The office Christmas party is that time of the year when teams of colleagues all get together to socialise and have fun. After another 12 months of hard work and dedication, it’s time to kick back and relax a little. However, all that partying can come with a hefty price tag and, particularly for small business owners, it can represent a significant expense.
If that sounds familiar and you’re wondering how to throw a Christmas do that’s worthy of your team but doesn’t break the bank, here are a few ideas for arranging an office party and some tips on how to do it on a budget.
Throwing the perfect office Christmas party…
Christmas party ideas
The first port of call – what are you going to do? You need to come up with an idea that will entertain and interest your guests. The following are a few examples of the sort of office Christmas parties you could throw:
- Three-course meal
- Hire a DJ
- A hog roast
- A night at the circus
- A Christmas quiz
- Hire a manor house for a murder mystery night
- Day at the races
Choosing the right day
Arguably the most important part of any party planning is picking the right day. Do you go for a night during the weekend, which may deter attendees, or go for weeknight, which is just as likely to scare off your co-workers? You could put out an internal poll to see which night people would prefer and go with the most popular answer.
To avoid the premium prices before Christmas, you could have a belated Christmas do in January, giving your team a fantastic way to welcome in the New Year.
Picking the theme
After choosing what you’re going to do and when, choosing the right office Christmas party theme is key to throwing a good do. You may opt for:
- Black tie
- The Roaring Twenties
- Masquerade Ball
- Christmas Carnival
- Winter wonderland
- Nightmare before Christmas
- Christmas jumper event
- Night at the casino
Selecting the venue
One mistake party organisers often make when dealing with venues is to accept the first price they’re offered. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t use your business negotiating skills to secure yourself a great deal on a party venue. Alternatively, how about holding your festivities closer to home, on your work premises (if you’re able to) – this will usually be cheaper than renting a space.
You can enlist the help of everyone around the office to make decorations. Bunting is easy to make, simply cut out the shapes you want and attaching them to string can have a big impact. You could even have each employee decorate a piece with markers and coloured pencils. And while it may seem a little strange, making a fireplace to go next to your office tree can have a big impact. All you need are empty boxes, tape and red and white paper. Start by taping the boxes into a simple fireplace structure, cover with the white paper and cut out brick shapes to stick on. You can decorate this with paper stockings or tinsel – simple yet effective!
Getting the music right
Choosing the right tunes can make or break your Christmas party. You have to get an eclectic mix of chart hits, yuletide anthems and, of course, a whole lot of cheesy pop music for everyone to sing their hearts out to when the end is nigh. Remember – you want the dancefloor to be packed, so make sure all the songs you pick have a touch of groove about them. You’ll need to ensure your sound system is up to scratch too, so getting a decent set of speakers is advisable.
The fun and games
You don’t want your party to be boring, so a few office Christmas party games and activities can not only make for great entertainment, but help build camaraderie between your employees and co-workers. Plus, this is one element of the Christmas party that’s very easy to prepare without breaking the bank. Use the internet to find free downloadable games and customise them for your team. Award ceremonies always go down well too, whether they’re silly or serious in tone.
Food and drink are a huge part of throwing a good Christmas party but that doesn’t mean you have to hire the most expensive caterers. One option is to do it yourself, asking everyone to bring along a buffet dish like fried chicken, potato salad, crisps or nuts. Stock the fridge with a selection beverages for the party dwellers to enjoy, and make sure there are plenty of plastic cups on hand too.
Party planning for your office’s Christmas blow-out can seem an overwhelming and expensive job, but by following our savvy saving tips, you’ll soon be on the road to hosting a fantastically festive gathering, without going into the red.