Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re planning a staff event to boost motivation and get people fired up about the upcoming year, a party is a great way to do it.

Eventbrite’s Christmas Party Index found the UK’s companies are set to spend £955m on staff entertainment throughout the festive period and 72 per cent of firms plan on holding a party with an average spend of £42.48 per employee. With a commitment to your employees, it’s worth ensuring the night is a real success!

We’ve all been to a dreadful party, from the wipe out food to the inappropriate moments, so planning something that is going to be memorable, engaging and fun to ALL your employees might feel like a tall order.


You may want to already have an agreed company policy on gifts, whether they are of the ‘secret santa’ variety, or if you wanted to give a charitable donation.

If you want to motivate everyone, a dull 2 page document on what constitutes ‘acceptable behaviour’ might not be the bet way to go. Instead of vague statements such as ‘there will be ramifications for misdemeanours’, state what people can’t do in more explicit terms. For example, photography, arrival times, alcohol consumption.

Don’t have a personality transplant
Many leaders treat the office party like a networking event – and they want to sell, sell, sell – or drink, drink, drink! It can be hard to not want to be ‘one of the team’ but there’s a time and place. Ensure leaders are friendly, cordial, but not overstepping boundaries.

Don’t make it compulsory

If you start charging people, sending bossy emails about suitable attire or ‘company policies’, you’re already sending a message that says ‘I don’t trust you’. Making it feel compulsory is taking this a step further than it needs to be.

Don’t be a fun sponge

It’s a business event – but there is no need for any powerpoint. If you must talk, consider a video, a guest speaker or someone new.

Let people create their own tribe

It can be tempting to control the seating plan, who goes, and what the budget is down to the last spoon of cranberry sauce. However, is this going to bring as much joy as possible to the event? You might want people to chat and mingle – but if we’re honest, your motive is probably ‘business ideas’, not a lifetime friendship. Let people meet through projects and collaboration and leave the social side for them to navigate alone.

Ask for feedback

Ensure that after the event you ask, either via a survey or through another method how the event was. Whilst calculating a return seems a little ‘Grinch’, you can always pick up some interesting feedback to improve the next event.