Daniel Gill, MD of Dine

Member Article

Planning the office Christmas party

The office Christmas party is an opportunity to unwind and enjoy yourself but planning such an important event can be stressful. Daniel Gill, Managing Director of Dine (dine-services.co.uk), offers his top ten tips on how to hold the perfect event and avoid any potential pitfalls.

Pass on the planning

A Christmas party is the ideal opportunity to celebrate the end of a great year and thank your team for all their hard work. Instead of deciding what the event will be, let your staff have a say and get them to plan the event for you. Not only will this encourage team work and improve morale in the office, but it will also allow you to take a small step back and hand over some of the workload!

Whos on the guest list?

When writing your guest list, check that you dont forget anyone and give serious consideration to inviting partners. Although it might be an extra expense; it can add a nice touch to the celebrations and gives everyone a chance to meet each other.

Set the date

Avoid a frequent Christmas party pitfall and think seriously about what day and time you should hold the event. Why not allow staff to finish work early on the day of the party, so that everyone has time to get ready for the festivities? Also, if you hold your celebrations mid-week then don’t expect miracles the morning after perhaps you could let people start work a little later the following day to account for the late night!

Secret Santa

Think about small (and low cost) ways that you can inject more fun into the party and get everyone involved. Why not organise a Secret Santa so that each person has a gift to unwrap, or play some traditional party games? Although these ideas might be cheesy, they are a great way to encourage team building and will ensure lots of festive fun!

Festive Fizz

Champagne is everyones top choice tipple for parties but it can be a little on the expensive side. What you may not realise is that there are some great sparkling wines available which are just as good. To impress your team on half the budget, add a little orange Brandy to some sparkling wine for an old fashioned festive treat. Simply delicious!

Delicious Dishes

Choosing a menu which appeals to everyone doesnt mean defaulting to drab. We would always recommend injecting a bit of fun by asking your venue or caterers to come up with a festive menu with a twist, a la Heston Blumenthal. There is also our tested favourite; Bowl Food, which involves a more informal setting and delicious bowls of everything from Thai Curry to Dines famous Lobster n Chips in a Yorkshire Post cone!

Vote For Vegetarian

Dont leave your vegetarian team members out in the cold this Christmasand make them feel like second rate citizens.Long gone are the days of limpcarrots,soggy cabbage and dry nut roast,so why not treat themto something a bit more special. Tickle their taste budswith a vegetarian toad in hole -meat freesausages, crispy Yorkshire puddingsand creamy chive mash covered in a generous helping of rich onion gravy. Bon appetit!

Excellent Entertainment

Great entertainment is so important to the atmosphere and enjoyment of any party. If you decide to use performers then make sure you do your research, ask for testimonials and check that they are reliable. Alternatively why not use your MP3 or iPod to create your own bespoke party playlist? Just be careful to check it will last the length of the evening you dont want the main entertainment to be musical statues!

Cut costs not corners

A cost effective Christmas party doesnt have to be low quality, but its important to remember that when ordering food you will get what you pay for. A cheaper menu may seem like a good idea to save money, but if it is poor quality then it wont be enjoyed. Look for local produce, fresh ingredients and classic dishes to keep everyone happy.

Stand out from the crowd

Finally, try to think about different formats for your party instead of the traditional sit down meal, How about a Cocktail Training session at a local bar - couple this with an informal buffet to create a really fun, memorable and cost effective celebration. In summary, if you are going to hold a Christmas party, think hard about doing something a little different which will benefit your staff and your business!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Dine .

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