Why not do something totally outrageous this Christmas and make the office party a themed party.

Although people often associate themed dress with clown costumes and play boy bunnies, there are also some classy options that may be more suitable. After all, these are your colleagues and not always your best mates, so think if you wouldn’t mind them seeing you in a bunny costume before you expect other people to dress up.

Remember, when planning a theme for the work Christmas party, that this party needs to be professional and something everyone can look forward to rather than shy away from.

70s, 80s or disco ball themes

The main problem people encounter with themed parties, however, is that not everyone feels comfortable with them or cannot afford to spend any extra on a costume, so do something that is accessible to everyone. These kind of themes are your 70s, 80s or disco ball themes. Everyone has something “funky” in their wardrobe or second hand/costume shops always have something for really cheap.

Music has to be cheesy and for decorations think glitter, beads and lots of colour. If you can’t find something like a glitter ball to hang from the event room you have hired, look into some alternative lighting options. Some DJs will have their own lighting, otherwise a sound & light company would most likely have some interesting equipment and props you could hire out for the evening. They also set up and take down kit, so this an easy option that still looks professional.

Decorations are easy to come by for these style themes and are not expensive.

Go retro with a vintage & rock n roll theme

If think that the 70s and 80s theme has already done its time, then step back and go vintage, to the years of long gloves, cigarette holders and feather boas; the 50s and 60s. This theme is also not hard to do, especially as vintage is currently trendy and there are lots of accessories people can wear to style their outfits to a vintage theme.

You may even be able to rent out an old duke box for the evening, although definitely book a band or a DJ as well. Music should be old style such a jive, rock n’ roll and swing., which will be sure to get everyone dancing.

For a vintage theme you will need anything along the lines of tassels, feathers, lace, silk and/or tulle, bows, flowers and candles. Think back to old movie scenes or Google a few vintages party set ups to give yourself a good idea of what to do.

Theme your drinks too and have a selection of martini drinks that will delight your colleagues. I am sure the bar staff will be able to come up a selection of interesting martini office-related names that will get a bit of a laugh.

“Bond, James Bond” is the name, Formal is the Game. Spy themed party

With the upcoming, well-awaited release of this year’s James Bond movie “Skyfall” and the stir James Bond caused at the London Olympics, why not go a little upmarket with your theme.

A James Bond theme brings about an image of elegance and sophistication which gives male guests a chance to bring out their tux and the ladies the opportunity to go shopping.

Perhaps present the theme with a tag line such as “Not everything is what it seems”. This is a typically bond-esque/spy kind of image that could definitely encourage some of the guys to don frocks and the more adventurous ladies, the suits! This would make the theme not seem so formal and if you offer a small office prize for the best costume, I am sure that there will be some classic Kodak moments.

In terms of decorations, I would definitely aim for a ballroom style scene, which appears so much in James Bond movies. Simply hanging drapes from windows or pillars can transform the overall look of the room and if you can, definitely try and source a red carpet. For a real ‘wow’, a handful of outdoor lanterns on the patio, garden terrace or driveway will do the trick. Yes, I get that it is Christmas and cold but you always hire a couple of patio heaters. As for indoor decorations, choose products like illoom balloons, fairy lights and LED furniture (which may be a little out of the budget but you must admit would look fantastic if you can afford it).

If possible, book a band, hire casion tables and bring out the champagne flutes. Champagne is traditionally associated with formal affairs so use this as the base to create a special drinks menu, I am the sure the bar manager will have a “ball”.

Colours

For formal themes, stick to gold, black and silver for your colour scheme and blues, pinks, white, black and polka dot for a vintage or retro style party.

Engage with guests

If you are stuck for ideas, why not have everyone in the office write down what their idea of the chosen theme would be and include these into your party décor and set-up. At least this way, you won’t feel so much on your own with a monumental project. Just remember to book early and to know what you can or can’t do with the venue space before you book.

I could go on forever listing decorative ideas but at least this gives you a starting point for some ideas of your own. There are many party suppliers in the UK and any large items can often be rented out if you don’t want to buy. Whatever the theme, definitely outsource your sound and lighting rather than leaving up to your office buddy to bring their iPod.

Organizing a themed party doesn’t have to be costly. Budget smart, come up with a few key focal points that will enforce the theme and go with it.

Fiona

Following a University degree and a drastic career move, Fiona Warren-Bassett soon found herself rapidly moving forward in the events and PR world. Enjoying the change of direction, Fiona went on to further her Event Management experience, spending 6 years working for a renowned cruise line company. Having travelled extensively and been actively involved in many events and weddings, Fiona has since returned to land and has successfully launched her freelance writing and PR career.

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