Top tips and ideas for your office Christmas party
Top ideas for your office Christmas party
It's that time of the season again, the run up to the office Christmas party. You don't have to dread the event! Done correctly, an office Christmas party can be the perfect cherry on the end of the work year and a great way to bring colleagues closer together.
If you've been blessed with planning your work Christmas party this year, you might be looking for some tips and inspiration to make the night one for everyone to look forward to. Look no further! Here is the ultimate guide to putting on a smashing work-do, on a budget or with cash to splash. We've included our favourite ideas and suppliers for your office Christmas party.
1. Christmas party venue
The primary task on any office Christmas party checklist should be booking the venue. The first thing on the invitation that your guests will check, your venue is the biggest factor to determine your Christmas party's success. It must be somewhere convenient for your guests to get to, but also spark interest and excitement for the Christmas-do.
At this point in the year, you will hopefully have already booked your venue for your work Christmas party. Many companies start looking in to venues for Christmas during the summer, and they get booked up pretty fast! Make sure you put some research in early, and start thinking about booking your venue around October at the latest.
If you're still considering venue options, we've listed our suggestions for a great venue on a budget or with cash to spare.
If you're planning your event on a budget, you may, like many others, choose to host your work Christmas party at your office. Hiring an outside venue can eat up your entire budget, making an at-the-office party a very reasonable option (especially if you're planning last-minute). Although not the most glamorous option, done correctly it can still be a fantastic night. Make sure to make up for the lack of an exciting venue in other ways, including lots of decorations, food & drink and entertainment.
Should you be looking for a fabulous external venue for your Christmas party, there are several things you'll need to bear in mind. Firstly, ensure your venue has the capacity to hold all of your invited guests. Although not everyone invited may show up, it's better to be safe than sorry in this respect. On the reverse, make sure the venue isn't too big for your requirements either. You don't want a group of 20 people rattling around in a large hall. Remember to check the maximum capacity when searching for your venue, as this will give you a good indication as to how large the venue is going to be. Of course, you need to make sure the venue has all the basics like proper loos, a kitchen/bar, an alcohol license, microphones, music, projectors, lighting, etcetera. Don't forget to keep the location reasonably close to either the office, or a main station in your city. (For London, think Victoria, London Bridge, Waterloo, etc.)
Our suggested Christmas party venue on a budget: Junkyard Golf Club
Junkyard Golf Club host large groups all year round to play a great game of indoor crazy golf. With a game, food and drink and gifts included for as low as £21 per player, Junkyard Golf Club is a great budget venue for your Christmas do. They have venues across the UK and are super popular - so book your slot quickly!
Our suggested Christmas party venue with cash to splash: London Party Boats
London Party Boats hold all-out parties on boats that cruise up and down the Thames, for a view of the London skyline at night. You can hire out an entire boat for the evening for your work Christmas party, including a DJ and catering. Quotes are available on request - meaning it's going to be pricey!
2. Christmas party theme
Whether or not you're hosting your party in the office or on a river cruise, adding a good party theme will boost enthusiasm for your Christmas bash. Themes are certainly optional, and a great party can be achieved without costumes and themed decor. But if you're considering a theme to keep things interesting, read on carefully!
Tired out and embarrassing themes are going to be more of a burden than a pleasure for your coworkers. Steer clear of over-used themes like 'ugly Christmas jumper' or 'Christmas elves'. The key here is to be original, think differently. That being said, here are our suggestions for great themes for your office Christmas party ;)
Our suggested office Christmas party themes on a budget: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/ Willy Wonka
Everyone knows Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; It was a childhood staple. The great thing about it is there are a variety of interesting and memorable characters to dress up as, like Willy Wonka himself, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teavee or Veruca Salt. To complement this, your decoration can be as simple as this: sweets! Dress up your office or venue with lollipops, gobstoppers and chocolates. This is not only cost-effective, but it's an interactive decor for your colleagues to enjoy! You can check out some more inspiration here.
Our suggested office Christmas party themes with cash to splash: Christmas circus theme
For those with some more money to throw at the event, consider a slightly upmarket theme. An exciting Christmas theme for bigger and more extravagant parties is the circus theme. This theme provides you with a great starting place for decorations - think circus stripes, balloons, vintage circus signs, and perhaps even circus performers and interactive carnival games. Guests can enjoy a sophisticated take with their costumes - ringmasters and strongmen - or a slightly less sophisticated clown or mime costume. Take your inspiration from The Greatest Showman and The Moulin Rouge.
