Office Christmas parties on a budget - 7 top tips

Christmas is fast approaching – and with it the office party season.

Small businesses across the country have had a tough year, and many are now considering ways to keep the cost of their Christmas celebrations down.

But a great Christmas party doesn’t need to break the bank. Here are some top tips to help you celebrate for less.

1. Get everyone involved

You can help to keep costs down, while ensuring that everyone is happy, by making sure that you canvas opinion before making any arrangements. The point of the party is to get people together to have a good time – so it makes sense to find out what they would enjoy first. Rather than wasting cash on things that people aren’t bothered about, take some time to find out how they would like to spend their time.

2. Use what you've got

You don’t have to hire the Ritz in order to have a great Christmas party. Instead, think about the best ways to use what you’ve got. For example, do you have any space to host your party in the office? With a bit of decoration you can make it different and exciting for the evening. It is also worth remembering that most employees understand that times are tough for many small businesses. A bit of honesty now can pay dividends in the long-run.

3. Negotiate

If you do choose to hire a venue or contract with another business for food, drink, or entertainment, make sure that you negotiate. Remember that virtually every firm is feeling the squeeze this year, and that many will therefore be willing to cut their prices in order to secure business. Get a few quotes, and have a firm idea of your budget before you start negotiating.

4. Give some extra time off

You can make the Christmas party significantly more enjoyable by giving employees the following morning off. In reality the morning after a party tends not to be particularly productive anyway, and you can boost morale by simply telling people not to come in.

5. Team up

Are there other businesses in your area with which you have some existing relationship? If so, why not team up for a bumper Christmas party? It is often easier to get good deals at restaurants or venues with a larger number of people. Similarly, by splitting up the organisation you can help to ensure that you don’t spend weeks planning in advance.

6. Think about lunch

Remember, there is no rule saying that the Christmas party has to be in the evening. Instead, many businesses prefer to go out for lunch, perhaps somewhere relatively near the office. This can work out significantly cheaper than a booze-sodden evening – and can make a nice change. Do some research into good restaurants in the area. A good independent outfit will normally go down better than a bog-standard chain offering.

7. Remember it's an investment

Finally, you should remember that the office party is an investment. A good bash can help to demonstrate to your employees that they are valued, and can help to boost staff morale. It is important to keep the long-term benefits in mind when worrying about the cost.

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