Dare you believe it, but Christmas is just around the corner! It doesn’t properly feel like the run-up to Christmas until the office Christmas party; it’s a great way to get into the mood for the festive season. Planning the works do is no walk in the park though, it requires careful planning and can be a thankless job. One of the challenges is keeping everyone happy, everyone has an opinion, especially about the music. The music is too loud, not loud enough, can’t hear it…and it goes on. One of the first things then to take care of if you’re planning the office party is a good sound service. If you’re the person who was ‘volunteered’ as the event planner, fear not, our handy guide will take you through step by step how to organise the perfect office Christmas party.
First things first, make sure you know what your budget is. Are the bosses paying or is this a team Christmas party where you will all share the cost? It could be a mixture of the two with the company paying for drinks or the venue and employees chipping in for the food and entertainment. Once the budget has been agreed, set a date and issue a ‘save the date’ email to everyone.
Venue and Theme
Venues get booked up quickly for Christmas so this has to be a priority. You can let the venue decide the party theme or if you have a theme in mind focus on looking for a site that will enhance the mood. In deciding on a venue, you should consider the distance from the office, accessibility and if there is the option for overnight accommodation at the venue or nearby for those that may want to make a night of it. Depending on your budget you may have to decide between having a venue all to yourself and sharing with other groups. It may be worth sharing anyway so that you can focus financial resources on other parts of the evening.
What will your budget stretch to? A band, a DJ or will you have to make the playlist and make sure you have some good equipment to play it on? Any of these options will require a decent sound service, so make sure you know what is available locally and how far sound services providers are willing to travel.
Food and Drink
Food and drink should cater to all dietary requirements. Check with colleagues what people’s specialist requirements are and plan accordingly. Some venues offer good deals for food and drink as part of the package. You could opt for the traditional sit down three-course meal or something a bit different – how about street food kiosks? Whatever culinary experience you decide on it needs to be ample enough to provide robust cushioning for the alcohol! Speaking of alcohol, bar management is a must. You need to make sure availability before the meal is limited and if there is an account for drinks make sure it is clear what is/is not included.
Office parties are fun and the Christmas party is no different, however, it is worth reminding colleagues that no one wants to be in front of the human resources department the following day.
If at any time the whole process becomes too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can also be a worrying time leading up to the big day wondering if people will enjoy themselves. The key thing here is to convey the mood you want to create. Get excited about your choices and decisions – your colleagues will feed off your attitude.
Lastly, have fun!