3. Entertainment for your office party
'Entertainment' is a fairly all-encompassing term. It covers performances, music, interactivity, games, gifts, and anything that makes your office Christmas party stand out. In this section, we'll give you some inspiration for the best forms of entertainment to make your party a success.
Our recommendation for party entertainment wit cash to splash: The Acrochaps
If you choose to have some kind of coordinated performance, the Acrochaps are a great group of entertainers who stick to the circus/carnival party theme. These three gentlemen circus performers walk amongst your party dressed in Victorian entertainer garb performing acrobatics!
Another impressive piece of coordinated entertainment for your colleagues to enjoy is a light show from Glow Show. This group will perform a beautifully choreographed show using illuminated hula-hoops and clubs.
Our recommendation for party entertainment on a budget: an event photographer
If you're looking for something more inexpensive, there are plenty of things to try. Consider going back to basics and renting a karaoke machine; Even your most unadventurous colleagues will have a hard time resisting this old-school favourite! If you'd rather keep it simple with a music playlist, you can try creating an online poll amongst your coworkers to find out which songs are crowd-pleasers, and set about making a playlist you know they'll all love.
You could hire a portrait artist to wander the party creating caricatures of your colleagues. Even better, you can hire a professional event photographer for less than £100! Adding a photographer to your office Christmas party will create another dimension of fun for the event: letting coworkers pose for the camera, as well as looking back on the best bits of the party. Professionally snapped photos never stop being useful for your social media, website, newsletter and so-on! Any party planner would tell you professional photography is a must for any great event.
Our recommendation for gifts on a budget: Secret Santa
The likelihood is you and your coworkers will be planning to have a Secret-Santa gift exchange this year. They're massively popular in offices around the UK, and a great way to minimise gift-giving costs. If your office Christmas party is going to include a small group and is being done on a budget, you should certainly consider a Secret-Santa. The office Christmas party is the best time to exchange gifts, and is a great ice-breaker. This way, you don't need to organise party-favours for every guest and everyone still receives a personal gift. You can use this free tool to allocate everyone a gift-ee.
Our recommendation for gifts with cash to splash: personalised hangover kits
If you still have money to spend, get some great party-favours in. Sweets and snacks branded with your company's logo are a very popular option, while you can go more jokey with party-bag hangover kits. Perfect for anyone in the office the day after your Christmas party!
You could even go with some entertainment from The Cocoa Den, who do pop-up chocolate decorating stands for events. Your guests get some fun, family-friendly treats to take home as well as nibbles for the party.
Food for your Christmas-do should be a given. No party is complete without food for slightly drunk people to mindlessly chomp on. Have you chosen the right food for your event?
Our recommendation for party food on a budget: Tesco
There's no going wrong with some crates of beer and 10 different varieties of savoury snacks from your local Tesco. If you're on a budget, don't feel under pressure to do more, everyone loves a can of Punk IPA and a handful of crisps, and they will hopefully have better things to focus on than the food.
Our recommendation for party food with cash to splash: Platter Up
Platter up create Instagram-worthy spreads for any kind of party. With spread prices as low as £7.50 per person, this certainly isn't the most extravagant form or party food, but is certainly an upmarket alternative to M&Ms and Sensations crisps.
To sum up, there are plenty of great ideas out there for your office Christmas party, all it takes is a quick Google search. The hardest part is sticking to your budget and still making the night one to remember for everyone at work! Whether you have money to throw at your Christmas party or not, hopefully you found some helpful tips and ideas in this article to make the event a success. Whatever you do, try to take one thing from each category: venue, theme, entertainment, gifts and food are all essential! If the party ends up being a hit, you don't want it forgotten. Remember your professional event photographer to make the evening memorable.
Are you thinking about booking a Perfocal photographer for your office Christmas party? Great idea!
If you're holding a work event, you'll know it's imperative to have a photographer there to make the event a success. You'll need those photos for your website, blog and newsletter. Make sure they're fantastic and hire a professional event photographer simply and affordably.
We guarantee quick and simple booking, an amazing professional photographer who will travel to you, and 72 hour photo delivery every time.
We do all this so you can have your office's party looking its best.
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