It could be viewed as the poison chalice and in truth it might be a little late to start now, but the job of organising the work Christmas party is not always an easy one. There are a whole host of things to think about, a number of potential pitfalls and pressure to beat all previous events! No problem!
A memorable event
You want to create a work Christmas party that will live long in memory and offer everyone the chance to let his or her hair down after the year prior. The challenge is to make it memorable for all the right reasons and ensure that no one finds himself or herself on the naughty list for the upcoming New Year.
Our tips for a Christmas cracker
- Start as early as possible and set the date – Whatever time you think you have will invariably evaporate almost before your eyes so start planning as soon as possible. The earlier you set the date the more likely you are to get a good turn out and secure your preferred venue and entertainment. Send out a range of dates and gauge which one is best, but make sure it fits in with the boss! Set deadlines for invitation responses, there are bound to be the odd stragglers who will keep you waiting.
- What is the budget? – Find out what the budget is and make sure everyone is aware of it. If the boss or the company is chipping in make sure they stick to the agreement. Involve the prospective invitees in the planning too, you’ll get something closer to what everyone wants and achieve some collective responsibility. Mind you, you will have to share any plaudits too!
- The venue – This will largely be dictated by the budget but you’ll also have to consider how accessible it is for everyone. You might even have to lay on transport which will also eat into the budget.
- Itinery – Providing some entertainment can be a good idea however, it’s best to schedule this in short bursts allowing enough time for chat and socialising. Provide plenty of food and try to ensure that it’s not served too late. It might also entice members of staff who don’t really want to stay out too late to still come along and be part of the celebrations.
- The menu – If you’re using a venue that already provides food it’s most likely that there will be plenty of options. However, if you’re having to hire a caterer make sure you’re aware of any dietary requirements and that there are options for everyone.
- Gifts and decorations – Agree on a policy regarding gifts. You might want to suggest Secret Santa but make sure that a ceiling amount is in place. Alternatively why not agree on a charity donation with everyone pitching in the same amount for the ultimate feel-good experience? Decorations will definitely get partygoers into the mood but more commercial/mainstream options might be preferable to those with a clear religious theme avoiding any potential discomfort.
- Behaviour – Make sure everyone is aware of what is and is not acceptable behaviour. As a company event there will be plenty of ramifications for any misdemeanour. Make sure the party is remembered throughout the next year for all the right reasons!
- Feedback – when it’s all over and the dust has settled it might be an idea to ask for some feedback ahead of next year’s event. You’ll probably already have a decent idea as to how it went but at least it will help to focus on some of the detail.
Remember…it’s Christmas for the organiser too!
Ultimately try and have a good time! As the organiser of the work Christmas party you’re bound to be apprehensive but you most definitely deserve a great night too. If things don’t quite work out how you planned try and roll with it and embrace the chaos! It’s most likely that it’s only you that will know that something isn’t as planned so laugh it off and get down and party!!!!