5 Steps to Planning a Memorable Office Christmas Party
The countdown to Christmas 2020 has officially begun! And while this year’s Christmas celebration may look a little more socially distanced than usual, it’s still a great time to catch up with colleagues and celebrate the end of a challenging year.
Office Christmas parties are a wonderful way to increase staff morale. It’s an opportunity to show recognition for those who have gone above and beyond throughout the year, and to raise a glass to another year done and dusted. Plus getting together with your entire team from senior management right down to your juniors and across all departments has huge benefits.
For many businesses, the lead-up to Christmas is often busy. For some, it can be stressful as teams race to finish projects and wrap up tasks in time to welcome the New Year with a clean slate (and empty inbox). This means the office Christmas Party is a celebration that many look forward to. And of course, the end-of-year Christmas party gives your team an opportunity to socialise and mingle.
Obviously, this year has been different. Businesses have pivoted, and staff have worked from home, meeting via zoom calls. But with restrictions easing, the team at Saros Bar + Dining is looking forward to hosting some fabulous office/home/work get-togethers during the silly season (cause heck we deserve it!).
No matter how large or small the budget is for your event, it’s important not to underestimate the long-term value of planning and hosting an office Christmas party If you are not sure where to start, here are 5 steps to planning a memorable celebration.
THE PERFECT DATE
It’s important to work with all of the management team to decide on the perfect date for the company Christmas party.
Every department has different deadlines so it’s no point locking in a date and having half of the team stressing about a deadline that’s due the following day – the idea is to unwind, not cause more stress.
It’s also important to ensure that most of the senior management team can be there, this can be the one time in a year for employees to meet with and speak to their CEO or senior manager in a social environment.
On the other hand, don’t plan your office Christmas party for the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas Day as you may find many of your staff have already headed off on their family holidays.
If you’re struggling to pick a date for your party, try setting up an online poll or survey which you can then email to your office and let the majority decide on the date for you!
CHOOSE THE VENUE
If you are looking for convenience, it’s a good idea to select a venue close to your office. Alternatively, you can choose a location with excellent public transport options.
If you have a group of over 20 people a private venue will ensure you have a more attentive level of service focused entirely on your group and one where your team can really let their hair down without worrying about the noise.
The style and size of a venue are particularly important. If you have a large group and are looking at a formal sit-down menu and an awards presentation, you need to have enough room to accommodate numbers, a stage, and of course – a dance floor! Likewise, if you have smaller numbers you will need a more intimate venue so that you are not lost in the room. Plus, if you have a theme in mind you will need to make sure the venue is suitable.
If you are inclined to put your budget towards quality food and beverage, simple table décor and lighting can be budget friendly and help to create a festive atmosphere.
You’ll also need to take into account wet weather options, air-conditioning or good air flow. Oh, and don’t forget easy access to bathrooms for larger parties.
The more popular function venues can book out quickly so getting dates locked in early is essential. If the timing before Christmas doesn’t work for the venue you are looking for, an event in early January could be an option to consider. Don’t leave it too late though, you don’t want to lose out on the Christmas cheer.
EVENT THEME, STYLE & CATERING
Before you decide on a venue, really think about what type of event you are wanting to hold. Take into account your existing staff culture.
Will it be something a little more formal for your executive team, or a casual and social outing that will encourage mingling? Don’t rule out a family-friendly event so your team can bring their partners and kids.
Once you have decided on the best style and atmosphere for your party, select your food and drink packages to suit. A 3-course sit-down lunch or dinner is perfect for small intimate parties, whereas canapé packages are perfect for larger, more social cocktail parties.
Your choice of food and drink will also be guided by your budget so make sure to talk to your venue about their different options.
Once you have your venue, style, and food all locked in it’s time to start thinking about those little touches that will really make your office Christmas party one to remember.
Having a theme is a great way to add an extra level of excitement to the event. Costumes can be a fantastic icebreaker, especially if you’re bringing different departments together. Simple ideas based on a colour, the first letter of your company name, a fancy-dress theme, or simply a festive Christmas theme will get the team interacting and building on the excitement leading up to the event.
The point of holding an office Christmas party is for your guests to relax and enjoy themselves. Providing the right entertainment to suit the size and location of your event is key to enhancing the atmosphere of your event.
Something interactive will keep the team engaged and options like photo booths, dancers, comedians, magicians, live bands or a DJ will see them let their hair down, break out a few moves on the dance floor and enjoy themselves through to the end of the night.
AFTER THE EVENT
Many companies put a lot of thought into the party, but may not consider what happens after the event.
When alcohol is involved it’s important to ensure that you have enough options for staff to get home safely. Whether it’s encouraging staff to use public transport by providing a link to PT options and times. Or maybe it’s organising taxis, a shuttle or accommodation. And of course, provide bottles of water on the way out.
Now you should have all you need to plan the perfect office Christmas Party. However, if you need a little more assistance, get in touch with our friendly team here at Saros Bar + Dining. Let us help you plan an event to remember!