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It's time for the office Christmas party again, and it doesn't have to be something you're dreading. With a few tips and ideas from us at The Range, we'll ensure your office party is remembered for all the right reasons! The only thing we can't guarantee is someone not drunkenly misusing the photocopier.
If you're tasked with planning the party this year, you can take most of the stress out of it by starting planning in the summer. In July/August, start gauging interest in the event to see how many people would like to come - this way, you have a general idea of how much food and drink is needed for the event. In traditional office Christmas party style, hosting it in the office will mean you might need to seek permission for the space to be used in that way, too - knowing how many are planning to attend at this point is a good idea, so building and business owners know what to expect. However, if you're hiring an event venue, the sooner you book, the better. Venues with large capacities get booked quickly, so get in early with your booking! Scope out a few venues, check if the booking/event fee is within budget, and see if they can accommodate your numbers.
As part of your early planning, ask around the office to see which date is best for everybody. The earlier you plan, the more people are likely to come because they have yet to make other plans!
Organising food and drinks for a large group of people can be both expensive and daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Simply by asking everyone to bring some food or a bottle of drink, everyone pays their share, and the organiser isn't left to pay for all of it. To keep track of who's bringing what, you can write it all down in a notebook or create a spreadsheet. The benefit of using a spreadsheet is that you can share it with the office so everyone can see who's bringing what, so there are only a few duplicates. Asking everyone to bring something is beneficial, too, for those with specific dietary requirements. People with particular needs, such as vegans or those with specific allergies, are likely to bring something they can eat. That way, you know there's something for all, but ensure you clearly label the food as needed on party day.
Read our article on Laying Your Table for a Buffet for more buffet tips.
It's not a Christmas party without tinsel, baubles, and a Christmas tree taking pride of place in your party! Gather some Christmas decorations (a great excuse to shop our Christmas Decoration collection!) and make your venue feel festive. Suppose you're looking for a sophisticated theme. In that case, our Chic Noir decorations will make your office space feel luxurious and modern, whilst decorating with Candy Cane Lane will make your venue feel and look like a fun, sweet, traditional party landscape. You can browse all our Christmas Themes to find the perfect one to suit your party.
If you prefer a more straightforward, classic design for your decor, you can't go wrong with copious amounts of tinsel draped around the desks and foil decorations hanging from the ceiling and across the walls.
You can create some Christmas-themed activities to add further interest to your party. The most popular of these is Secret Santa. If you want to set up a Secret Santa for your office, we recommend planning this about a month in advance to give everyone time to buy the perfect gift.
Another popular thing to have at an office party is a photo booth or a photo area. Leave out some photo props for people to use to make their selfies stand out, and place unique decorations such as the Christmas Tree Balloon in the background for a fun, wintery backdrop to give your photos an extra lift and let people make brilliant memories with their photo opportunities.
If you fancy making your Xmas party activities more active, then Christmas karaoke will go down well after a few glasses of prosecco. Alternatively, you can split people into teams and send them around the office in a Scavenger Hunt to find festive-themed items such as a gingerbread house, an ugly Christmas jumper (there should be loads of those around!), or a golden bauble. Activities like this foster closer relationships between coworkers and work as a team-building exercise.
After spending a few months planning the party, you can now let your hair down and have some fun! Don't come to the party in planning mode - you'll only pick apart what went wrong or what you should have done. Enjoy the fact you've put together a great event, play some cheesy Christmas hits on the speakers, and remember that the spirit of Christmas lies in community, not your perception of the perfect party!