I don’t know about you, but for me working in a hotel, it seems like we talk about Christmas ALL YEAR ROUND! From the previous year’s party season de-brief to the menu writing, (and tasting of course – we wouldn’t miss that bit) brochure design, proofing and printing and then hitting the market with early bird offers, it seems to get earlier and earlier each year.
It’s a funny one when it comes to Christmas party bookings, as there are some people that you hear from in January or February to rebook and secure their prime date ahead of the rush and others that when you call them in September to book you get a response like ‘Are you crazy?! It’s months away!’
If you are the lucky (or unlucky – however you want to look at it!) person in your office who has the responsibility of booking the office Christmas party here are my three top tips:
- If you’re a small business, consider joining with other companies to hold a bigger party, or take a table/area in a larger space that is hosting a shared Christmas event.
- Start planning early to make sure you get a great venue – this can be a real make or break and as I’ve mentioned you need to get in fast to secure the prime dates, especially if you are a large group. Also you will probably find a few ‘Earlybird’ offers knocking about if you book before the end of June! (Bonus – especially when it’s a booker incentive!)
- Let people suggest and vote for venues and entertainment options – you can use free sites like Survey Money (www.surveymonkey.com) to get ideas in the planning stage and maybe once you have a shortlist you can ask the rest of the office to vote. This should also mean that people have taken an interest and are probably more likely to attend as they have been involved and consulted throughout the process. (Also – it takes the pressure off you!)
Office Christmas parties can feel like ‘that thing that’s been dumped on you as no-one else wants to do it’, but don’t let it stress you out. If you embrace it and follow the tips above hopefully this will help you stay stress-free and organise a great night with your colleagues!
Remember the Christmas party is a really important and appreciated way for teams to celebrate the festive season together. And most people who attend them enjoy them!