Arranging an event is not always the job of a professional event planner. There are many other types of event planners such as the office secretary, receptionist or PA and it is often these patient souls that get lumbered with the birthday parties, leaving parties, welcome speeches, office get-togethers and of course the Christmas dinner and ensuing party.
Isn’t it funny though, how these office social gatherings are the kingpin of office bonding but are the typical kind of events everyone seems to dread. Is it because they are reminiscent of high school end of year parties in the gymnasium where everyone stands to one side, girls to the right, boys to the left, mutter darkly into their drinks and lightly sway from side to side to the music for fear of embarrassment? Ok, this may an extreme scenario but office parties don’t have to be boring.
Here are some key pointers to a successful Christmas party you can be proud of and look forward to:
Get out of the office
Take the party away from any office ground and any anything related with the office. Forget the boss’s top floor view or the conference room. Yes, the office party is often about getting together for drinks but think atmosphere!
If you are on office territory, the topic of conversation will undoubtedly be “office” and there will always be one who just quickly needs to check emails or answer the phone.
Find a place away from the office so that everyone is on new ground, even the boss. This could be a pub that rents out a function room or restaurant or even better, an event venue such as an easy-to-drive-to country style manor house that offers good food and a pleasant service.
Dinner & Entertainment
Having a sit down dinner for Christmas is always a good option but where possible, try to follow it by after dinner drinks or dance party. A sit down dinner with wine will surely get everyone nicely warmed up for the following evening’s activities of more drinking and silly dancing.
Choose somewhere that will charge per head regardless of the menu as this will make it easier to budget for. Ensure that there is some choice on the menu including all time favourites such as turkey and steak. Remember, however, that not everyone follows Christmas tradition of turkey and stuffing so ensure that there is an alternative (fish is always a good option) and don’t forget the vegetarians.
Keep bevy options simple to red, white and rose wine, a selection of soft drinks, beer and water. Liquor options can come later during the evening.
Christmas party packages
Many event spaces will offer office Christmas party packages starting with dinner and leading into an evening disco with a DJ or live music. These are great options to go for as your most of you hard work will be done for you. Some places may even offer an open bar but while it would be a nice treat for the office staff, be sure to check with your boss before you budget for this.