues.
“Finding the right style of venue is important too, if you hold internal conferences and meetings throughout the year in certain venues and hotels, then opting for something completely different at Christmas can often be a hit as your guests will feel thoroughly spoilt and valued.”
Do you have any Christmas party horror stories? Share them with us in the comments below!