8 Tips for Organising the Office Christmas Party

Dancing SantasIf you’ve been landed the job of organising the office Christmas party, you may be feeling stressed by the task at hand. With food to consider, staff to keep happy and a budget to work to, it can be a drain on your time as well as your sanity. To lift the weight off your shoulders, I have compiled a list of eight tips for organising the office Christmas party.

1. Set your budget

Your budget will dictate the plans for your entire Christmas party, so agree this upfront with the powers that be. Once the amount has been confirmed, you’ll need to allocate portions of it to a venue, entertainment, food and any other necessities. It may sound boring, but a simple spreadsheet will help you to stay on track and avoid overspending.

2. Book early

The earlier you book your Christmas party, the more choice you will have. Dates, location and entertainment will all be yours for the taking – so try to beat everyone else to it by planning ahead.

Many companies start booking in June and July. If you leave it until October and November there’ll be far less choice.

3. Choose a theme

A successful Christmas party will generate buzz around the office, and a theme will encourage this sense of excitement. Unusual themes tend to work best – how about ‘the festive jumper’, ‘apres ski’ or a ‘Hollywood Christmas’? If your budget allows, you could even hire some props to add to the spectacle.

4. Test the menu

There’s nothing worse than planning a Christmas party, only for the evening to be dominated by complaints about the food. To avoid this scenario, ask to test the menu before you book.

5. Be imaginative

Your office Christmas party could involve just about anything – so use your imagination! How about a party aboard a boat, or an all-day activity based party? Even famous attractions such as the London Dungeons and London Aquarium are getting in on the Christmas party act.

6. Consider your colleagues

While it’s impossible to cater for everyone’s tastes, try to align the Christmas party with your company’s overall style. While a legal firm may take the ‘slick, professional’ route, a hip digital agency may call for a more off-beat party.

7. Don’t neglect the dancefloor

Dancing is a uniting factor for every Christmas party, and the number of people throwing shapes at the end of the night can be a good indicator of success! For the evening’s entertainment, choose a DJ who will respect your musical wishes, while responding to the crowd. The right DJ will create an unforgettable atmosphere, making sure your party is a picture of elegance, fun, or craziness: whatever you are aiming to achieve on the night and they’ll also be able to cater for all the different age groups.

8. Spread the word!

Let everyone know about the Christmas party plans via email, posters around the office or even personal invites – especially if you are inviting clients along too. Be sure to include key information such as date, time, location, dress code, and the RSVP details. Are you planning the office Christmas party this year? Let me know how you’re getting on – comment below, send a Tweet or get in touch on Facebook!


Finally, once the date of the party arrives and you do what most companies do which is have a raffle, don’t make the huge mistake that so many make in letting the raffle drag on for ever. There is nothing that kills the energy in a Christmas party as much as an endless raffle. It’s fantastic having say 30 prizes and the recipients will love them but if it all takes more than 5 minutes to conduct then it’s taking too long and you WILL be boring people… because how often have you seen a raffle where the whole audience was excited all the way through it!?