At Buy Time, our personal assistants have been making Christmas merrier for more than a decade. We’ve worked with every budget and style of shindig and now our team have put their heads together to dish out a little advice on how to throw the best staff Christmas party and make this the most magical Christmas yet.
Set a Christmas party budget
How much should I be spending?
Our recommendation for most small to medium sized businesses would be to budget for around £100 to £120 per person for the big (or small) event.
Can I do it any cheaper? Yes, but beware, it’s important that your staff aren’t left feeling unappreciated. With any less than this you may have to get pretty creative with your budget – that is not to say it can’t be done! The team at Buy Time are full of creative ideas that won’t break the bank.
Book well in advance
When should I book?
If you have a small group of anywhere between 10 to 100 team members, the ideal time would be now (September or early October). If you have much more than 100 people to please – you are probably going to have to be flexible with dates at this stage. August would have been the ideal time to book your Christmas party venue.
Try to please everyone
What should I book?
Consider who is coming to the office party; their age, likes, preferences, journey home etc. Brainstorm your ideas and try to arrange entertainment that everyone can enjoy rather than simply catering to the largest number of people.
At Buy Time, our team have plenty of Christmas party ideas. Whether you prefer the traditional or are looking for something new and different to inspire the team, we can help you to curate a bespoke event that will keep everyone entertained. Here are some of our favourites:
Wine, Whisky and Champagne Tasting
These 90 minute tasting sessions make an excellent social experience to be enjoyed by all. Challenge your team to identify the subtle differences between Cava, Prosecco and Champagne under the guidance of specialist sommeliers, or sample five of the finest Bourbons around while the experts tutor you on the history and culture behind each one. Followed by a fun blind-tasting test.
From £35 pp
Candy or Chocolate Making Classes
Learn a brief history of Chocolate, watch demonstrations and have the team try their hand at being Chocolatiers – tempering, truffle making, moulding, dipping and piping, before they take their creations home. Or learn the art of candy making in a workshop that will ensure an afternoon of fun, laughter and teamwork – all under the guidance of a Master Candy Maker who will teach you the skills to make your own sweet designs.
From £40 pp
Ice Sculpting, Pottery or Glassblowing
Create your own Christmas tree decoration with the help of an expert potter or break the ice with colleagues creating your own impression of the Taj Mahal. These hands-on events will have you working together in a relaxed and social environment, learning a fun and practical new skill.
From £60 pp
Want further suggestions or have an idea of your own?
From craft beer brewing to Parkour, we have loads of them and can tailor-make the event to suit you, your team and your budget. We can also recommend and secure bookings at the best hotels and restaurants across the City and beyond.
If your budget doesn’t stretch this far – consider adding something special to the event for little or no money, an awards ceremony for example.
With PingPong, Table Football and Bowling venues aplenty, in London we are spoiled for choice when it comes to rediscovering our youth and playing games with our mates (or colleagues). Just don’t get too competitive!
Christmas party games don’t have to cost anything at all. Jake Kilroy, on Entrepreneur.com, remembers fondly a Christmas party game where each of the employees were asked to complete this statement, ‘My favourite Christmas memory is…”
Give Something Back
Consider arranging an activity that benefits both your team and raises money for a charity in your area. Take the team out carol singing or spend the afternoon together volunteering. You could even arrange for the results of your team cookery class to be donated to the nearest homeless shelter – No one likes mince pies anyway!
Keep in mind the structure of the day
When does work end and the office party begin?
Consider the time of day, whether or not you will be holding the staff party just after office hours or will your team need some time to get dolled up? Organising some fun group activities between the end of office hours and the party is also a great way of breaking the ice. An extra treat – you will all have plenty to talk about.
Determining numbers for your Christmas party
If there is an unconfirmed number of people attending, book and pay for the absolute minimum number – venues will generally be a more helpful when it comes to increasing numbers than decreasing them.
What if there’s only a few of us?
No matter, if it’s small, make it special. Arrange a secret Santa (where there are 4 or more of you). Take your team for a special meal at a high-end restaurant and say a few words to let them know they’re appreciated.
PASS US YOUR FESTIVE TO-DO LIST
For further assistance at Christmas, just pass us your festive to-do list.
We can help with Christmas gift suggestions, present wrapping, card sending, travel, restaurant and hotel reservations, tree delivery and decoration as well as tickets to seasonal events.
THE GIFT OF TIME
A Buy Time assistant makes the perfect gift. Treat your loved ones to the gift of time this year with their very own dedicated Buy Time PA. Gift Vouchers are available in any denomination and this year at the regular user rate of £29 per hour (as opposed to our standard hourly rate of £35).
What’s more, for every 10 hours of vouchers purchased, you will receive one hour, yourself, free of charge!