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How to Throw a Successful Christmas Party

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October-22-08

It isn't even Halloween yet, and already it’s time to start thinking about the office Christmas party. This annual event is a wonderful opportunity to weave connections between employees and strengthen the sense of belonging to the company. But how do you throw a successful Christmas party without going overboard (financially speaking, of course)? The costs connected with this type of party can mount up fast, and you don't want it to eat up the entire year's profit. Never fear, there are ways to save without skimping on the celebration itself.

1. Think outside the box

Why book a hotel banquet room, when there are a host of possibilities available to you? Restaurants, museums, libraries, golf clubs. The important thing is to choose a venue that meets your needs, especially the number of attendees. If the room is too large, it will be difficult to create atmosphere, whereas if the room is too small, your guests will feel crowded.

2. Opt for a "cocktail dinatoire" *

The traditional formula of a sit-down meal is passé. Some find it unpleasant to have to sit with the same people for three hours. In addition to facilitating conversation and mingling, the "cocktail dinatoire", or dinner cocktail, is relatively inexpensive. You can save up to 20%, compared to the cost of a sit-down dinner.

3. Limit the alcohol

Use a ticket system to limit the alcoholic beverages. Not only will it guard against overindulgence, it is also a very safe way to prevent alcohol-related traffic accidents. You can also offer alternatives to alcohol.

4. Make your employees the stars of the evening

It's a safe bet that some of your employees have a special talent; perhaps they play a musical instrument, dance, sing, or do something else. Use this evening to give them center stage. In addition to creating ambience, it will give their coworkers a chance to see them in a different light.

5. Forget the spouses

It's a well-known fact that office parties are livelier when the spouses aren't there. Plus, it will cut your guest list in half and, by the same token, your costs.

Remember, even if your company is in the throes of budget cuts, you owe it to yourself to organize a party. Never forget the human beings who work hard, day after day, to make your business a success. At the end of the day, the real winner will be your organization.

 

*A cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres and other finger foods substantial and plentiful enough to take the place of a meal, and presented on trays carried by waitstaff. There are generally chairs for attendees to sit on, but no tables.

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