As the end of the year draws near, it’s time to think about your corporate Christmas parties. More often than not, Christmas parties are the highlight of the festive season, and business parties are not an exception. It is common practice in the business world to use the Christmas party as an opportunity to conclude the year that has passed and provide direction for the year to come.
Now, in harsh times where it is impossible to read the news without learning about another business that has gone to administration — at the moment, airlines seem to be struck by a series of bad luck with Monarch and now Air Berlin, for instance — it is essential to remind your team that your business is standing and doing fine. Use the party speech as an excuse to crunch some figures and reassure your staff about stability, future growth. But don’t forget to party with style at the end of the day!
Get your preps as early as possible
The main issue with the corporate Christmas party is that on the one hand you’d like to have it as close to Christmas as possible, but on the other hand you need to accommodate for staff holidays. It’s a difficult balance to achieve! But there’s no secret about it: The earlier you start planning, the easier it’ll be to prepare. As a rule of the thumb, most party preps start 3 to 2.5 months ahead of Christmas, and the latest effective planning should leave you a minimum of 8 weeks to book the meeting room venue and sort out the catering options. As with all events and parties, you need to plan for the right number of persons and to take note of dietary requirements as early as possible. Gluten-free, lactose intolerance, vegan, these are only some of the most common diets in an office. So make sure to know about it so that you can arrange for a festive meal they won’t forget.
Give your staff all they need to decide
Unattached employees tend to be almost always available for your events. However, employees with a family — whether it’s a partner or partner and children — find it more challenging to accept invitations that lack information. As they have to cater to family plans too, you need to help them by providing all essential info. Start with the dress code for the evening, especially if you want to it to be different from office wear. Then make sure to indicate the date, location and estimated duration of the party. Finally, if you’re considering a remote location, offer free hotel rooms to those who want to stay over.
Finish with a bang
Last, but not least, you need to keep things short and sweet, starting by the end of year speech. Reflect on the year and remember to congratulate everyone for their efforts. It’s common practice to plan alcoholic drinks during a Christmas party, but if you want to avoid the traditional Christmas party hangover, you can pick friendly entertainment and offer more soft drinks. A photo booth is a great prop to get people having fun together, for instance.
Whether it’s been your best or your worst year, the Christmas party is the time to celebrate and to relax together. More importantly, you’ll find that staff who party together work better as a team.