In order to successfully plan a holiday party at the office, it’s important to make the best use of the space you have. We understand how difficult this can be. Transforming an office into a winter wonderland in a matter of a hours is no easy feat—let alone altering the setting to incite joy and merriment. That’s why we’ve put together some solid ideas to help you “deck out the halls” and prepare your space for the party of the season, no matter how big or small.
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Speaking of sizes, ”the bigger, the better” is often the case for office holiday parties. If you’re organizing a large-scale holiday event, particularly at your facility, you will need to consider well in advance what resources or services you may need to rent, hire or organize. This includes holiday-inspired decorations, linens and catering, just to name a few.
Nevertheless, more space means more room to accommodate a larger group of guests. For many employees, being able to bring their family along to the holiday activities—especially their children—is an added bonus. Consider accommodating a child-friendly area amidst the party, or even having one of the employees dress up as Santa Claus to take photos with the kids and give them small gifts. Showing employees that they are valued by including family is a meaningful gesture on the company’s behalf.
A larger space also creates more options for entertainment. It allows ample room to set up activities like poker tables and photo booths, or rented games like ping pong or shuffleboard. These can promote camaraderie, spark hours of fun and friendly competition and keep party attendees engaged well into the night.
Whether your company is a small business or startup, there are many ways to put a smaller space to good use—and many benefits as well. For starters, a small setting means less planning, less rearranging of office resources and no need for excessive party supplies. You can also still make the most out of an intimate setting through setting the mood. Consider dimming the lights in the venue for the evening, and decorating the space with simple string LED lights and flameless candles. They won’t crowd the room, and will add a holiday feel to the party.
With a smaller number of staff to entertain, and a simpler space altogether, you also won’t need much else to keep it fun. You can distribute smaller bar areas throughout the space, each offering a specific type of drink. This will also avoid groups of people clustering in one area. Instead of offering the classic buffet and sit down meal, opt for tapas served throughout the evening so that employees enjoy their food while they mingle. And of course, the icing on the cake—there is minimal cleanup required afterwards.
Usually employees can be hesitant about attending a party at the office. But there is an excellent way to get them on board with the idea. Set up a company-wide charity initiative such as a food or clothing drive, or arrange for employees to volunteer at a local non-profit organization. Once the holiday season approaches, let them know that the money saved on booking a venue is being donated to the company-supported charity. This allows staff to participate in giving back to the community while still enjoying a night out with colleagues. After all, the socializing and friendliness that these parties incite are what most employees are ultimately after.
Holiday parties come in all shapes and sizes. And whether the office space is big or small, these festivities and the alternatives are invaluable. They offer a time to recognize employees and show them appreciation for a year’s worth of hard work. Departments and team members can come together and bond over a shared experience, and even facility managers have a chance to better understand the ins-and-outs of the office space while discovering it’s versatility and experimenting with a new layout.
Are you planning on hosting your company’s next holiday party at the office? Map out a plan before the big day and maximize your space with easy-to-use space management software.
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Photos: Shutterstock / Ivan Kuntsevich, Shutterstock / Ivan Kuntsevich, Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia