Organising The Office Christmas Party: Some Do’s And Don’ts

‘Tis the season to be jolly…just keep telling yourself that when it’s mid November and you have just been asked to put together a party for 100 colleagues!

Expectations will be high, but your budget will be low and it’s your job to make them both meet. Oh and did we mention that you have to do ALL of this as well as your day job!

Pick a date… any date!
If you are organising a party for more than 10 people, do not ask for suggested dates if you value your sanity. The chances of getting everyone to agree on the same date are as probable as winning the lottery! So, if you can, set the date as early as you possibly can so that everyone has plenty of notice. You should then only confirm the date to everyone when you have confirmation from your chosen venue. Remember, this is the most sociable time of the year so premium dates such as Friday or Saturday evenings in December will probably be booked out from late October.
Location, Location, Location!
If your budget allows, have your party at a venue and not at your workplace. It feels too much like a busman’s holiday to be partying at the office – not to mention the insurance and health and safety elements. Plus, who really wants to clear up the next morning?
Depending on the size of your group, you may want to opt for a private party or a shared party. If you have less than 50 guests, a shared party can be a great idea. Not only does it add to the atmosphere to have other people included, but it can also help to reduce costs as the room hire and entertainment fees are split. Be sure to check the dress code at your venue and let everyone know in plenty of time.

Having your cake… and champagne and wine and vodka!
Only supplying drink and not food really isn’t a good idea, just think of all the great office party stories you have heard over the years and they are all probably due to excess drinking! It’s safe to say that most people will have one too many, but help to reduce the ensuing madness by giving them something to soak it up with! Remember that the company is still responsible for employees and that disciplinary and grievance policies also cover work-organised social events.

Aimee Louis shares tips on organising parties on behalf of Thames Executive Charters