The one rule of hosting a company Christmas party is that you don’t hold it at the office. It's a good rule to follow. But there are two problems you need to solve if you want your company Christmas party to be a success.
First, you want people to show up. It's a busy time of year and your company Christmas party faces a lot of competition from other events - events that may be seen as more desirable than your invitation.
Employees that are tired and stressed and more than ready for a workplace break may be hard to entice into spending even more time with one another, especially if the annual Christmas party has become a tired tradition. Chips and dip at the boss's place or a long hot bath - I know which one I would pick.
So the first thing you have to do is make your company Xmas party an event people want to attend.
Then there's the alcohol dilemma. Should you serve it at your Christmas party? As a human being, you want all your guests to have a good time and be safe. But both happiness and safety can be compromised when people are drinking. And as a social host, legally you have a duty to supervise your guests and make sure they all get home safely if they're consuming alcohol at your party.
How can you solve these two problems and have the kind of company Christmas party that people look forward to being invited to next year?
Company Christmas Party Ideas to Make Your Party a Success
1) Get out of the night time groove.
While we tend to think of parties as evening affairs, they don't have to be. Even if your company Christmas party ideas is to host a meal for your guests at a restaurant or hotel, people will drink less at a luncheon rather than a dinner. So just switching the time of day can help make alcohol less of an issue.
2) Break the mold.
Whatever you normally do, change it from year to year. No matter what you did for your last Christmas party, there will always be a certain percentage of people who will find it boring if you do it again.
Try thinking of your Christmas party as an event, rather than a get together. Instead of the traditional sit-around-somewhere-and-eat party, you could host a disc golf, skating or bowling party. Remember, though, when choosing a Christmas party idea based on an activity, to pick something that everyone can do.
3) Turn it into a family affair.
If you change your guest list from inviting just staff to inviting staff and their families to your company Xmas party, people's expectations and behaviors will change, too. For one thing, alcohol consumption will decrease. And as an added bonus, more people will be likely to attend as they don't have to get sitters. Activity based parties are especially good for this. People of all ages can skate or bowl, for instance.
4) Mix up your guest list.
Instead of hosting a Christmas party that's just for staff, widen your guest list to include extended family, friends, neighbours and business associates.
Mixing up your guest list this way will make your party more interesting for attendees as they'll get a chance to meet new people and have less chance to get trapped into endless shop talk conversations. One example of this company Christmas party idea is to hold an open house with a purpose, such as raising and decorating a tree.
5) Dealcoholize your Christmas party.
There is no rule that you have to serve alcohol at your company Christmas party. If doing so makes you uncomfortable or anxious, don't. People can certainly have a good time without drinking alcohol. Just make sure that everyone knows that it's an alcohol free party ahead of time and that you have plenty of other things for people to drink.
Besides juices, teas, coffees and alcohol-free punches, mocktails can be a fun alternative. Here are some Here are some mocktail recipes from About Cocktails and some mocktail recipes from the LCBO. If you do decide to serve alcohol at your party, these safe party host tips will help safeguard your guests and your company.
The trick to successfully hosting any party is to blend just the right amounts of excitement and comfort. With these company Christmas party ideas, you can host a company Christmas party that staff look forward to attending rather than coming up with excuses for avoiding.