5 Steps to planning a memorable office Christmas party

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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, show recognition for those who have gone above and beyond throughout the year, and to raise a glass to another year done and dusted with your entire team from senior managements right down to your juniors and across all departments. For many businesses the lead up to Christmas is often busy and can be stressful as teams race to finish projects and wrap up tasks so they can 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 gives your team an opportunity to socialise and mingle.  Obviously this year has meant businesses have to pivot, work from home, zoom calls, but with restrictions easing, we are 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 the event it’s important not to underestimate the long-term value of planning an unforgettable office Christmas party.  If you are not sure where to start, we have 5 steps to planning a memorable office Christmas party.

  1. 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 so getting the date right is an important consideration.

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!

  1. CHOOSE THE VENUE

If you are looking for convenience, it’s a good idea to select a venue close by to your office or you can choose a venue 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 of a venue is 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 your 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 and if you have a theme in mind you will need to make sure the venue will be able to accommodate it.  If you are more 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, and easy access to bathrooms for larger parties.

The more popular venues can go quickly so getting this locked away 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 explore.  Don’t leave it too late though, you don’t want to lose out on the Christmas cheer.

  1. EVENT THEME, STYLE & CATERING

Before you short list your venue, really think about what type of event you are wanting to hold, taking into account your existing staff culture.  Maybe something a little more formal for your executive team, or a casual and social outing that will encourage mingling, or even a family friendly event so your team can bring their partners and kids.

Once you have decided what style and atmosphere will best suit your Christmas party, make sure to 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 more social cocktail parties.

Your choice in food and drink will also be guided by your budget so make sure to talk to your venue about all of their 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. Adding a theme to your Christmas party is a great way to add an extra level of excitement to the event and can act as icebreaker 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 about outfits and building on the excitement leading up to the event.

  1. ENTERTAINMENT

The point of holding an office Christmas party is seeing your guests relax and enjoy themselves and providing the right entertainment to suit the size and location of your event is key to this and 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 right through to the very end.

  1. AFTER THE EVENT

Many companies put a lot of thought into putting together the event, however 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 an encouragement to use public transport and providing a link to options and times, organising a shuttle after the event to a convenient location, a special accommodation rate with the venue hosting your event or providing bottles of water on the way out, it’s something to think of before the night.

LET’S PARTY!

You should have all you need to plan the perfect office Christmas Party, however if you need a little more assistance our friendly team here at Saros Bar + Dining can help you plan an event that will surpass last years and make it an event to remember!  We have your festive needs sorted with our New York styled venue and modern tapas and a la carte menu.

Here in Melbourne COVID-19 restrictions are slowly easing, so follow us on Instagram to keep up to date with our opening limits, or get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements and how we can help to create the perfect Christmas party that adhere’s to all regulations.

To view our group / function menu click here.

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