With the festive season upon us, staff will be looking forward to the annual office blowout. But if you’re the one paying for it, the Christmas party can seem like just another major expense at a time of year when you may already have cash-flow headaches. Here are 10 strategies to get maximum fun for minimum bucks.
1. Share the goodies
It’s not unusual for a business to receive freebies – gift vouchers, books, DVDs, beauty products – throughout the course of the year. How about holding on to them and having a Christmas event where you distribute them among staff?
2. Have an in-house party
By holding the party in your lobby or conference room, you save on booking a restaurant or pub.
3. Have the party at your place
If you’re comfortable with the idea, consider having the office Christmas party at your house. That way you get away from the workplace without having to pay for a venue.
4. Avoid the rush
Booking out a bar or restaurant will be cheaper on a Tuesday than a Friday or Saturday night. The rates are also likely to be cheaper in the first weeks of December than the days leading up to Christmas.
5. Ban the booze
Having a dry party will not only massively reduce the drinks bill, it can save you money by preventing intoxication-related HR issues.
6. Party in a different way
There’s no law that says a work Christmas party has to involve food, drink, bad music and awkward conversation. Everyone might much prefer to go paint balling, for example.
7. Form a social club
If everyone chips in during the year, there will be enough for a decent party in December. As a bonus, you can push the organising of the party on to the social club members, freeing up more time for yourself to make money.
8. Make it employees only
Aside from keeping numbers down, this tactic allows you to claim the party as a tax deduction.
9. Buy in bulk
Shop somewhere like Costco or Officeworks where you can purchase in bulk at a discount.
10. DIY entertainment
Does a staff member have his own garage band? Get them to play, and that’s the entertainment side of things covered at no cost.
It’s the people who attend them that make great parties, not the amount of money they cost. Focus on getting the party vibe right and your staff won’t even notice the corners you’ve cut. And the money saved can be ploughed back into the business or taken as your own little Christmas bonus.
What are your tips for organising a Christmas party?