It’s that time of year again when planning for the company Christmas party is back on the agenda and often with a variety of groups to cater to, it can be a tricky balance finding the right event style or activity to suit everyone.
Some companies are organising family friendly activity days or company BBQ’s to ease up on the alcohol spend and allow for staff to include their family in celebrations. It’s a great way for employers to create a bridge between private and working life. However, for some the Xmas party is the one time of year to celebrate and really let their hair down in a child-free environment.
Should your budget allow, you could organise two separate events, a casual style family picnic followed by a cocktail function for staff only or staff and partners only. Once your numbers are confirmed for each event, you can plan them accordingly to best suit the audience of each.
Since the last thing you as an event planner want to discover is that guests found your carefully planned event boring, how do you strike the right balance?
1. Know your purpose
Make sure you clearly understand what the desired outcome of the event is and why you’re hosting it. Look at the demographics of your attendees, are they mostly singles or young families, are they older? Is your event an appreciation day for staff and their families or simply a night out for your staff to celebrate a successful year?
Being clear on the purpose first, will get you in the right frame of mind to start planning a great event and allow you to appeal to the largest group.
2. Know what your guests want
Always consider what would be most meaningful to your guests, what’s suitable for a corporate family day may be way off the mark for an evening Christmas party.
If you are hosting children and your event is being held at an amusement park or a family attraction, accommodating adults can be tricky. Why not consider a dedicated space for adults to lessen interruptions and allow them to enjoy the event as well? With family events, as you’re entertaining both the adults and children, find a way to offer a mixture of activities for all age groups and abilities.
3. Find appropriate entertainment and catering
You want to ensure you provide a memorable experience for everyone. Thankfully there are several options you can choose from, but not everything will appeal to everyone. Rather than providing one activity for everyone, offer spaces targeted to different groups.
Family friendly events can offer an amazing opportunity for staff to bond with other families outside the office, so choosing an option like an amusement park allows for a variety of options for younger children and big thrill rides to keep your more daring guests entertained.
Same goes for catering options. High end canapes won’t appeal to families and a traditional sausage sizzle might feel a bit cheap for valued staff. Find a balance where there’ll be options for everyone such as a gourmet barbeque with smaller sized portions and kid friendly foods available too.
No matter what you choose, ultimately, it’s important to ensure your staff feel appreciated. After all, staff who feel valued are far more likely to stay with an employer long term and perform better.