Organising an interesting, enjoyable office Christmas party is a tough task for anyone to undertake. With so many different personalities coming together, and all of the different opinions on cliché event themes, the stress is mounting already – and it’s only October. Since you should probably start putting together the evening soon, here are some interesting event themes for your office Christmas party.
Experiencing – and appreciating – different cultures is something we don’t do enough, so why not make your Christmas party a worldwide one this year? Event themes are all too often played out, we’ve all been around the Christmas party block a few times, but this is likely to be something new for everyone. There should also be something for everyone so the chances of moans back in the office on Monday probably won’t be about you.
Since there is so much to choose from, it’s best to try and keep it simple and focus on a few different countries – four, for example. You can sector your event space into the appropriate countries and have guests float as they please or travel “around the world” in set places at set times.
Food should be traditional to the countries of your choice – we’re thinking foie gras for the French buffet, hot saké for the Japanese bar – you get the idea. Really take it to the next level with the tradition, and ensure it’s authentic. There shall be no stereotyping on the Christmas trip around the world.
Music is where it gets fun, despite it being more difficult to sing along with this theme. Playing Christmas music from all the countries you are exploring throughout your worldwide event will complete the full experience you’re going for.
Now is your chance to crowd-source the idea and remove some of the pressure from yourself. You want to take a vote of all of the employees’ favourite Christmas film and centre the whole event around the winner. This allows for everyone to get involved with the planning, and also leaves it truly open for anything to happen. There’s no predicting whether you’ll be setting up booby traps in the venue – ala Home Alone – or if you’ll be carving pumpkins, combining Halloween with Christmas for The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Since the eventuality of the theme is hard to predict, there is not much more advice we can offer other than to tell you to take it all the way. The decor should be so film-centric that your guests genuinely feel as if they’re a character in the film. This means the dress-code is very strict in its relation to the film, which includes the venue staff, and the food should be taken directly from the film itself. It should be a sensory overload – the score and soundtrack of the film playing on repeat, a live rendition (if possible) for additional atmosphere.
There is something magic, looking back, about 1920’s era in America. The prohibition and cultural revolution taking place seems to have inspired a generation of popular culture references and certainly sparked a change in the though process of everyone.
You want to recreate, as closely as possible, a speakeasy of the time. You can cite The Great Gatsby as inspiration with the decadence, art deco-extravagance and put on a show to excite your guests and have them travel back in time. For the full experience, you should encourage the use of aliases and put in place a codeword for entry.
Entertainment is where this night comes to life. The combination of swing dancing and a jazz band is the main draw of this event theme with them coming together to envelop everyone in a different time without a care for the modern day. This really is all about fun and free spirits (in more way than one) and losing oneself in the theme, so the decorations better do the time justice.
Food and drink is pretty easy for this night, with food especially not taking much of the limelight. Feeding your guests should be a case of buffet-style bites, with finger-food and canapes being integral to fuelling the dancing. Naturally, there should be an open bar with champagne, moonshine (probably not actual moonshine if you want this to be a night to remember) and plenty to keep thirsts quenched. It’s a social, seductive evening of indulgence – the refreshments should be a reflection of this.
These ideas represent just the tip of the iceberg for event themes for an office Christmas party. Luckily, all taste goes out of the window at Christmas as it’s the only time of year that cheesy cliches are welcomed with open arms, just make sure to represent different cultures accurately if you’re going for the whole worldwide thing.
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