Keeping the Festive Spirit Alive: Why Your January Christmas Party Can Be a Blast!
One of the biggest challenges for corporate event managers is how to handle the work Christmas party. It’s tempting to hold your shindig in December, but often, it can be difficult to get a booking or a date that suits everyone. Many firms are now having their official Christmas parties in late November, but there’s also a growing trend to see the festive celebrations hold over until the New Year.
But as an employer, how do you communicate this with your staff, who may be expecting to celebrate with your co-workers before the Christmas period really starts?
Here at Inspired Occasions, we work closely with firms across Devon and Cornwall (and elsewhere in the UK), helping them to make the most of their corporate events. Our role isn’t just about booking a venue and sourcing a catering team. We provide consultancy support and expertise, with guidance on how to make the most of your budget and how to effectively communicate the critical details with your employees.
So, hold on to your gingerbread cookies because we’re about to dive into the whys and hows of pulling off a January Christmas party with flair.
Why host a Christmas party in January?
First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room – why in the world would anyone postpone the Christmas party to January?
Well, there are a few reasons that might actually make you appreciate this delay.
– Availability: As we mentioned, December can be total chaos for everyone involved. Your staff will likely be double-booked with family gatherings, other parties, and those last-minute shopping sprees. By moving the office shindig to January, you’re more likely to have better attendance and fewer excuses from your employees.
–Venue Availability: Often, venues tend to offer discounted rates in January because they are looking to maxmimse their quieter months. You could find that by waiting until after Christmas, you can have more options, or you could upgrade to a better package deal.
–Cultural sensitivities: Hosting a Christmas party is often a celebratory time for employees and a chance to recognise the hard work and commitment of staff throughout the year. But hosting an official “Christmas” bash could be insensitive to those staff members of other religions who do not celebrate Christmas. Waiting until January could feel far more inclusive to everyone.
–Budget-Friendly: December is a tough month for everyone financially. Hosting your office party in January might even make it more budget-friendly for both the company and your colleagues. You might be able to offer more drink tokens or contribute towards any transportation costs – making your January party far more generous.
–Avoiding Burnout: Let’s face it, December can be pretty exhausting. By postponing the party to January, you can naturally give your staff some much-needed breathing room and a chance to unwind. That way, when your corporate party day arrives, your team will feel that they can truly relax and enjoy themselves.
–New Year, New Vibes: January can symbolise a fresh start, and having your party then can set a positive tone for the upcoming year and give your team something to look forward to after Christmas.
If you need help arranging your 2024 Christmas party, please get in touch. Early booking means that we can find you the best possible deal for your celebrations.
How to break the news to your team?
If you have decided to host a January Christmas bash due to any of the reasons we’ve listed above, it’s essential to think carefully about your internal comms.
Most employees will naturally feel that you’ve only decided to hold a January party to save precious pounds. And as costs are increasing all the time, it’s only fair that you pay close attention to your staff expenses.
But it’s also essential to make sure that you handle your messaging sensitively so that your staff do not feel short-changed. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you do it smoothly:
–Be Transparent: Honesty is always the best policy, as they say. If you’ve decided to host a January bash, make sure you explain the reasons behind the decisions. Where possible, try to emphasise the benefits mentioned above.
–Involved Your Team: Make it a collaborative effort. Your HR team could ask people for their input on potential dates and party ideas. When people feel involved in the planning processes, they’re more likely to embrace the change and feel like a valued member of your team.
–Build Anticipation: Keep the festive spirit alive! Hosting a party in January doesn’t mean that you miss out on all the Christmas fun! You could build anticipation for the event by dropping hints and creating excitement in the weeks leading up to the announcement. For example, you could share Christmas recipes or play festive music in the office. If you’re announcing the date early in the year, you could even consider hosting a “Christmas in July” themed day as a teaser. By getting your staff excited (before and after Christmas), you’ll keep your team engaged and motivated.
–Plan Christmas-themed Activities: To keep everyone excited about the January party, you should put effort into planning fun, low-key activities or contests leading up to it. For example, you could host a “best Christmas jumper” competition, arrange inter-departmental office decorating contests, or organise Secret Santa gift exchanges between smaller teams. By focusing on the smaller Christmas-related activities, people won’t feel that they are missing out on a traditional works Christmas party in December.
Keep the party atmosphere long into the New Year.
Of course, one easy way to host a party in January rather than December is to rebrand it as an official “New Year Party” rather than the traditional Christmas party.
Rather than looking back on the year just gone, your corporate celebration could be about looking to the future. Ultimately, your staff may not be bothered about the specific date on the calendar. They’ll be more concerned about how you are recognising and rewarding their success and their efforts throughout the year.
That’s why many companies also choose to host a summer social event, where they can truly celebrate the company’s successes throughout the year.
If you need help to organise your 2024 Christmas party, whether it’s suggestions for venue bookings, entertainment, themes, décor, or even just handling the admin of your event, please get in touch. We work with corporate clients across the UK, working hard to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch and that you are getting value for money.
To find out how we can support your corporate Christmas party or your summer social events (and everything in between), please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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