“The article ‘6 Tips for Organizing an Amazing Corporate Christmas Partyy’ was written by a guest writer, Dan McCarthy. More information on the writer can be found at the end of this article.”
An office Christmas party is probably the only time of year when employees actually look forward to coming to work. An office party should be more than just a few decorations and catering.
You want to make it memorable and one that has coworkers loosening their ties and taking drunken selfies. Going the extra mile also increases everyone’s morale when they return for work after the New Year. There’s a few planning tips you can follow to make your party rock.
1. Make It a Family Affair
The vibe goes up a few notches if you allow employees to bring significant others. Of course, this means there will be kids in attendance, so bring in Santa Clause (or have a coworker dress up as one). This makes for wonderful photo opportunities that parents will cherish.
Obviously, you will need to know in advanced how many guests each employee is bringing, including how many children. If you expect plenty of little ones, then you can organize a makeshift craft table or some other activity for the boys and girls while the adults indulge in the cocktails and social mingling.
The obvious is to have the party at your office. This will save you the money and logistical troubles of renting a venue. However, will an office party be as memorable? If you’re going for the wow factor, then consider some place a bit more lavish and actually designed for hosting a party. Renting a venue may actually be necessary if your office has limited space and you’re expecting a large turnout. Opting for a venue is also a good idea if previous parties are held at the office, and you wanted to change things up this year to give your hard-working employees a treat. Whatever venue you decide on, be sure it has the right occupancy capacity and is not located too far out. Preferably, it should be closer or no more than a few miles further from the workplace.
3. Don’t Just Settle for a Potluck
No doubt, potlucks are nice as it allows employees to show off their cooking skills. By all means, have a potluck, but if that is all you have, then it sends a message to your employees that you’re a cheapskate boss that couldn’t afford catering one day out of the year for the staff.
Talk to the faculty beforehand if there is any type of cuisine they would like. Also take into consideration any dietary restrictions. If you have a potluck on top of the catering, then that should provide enough alternatives for anyone with certain dietary needs.
4. Throw in a Surprise
Company morale was mentioned earlier, and it needs to be mentioned again because it is essential for keeping your staff happy. Doing nice things for your employees is the way to ensure maximum work output on their end. One nice thing you can do is to give each employee an unexpected gift. This can be as simple as a $X bonus on their next paycheck. It can also be a gift card or even something as lavish as a paid vacation for select higher-ups, assuming of course that it’s within your budget. A personalized award or plaque can also be handed out to a few employees that showcased exemplary service.
Whatever you decide to give, don’t tell them ahead of time; making it a surprise will have a more impactful wow factor and give employees a bigger sense of being appreciated. Remember, just as you need to nurture consumers to create loyal customers, you also need to nurture your employees to keep them around and delivering stellar performance.
5. Provide Activities
There really isn’t a need for icebreakers. After all, this is a company party where everyone already knows each other. However, you should have some kind of fun activity. Karaoke is simple yet loads of fun. Consider singing in groups. When working together in this manner, there are no higher-ups, supervisors, or subordinates; everyone is equal.
Another good idea is the “Who Am I?” game. You place a sticker with the name of someone famous (real or fictional) on the person’s back or forehead, and they have to ask other guests yes or no questions to figure out the identity. This is a good game if guests include family members as it encourages socialization among people who may not know each other.
Here’s a list of other office party games if you’re at a lost for ideas. Similarly, you can check out these 33 Christmas Party Games if you’re more specifically looking for Christmas-themed games designed exclusively for adults.
6. Opt for a “Ready-to-Go” Christmas Party
If organizing an office party is just too much for you to fit into your schedule, then you can simply opt for a “prepackaged” Christmas party. This means a venue with all the decorations, food, and seating prepared for you. Obviously, this has a much higher overhead cost, but it will save you loads of time; plus, your employees will benefit from an awesome night of celebration organized by professional planners.
If you go this route, keep in mind that you will need to make reservations months in advance since there are other companies opting to do the same. Some venues also offer shared Christmas party events.
Basically, you will share the room, food, seating and amenities with other companies. This is usually cheaper than a private party. The additional presence of other attendees also provides a more lively ambiance if your own turnout is on the low end.
Make This Year’s Company Celebration Memorable
Your faculty works hard year-round. A Christmas party is the one day of the year where everyone can just relax and have a get-together as friends rather than coworkers. Make the party a blast to show your staffers that they are worth going through the extra expenses and trouble.
McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.