Depending on who you ask, the office Christmas party can be an event that everyone looks forward to or an event everyone dreads. If you happen to be the one planning the big event, the pressure is on to make it a success. Read on for some great ideas to make your office party a success that people will be talking about for months.
Location, Location, Location
Most people don’t consider sitting around the office sipping punch and eating sugar cookies a great time. The first thing you can do to liven up your event is to take it out of the office. This gives employees something to look forward to and gets them out of the place where they work. Moving it out of the building rather than down the hall, makes the temptation to discuss work lessen and helps people really socialize and relax.
A nice luncheon can also lessen some of the pitfalls of office party etiquette, like too much alcohol. Nobody wants to be the one that gets talked about for years to come because they got too drunk at the party. A luncheon at a hotel or nice restaurant minimizes the drinking aspect and keeps things focused on safer holiday fun.
Menu, Prizes, and Guests
One way to change things up is to give your menu some international flair. If you typically go the traditional route, perhaps try an Asian-inspired holiday menu. Or you can go with some traditional Mexican holiday favorites as well. These are popular options and can also give you some variety in your decorating.
Offering door prizes is a great way to generate excitement and get people engaged. The ideas for door prizes are seemly endless and can range from extra vacation days, gift cards for restaurants, spa treatments, gas or groceries are always a big hit. You can either do a traditional drawing and give raffle tickets as guests arrive or you can make it a game to win those sought-after prizes. Have your guests take a guess as to how many candy canes or red and green jelly beans are in the jar.
Christmas office parties can also be a time to recognize company success and employee contributions. One way to put the focus on the surrounding community is to incorporate a charitable cause as part of your holiday celebration. Perhaps there is a local children’s hospital or food pantry in need of supplies. Most communities have a variety of causes to support so do a little homework and ask your employees what causes they support. You might get some great ideas and really make a difference in your community while celebrating the holidays.
Some Christmas parties are limited to staff only but you might want to consider expanding the guest list and making it a family affair. For some, childcare is an issue so allowing children to attend eases that burden. And if you incorporate an activity like bowling or ice skating, this makes it much more fun for kids and spouses to attend and enjoy themselves.
White elephant or gag gifts are always a fun option, provided everyone keeps it clean! You don’t want any post-party human resource issues. One idea is to have everyone find the worst gift under $5 and have a drawing of wrapped gifts where there are only a few gifts worth keeping. Scattering a few $5 coffee gift cards in the midst of gag gifts can make it a fun drawing as well.
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