Work christmas party ideas vary wildy depending on the size of the company and the company’s appetite for a company christmas party.
Christmas is the time of year to show your colleagues, clients and customers that you care. The company Christmas party is a much anticipated event as everyone wants to let their hair down and celebrate the year’s successes.
Throwing an excellent end of year party is a science, after all you want the party to be remembered for all the right reasons.
In the following guide we give our very best tips to planning the perfect Christmas party along with work christmas party ideas for businesses of all sizes.
Work Christmas Party Ideas and tips
1. Set a Dress Code
Whether you are having a small office get together or a large formal event setting a dress code will set the tone for the party. It will also help colleagues to be more effective in the run up to the party by reducing online outfit research and lengthy exchanges between colleagues in office time!
Work Christmas party ideas include:
Ugly Christmas sweaters, Christmas ties and accessories, black tie, cocktail hour, white out and Christmas characters.
2. Consider the guest list carefully
Mixing colleagues and clients isn’t always the best idea when alcohol is involved. Depending on the nature of the business you may wish to throw seperate parties, a formal thank you to clients and customers and a more informal party for staff.
Depending on the style of your business and the age range of your employees and clients it may be a good idea to include families. Creating a day time Christmas event or activity instead of an evening party is a good way to show you are a family friendly inclusive company and gives you brownie points with the spouses. It also saves a few sore heads at work the following day.
Some companies who are open 24/7 opt to bring in festive entertainment for shift workers so that no-one has to go without a bit of Christmas cheer.
3. Create a Christmas party theme
A themed Christmas party can help to reduce decision fatugue as everything follows the same theme from decor to food and dress code.
Work christmas party theme ideas include:
- Christmas Movies – tables can be named after different Christmas movies with place names as the characters from the movie. Entertainment could include a Christmas Movie quiz.
- Masquerade Ball – a masked ball adds a hint of mystery to a party and encourages people to interact with people they wouldn’t ordinarily.
- Dessert Party – skip the dinner and head straight to dessert with a range of mouthwatering Christmas treats.
- Karaoke Carols and Christmas hits – tables themed on different Christmas hits or carols with or without a Karaoke competition
- Pyjama Party or Christmas sweaters – for a low key affair this theme is great to encourage a relaxed vibe.
- Winter Wonderland / Ice Queen Party – white and sparkly this theme is epitome of elegant Christmas themes and is very easy to achieve with decor and lighting.
- Reindeer Games – a little competition is the perfect way to incorporate some team building into your Christmas celebrations
- Yule Ball – a classic excuse for everyone to get dressed up to the nines and enjoy a lavish event.
- Retro themes – roaring 20’s, flirty 50’s, groovy 70’s any retro theme creates a fun twist on a festive party.
4. Book your venue or activity early
With the exception of factories, call centres and similar businesses that are open around the clock get out of the office!
The best venues book up early. We are contacted by the venues that we work with reguarly as early as August. Even if your team is small and you are just booking a meal for 10 people get it booked early to allow for a choice of dates and seating.
One of our favourite Christmas venues is the Adventure Bar group in London who have a range of bars across London with fantasic theming.
5. Book a good DJ
If you are planning the company party yourself then good music is essential. Ask around and get reviews on your chosen DJ and again book as soon as you can.
Venues often provide an in house DJ but you will still want to check on the quality. The music choice can make or break your event so make sure you are catering to the tastes of your guests whether they are staff or clients and not your own music taste.
For smaller gatherings create a playlist on Spotify or as a fun alternative hire in a Jukebox or Karaoke machine.
6. Make sure everyone is well nourished.
Empty stomachs and alcohol don’t go well. Reduce the likelihood of drunken mishaps and make sure there is plenty of food to go around.
Venues will often offer festive fixed menu choices but ensure your venue is equipped to cater to different food allergies and circulate menu choices well in advance of the event date. If you are booking an external caterer you’ll need to book early – are you seeing a theme here?
Work Christmas party idea – look into food related entertainment. Food entertainment has been very popular this year and is a great way to combine feeding and entertaining your guests. Services include Cotton Candy Art, Ice Cream Rolls, Cookie Decorating, Cocktail Making and more.
7. Capture the memories
Nowadays if there isn’t a photo posted on social did the event even happen? Capturing memories has never been easier and creating a photo station will encourage guests to capture fun team photos and foster client relationships all with a feel-good factor.
A photo booth service has the added bonus of being manned by a professional so that guests are looked after, the photo prints will be designed with your company branding and or theme and they’ll be copies both physical and digital for all.
8. Something unique
Amaze your guests with the latest event entertainment trends from retro arcade stalls, roaming entertainers and immersive mutli media experiences with a festive twist.
Work Christmas party idea – create your own Christmas themed GIFS or personalised Snow-mo Globe.
9. Recognising achievement
Creating an awards ceremony or giving gifts to your clients is a good morale builder.
Everyone deserves a little thanks at Christmas and recognising achievement or giving a little goodwill will go a long way to building a positive start to the next year.
Top tip: Keep awards or speeches to less than 30 minutes to keep your guest’s attention
Make sure any venue or supplier that you book has adequate public liability insurance for your event. High spirits and alcohol induced inhibition loss can increase the risk of something going awry. Make sure your company is covered or it won’t be a happy start to the New Year.
Standard cover starts at 5million for small business.
11. Consider a party planner
If you’ve been tasked with planning the company christmas party and you’d rather be doing anything else then consider hiring a full service party planner or events agency. Alternatively your venue may have their own in house event manager that you can lean on this resource as well. It is important you enjoy the party as much as anyone else so don’t drown in all the detail.
Alternatively for smaller groups check out group Christmas party events such as OfficeChristmasparty.com which invite smaller businesses to book one or more tables at a large event for a per head or per table price. These are fantastic large scale event with unique themes and entertainment included.
Making sure everyone can get to and from the event may seem like an unnecesary extra but laying on a coach or taxi service helps get everyone excited at the start of the event and ensure they get home safely.
What did your colleagues, clients and customers like about last year’s work chirstmas party? Finding out what worked and what flopped is key to creating a successful party this year.
Work christmas party ideas – FAQ
Q. How do you throw a great work christmas party?
- Book early
- State a dress code
- Think carefully about the guest list and seating plan
- Ensure there is plenty of food
- Create great entertainment
- Consider using a planner
Q. When should I book the venue and suppliers?
A. Its never too soon. The best venues and suppliers book up fast so start planning in the summer at the latest.
Q. What are good christmas party themes?
- Christmas Movies
- Apres Ski
- Masquerade Ball
- Dessert Party
- Karaoke Carols and Christmas hits
- Pajama Party
- Christmas Characters
- Winter Wonderland / Ice Queen Party
- Christmas Sweaters
- Reindeer Games
- Yule Ball – Black Tie
Q. How much does it cost to throw a work christmas party?
Business sizes and budgets will vary greatly but a general rule is to plan between £50-£75 per head.
Q How long should a work christmas party last?
A. This will depend on the content and style of the party. For example a formal sit down meal with an awards ceremony will last longer than a cocktail bar and buffet. On average a christmas party will last 4-5 hours for example 7pm-midnight.