Christmas parties: how to organise more than just a hangover

October signals the start of an important time of year for many as businesses chase targets for that crucial final quarter and even students are herded into lecture halls. However, as this crescendo of autumnal activity builds in offices around the world, there is an elephant in the room that increasingly starts to make its presence felt: the planning of the Christmas party.

Who’s organising it? Where are we going? What are we doing? Christmas parties can be memorable, fantastic occasions but they can also end up being more of a turkey than a Christmas cracker. In this blog we share a few ideas to ease the blood pressure of those organising this year’s festivities.

Involve others

There is an incredibly easy way to increase your chances of having a brilliant Christmas party; include the whole team in the planning and preparation of the event. Sourcing a range of different ideas and discussing them as a team helps to tease out what everyone actually wants to do rather than what one person thinks is a good idea. A friend often tells the story of a couple of company directors who invited him to attend their team social – an evening of wine-tasting. The only problem was that the only people who liked wine were the two directors!

Involving others takes away the burden (and risk!) of one person organising the event and creates a sense of shared responsibility to ensure it’s a fun occasion on the night itself.

Duvets and bacon butties

The idea behind most Christmas parties is for everyone to let their hair down at the end of a year of hard work. This doesn’t have to involve excessive drinking but will hopefully encourage a relaxed atmosphere where the emphasis is placed on having a good time. For this to happen it’s important to be realistic about productivity in the office the following day. It could be a great opportunity for your company to show its human side and offer a duvet day to those who want it. Another alternative is to find an incentive to encourage a few bleary eyes back into the office on time (more or less) the morning after. Offering breakfast – a round of bacon butties and coffees should do – provides a reason to be in on time and is a great way to round off a successful party.

A location to inspire

Yes, that’s right, looming into view like a steam tanker – a plug for what we do at TakePlace. Choosing a venue is not only about finding somewhere that allows you the freedom to do what you want to do within the budget you’ve set, it’s also about taking your team away from their desks and allowing them space to enjoy themselves. If you’ve followed our first suggestion, then you’ll know what you want to do and the type of space you need – perhaps you need a blank canvas space to dress as you please or a themed package that takes care of all of that for you? Whether you decide to get help finding a venue or not, the point is that choosing the right setting can be one of the most important factors to ensure a great occasion for all.

Have any favourite Christmas party stories? Let us know on twitter @takeplaceuk