Offices around the country are getting ready for the ever-popular holiday party, celebrating another prosperous year and looking forward to future endeavors. Holiday parties are an important way to show employees just how much the company appreciates them. Here are some tips on ways to make the office holiday party successful, inexpensive and fun!
Just because Christmas may be a popular holiday, doesn’t mean everyone celebrates it! Know your employees and clients and be inclusive to all religions and ethnicities. Don’t offend anyone by having a “Christmas Party.” You can host a “Holiday Party” that focuses on seasonal or other non-specific holiday symbols.
Sometimes the right event venue isn’t the most expensive place and sometimes it is. Depending on your company culture, it is important to select a location that works for everyone involved. Smaller companies may choose to host at a local bar, where attendees celebrate with a catered meal and an open bar. Larger organizations might decide to host at a hotel, featuring special rooms designed for different activities – hot food, cold food, desserts, video games, karaoke, etc. Other options include a small gathering at the boss’ house, bowling alley, ice-skating rink,private room at a restaurant, country club, museum, art gallery or a karaoke venue. Sometimes the best location is the office itself, as it may be the most conveniently located for all.
If you host the party in your office, it can be done inexpensively with a potluck. Ask employees to bring in their favorite dishes, making sure all the basics are covered – appetizers, main courses, desserts and drinks. The idea of having everyone contribute a dish allows for employees to share a bit of their personality with co-workers and clients. This arrangement also makes for a great conversation starter between employees who may not know each other well. Most importantly, it offers a chance to celebrate the employees without breaking the bank. Continue the “potluck” trend by asking employees to each bring a holiday ornament to decorate the company tree, if you choose to have one.
It may be a bit more expensive, but it’s the holidays and it’s great to meet significant others during this time of year! Having spouses and significant others on hand expands the conversation and it also discourages inappropriate behavior among colleagues. Attendance will probably also increase if everyone knows they are allowed a “plus one” to the event. The more the merrier!
Show up with a wrapped car wrench, pink journal or a set of whiskey glasses…and you may disappoint the recipient! Save the gender or age-specific gifts for a party where you are with friends who you know a bit better. One excellent option is to make a “cash” ornament—a clear ball ornament, that you place ten or twenty dollars inside of (whatever the gift limit may be). The ornament will cost one dollar, just take the top off, place the money inside, and watch people fight for your creative decoration! If your company is smaller, the party could feature cookies and hot cocoa, along with a book exchange. The idea of a swap is perfect because it ensures that no one in the office walks away empty handed once the festivities conclude.