There is a lot of stress and anxiety when planning a Christmas party for the office or company. How many people will come? Will they like the activities? These are common fears that run through the minds of each person charged with the planning. Here’s the thing, you will never make everyone happy. It is just a fact of life. With that in mind there are some important things to remember that will help to make the party a success.
Plan appropriately – if your office or company has recently laid off or downsized, you may want to keep the Christmas party to a small intimate gathering that is cost effective. Scale back to what is appropriate for the company situation at the time. Maybe have a luncheon in the office or plan to have the party at a restaurant instead of the fancy expensive hotel downtown. Whatever it is should reflect the mood or atmosphere of the company.Venue – The venue can make or break the party. If you are a large company, you will not have a lot of options for this. If you are a smaller company, my advice is to change it up! People get bored with the same thing year after year. Go to a dinner theatre, comedy club, laser tag, cart racing, the list can go on and on. It does not have to be the traditional hotel with banquet and dance. People will appreciate the variety and plan to attend.
Dress code – Make sure you address this when you are sending out the invitations. This way no one will question what they should be wearing. If it is a black tie affair and they are not comfortable with that, they will likely not attend. But if they do not know and show up in business casual, they will be embarrassed, upset and probably not ever attend again.
Alcohol – This is one of the things that companies struggle with. There are more and more instances of people drinking and not driving responsibly and the liability issues of providing that alcohol are scary. The best suggestion is to limit the alcohol or don’t offer it at all. It is also a good idea to offer taxi vouchers and provide free non-alcoholic beverages to encourage designated drivers. Alcohol and Christmas parties are not a great mix, when influenced by alcohol, people tend to make questionable decisions that could affect them for some time.
Regardless of the company size or the situation at the office, it is important to acknowledge the staff during the holidays. The Christmas party is a great way to get people together without the stress of the day to day grind.