December 9th, 2014

How to plan the perfect office party

Christmas is the perfect time to thank staff for their hard work and to celebrate your company’s successes. The office Christmas party can instill loyalty, pride in a job well done and appreciation when it comes to acknowledging the diligence of others. If you’ve spent too many years pretending to enjoy a fixed price menu in a restaurant with dubious festive cheer whilst your colleagues finished off that single bottle of wine intended for all of you, then you’ll know how important it is to plan an office party with a difference.

So, how do you go about creating a corporate Christmas party that makes your employees proud to work for you and boost their morale going into the New Year? Here are some things to consider…

ship interior, hull beans with guests in the distance

Make it an event.

The recent economic climate hasn’t left much room in many budgets for frivolities like staff parties, but now’s the time to reclaim the rightful place the Christmas work do has in your employees’ calendars. Don’t just suggest a quick drink together on the last lunchtime of the year – build up to it, invite them to don their finest (party wear or Christmas jumpers, you decide) and really go to town on creating something everyone can look forward to and enjoy.

Be different. Sitting around eating with the people you talk to all day every day can be a little tedious for some. However, stage that same meal in a unique setting and suddenly everything becomes a bit more magical. Why not try a quirky venue like the Cutty Sark, National History Museum or Wilton’s Music Hall? Alternatively, a festive field trip to a Spiegeltent will create a Christmas party that none of your staff will ever forget!

Avoid the buffet. When you’ve a great number of people to feed and an emphasis on the liquid aspects of the event, a buffet seems like an easy, hassle free option. In reality, it usually transpires that the people at the front of the queue deplete the majority of the food and those at the back are left with slim pickings. Not only will a more fulsome catering option keep your guests partying for longer, it’ll also create more of an event than people standing around nibbling on finger food.

green drink in cocktail glasses, large ornate doorway

See it through their eyes.

When we’re planning parties here at Snapdragon, we always begin by envisaging the event from the guest’s point of view. What will they see and hear? What are they going to touch and taste? What will they smell and how can we allow all of these senses to be enlivened throughout the course of the event? When you think about things from this perspective, you will create a much more personal experience with finishing touches that really show you care.

Brand it boldly. Whilst of course you want everybody to enjoy themselves, you also want to continue to convey the message that they’re all gathering under the banner of your business. We think staying on brand in everything from the invitations you issue (and you absolutely must do this properly, not just send a round-robin email) to the choice of venue, décor and food should all be in keeping with your corporate values.

You want everyone to go home thinking what a great time they had, but you also want them to realise that’s down to your company.

Of course, the other piece of advice we’re compelled to give is that it’s simply bad etiquette to remind anyone of anything they may have done during the course of an office Christmas party that they may not want to be made aware of, but we’re sure you knew that one already!