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How to pull off a cracker of an office Christmas party

Been given the "honour" of organising  the office Christmas party this year? The good news is, organised well, the office Christmas party can elevate you to office hero.
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Done not so well, you may find a poor Christmas party will get you a desk relocation next to the microwave and coffee machine coming your way in the New Year.

To avoid giving your staff an office Christmas party to remember for all of the wrong reasons, follow these simple tips:

(1) Get a date in the diary now

Whether you’ve had grand plans forming for months, or are finding the idea of even approaching organisation incredibly daunting, the fact is you need to start now!

London’s finest eateries are filling up fast and Shoreditch’s “little-known gems” will soon no longer be so undiscovered.

Using a scheduling app to work your way around colleagues’ already chock-a-block Christmas calendars will help you get that all important date in the diary. Once you’ve worked out the best date for everyone you can then start worrying about finding a venue with space on that day.

Word of warning – the later you leave this step the more likely you are to end up with a mid week party – that means holiday hangovers in the office and a productivity nosedive!

(2) Location, location, location

That’s the when sorted, now for the where.

No one wants to spend their Christmas party in their cubicle. Take it out of the office.

Pick an area that meets all of your party needs. If your colleagues can form a drunken conga line to travel from the restaurant to the bar, or club, it will save you a considerable amount of money – that you can then put behind the bar. A move that cannot fail to prove popular.

(3) Line their stomachs

Lining your colleagues’ stomachs with a carb-heavy meal is key. So make sure food is somewhere in the mix. Make the meal the main event. Enlist the help of restaurant booking apps like OpenTable or Quandoo to find the perfect venue for you.

If you’re throwing a sit down do take the time to create a seating plan. This will make sure conversation continues to flow all evening, and can even get colleagues who don’t usually spend much time together chatting. 

And if you’re a smaller office, requesting a roundtable is a fantastic way to ensure everyone gets stuck in and no one is left out in the cold – on the edge of the table.

If a seated affair isn’t for you, however, then perhaps a buffet. It means people can eat as much as they want, whenever they’re ready and you can make sure there is something on offer for everyone, no matter the dietary requirements.

(4) Fun is good, a meeting with HR is not

Once organised, it’s time to have fun! And why not, you’ve just done the impossible.

But remember that this is your office Christmas party so there are still a few boundaries – a free bar is not a competition, nudity is never necessary and never be the last to leave.

(5) The morning after

It’s simple, but laying out the perfect office outfit before heading off to the Christmas party will ensure you look like you can handle your drink when you walk into work the morning after. Arming yourself with food for the office can’t hurt either.

Gabriele Ottino is CEO of Doodle, the powerful scheduling app.

Image: Shutterstock

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