Venue booked? Yeap. Menu choices made? Check. Transport? Sorted. At this stage, the main elements of the festive winter party have been organized. But if you want to have an office party to remember, it’s the little things that count. In this post, we share the tips that the pros use to take the Christmas party to the next level.
Work, work, work
Let’s be honest, for most of us, the morning before the Christmas party is really more about enjoying time with colleagues than getting heaps of work done. But if work is unavoidable, then organizing a break for some mince pies and non-alcoholic mulled wine will help get people in a festive mood. Setting aside time to open the Secret Santa gifts should be mandatory!
Other admittedly cheesy (but nonetheless fun) ideas for getting everyone in a party frame of mind while still in the office include:
- Christmas music
- Festive pop culture quiz
- A competition for the worst Christmas jumper
- A charity raffle with gifts that people actually want to win (and no, that doesn’t include the company-branded t-shirt! We think that a free lunch or day off with full pay would be popular prizes)
Getting ready in style
There are usually a few hours between finishing up at work and arriving at the venue. Organizing a great discount at a couple of local establishments for your colleagues would give them a serious case of the warm and fuzzies.
We’re thinking of a manicure or make-up session at a beauty salon or a wash and blow-dry at a hairdressing salon. Or, a drink and bar snack in the venue’s bar before the event. (If you’re a pro negotiator, don’t go all out and secure unlimited free (or even reduced) drinks; you don’t want people to overindulge before the party begins!)
Have you organised arrival drinks?
If you haven’t thought about this yet, it’s not too late; all it will take is a quick phone call to your venue. Festive favorites are a must: mulled wine, Christmas punch, Christmas pudding vodka, and of course Prosecco.
Don’t forget drinks for those who won’t be taking alcohol. Orange juice just won’t cut it! If your venue doesn’t have an exciting selection of soft drinks, be prepared to work together with them to put together a delicious festive soft drinks menu. At this time of year, the Get Invited team is ever so partial to mulled apple juice, spiced hot toddies, and orange and cranberry spritz!
Organize with the venue how the arrival drinks should be served. Waiter service, or at a specific bar if the venue is large, or at drinks stations dotted around the venue. Drinks vouchers are a good idea if you don’t want to be hit with an eye-wateringly huge bar bill at the end of the night!
Capturing the moment
A lovely touch (especially for those who are bringing a significant other to the event) is to hire a photographer for the start of the event. Each couple or group of friends could receive a free print.
Entertainment (that isn’t the usual awkward office Christmas disco)
Of course, there’s no escaping dancing at the office party (and to be honest, no festive party would be complete without renditions of “All I Want for Christmas is You” or “Footloose”!), but including additional entertainment is a nice touch.
If your venue has space, giant Jenga will be remembered for all the right reasons. Similarly, an air hockey table or ping pong table is sure to be popular. If space is in short supply, a quiz where each department competes against each other is sure to be well received. A prize that guests would really appreciate would help to ensure that people take part and there’s some healthy competition! A caricaturist would also be a hit.
At this time of year, alcohol tends to flow freely, and it can be difficult to get home if you live in a town where taxis are in short supply. If your organization has an account with a local taxi company, it’s time to get your best-negotiating hat on. Organizing a fleet of vehicles to arrive at the venue at a set time to ensure your colleagues get home safely would be much appreciated. If it’s too late to make this happen, be sure to remember it for next year’s Christmas party.
What’s been the best office Christmas party you’ve ever attended? Share your memories with us below or on Twitter!