How to plan a Christmas Party on a Budget

Hosting an incredible Christmas party doesn't mean you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an event. 

We have all been to extravagent Christmas parties, which seem to have an unlimited budget. They are fantastic, but not all businesses can do that. Hosting a party that is still fun, still memorable and still talked about a year or two later is something that is feasible to do on a budget.

Why you should consider having a modest Christmas party

There are plenty of reasons why you should have a more affordable office Christmas party. A few key considerations for how you budget your party include:

  • Your company performance for the year
  • Whether or not you had recent downsizing / rightsizing / redunancies that might impact mood
  • The type of organisation you are in, for example government funded or non-profit
  • Whether staff are expected to pay for themselves
  • The location of your staff and whether a physical event is even the right choice

Christmas Parties on a Budget

We have created a few options for you to host a Christmas party on a budget.

Hosting an In-Office Christmas Party

On of the most expensive parts of a Christmas party is finding a venue. No matter where you pick, some people will be upset that it is too far from public transport while others complain it is too close! If you have an office with a decent breakout room, consider hosting the party inside. Organise a bit of catering with decent food and drink and host something in the afternoon. 

If you want to make the event more exciting, add in a gelato cart or hire a musician or entertainer. This will still enable you to have the feel of a great Christmas party for a fraction of the cost.

Hire out a Council Venue

If you still want to head out of your office, consider renting out a cheaper property that might be council owned. These are often incredibly cost effective, and all you will need to bring are a few decorations and your own food and drink. Bring along some speakers and you have yourself a venue with some entertainment. 

Go out for lunch in teams

Rather than hiring an exclusive venue for the whole company, allow each team a small headcount to go out for lunch in teams. Allow for a meal and one drink, and any additional drinks are on the individual. 

Skip the Christmas Party

Give your staff the option to chose their own adventure. Allow staff to select whether they want a Christmas party. Perhaps instead they might want to leave work a few hours early, or would love to have a little Christmas gift card (at a fraction of the cost of the event itself!), or they might be happy with a catered lunch. 

Not all staff enjoy Christmas parties, and you will often find these people will either skip the event, RSVP Yes and not show up, or turn up and not enjoy themselves.

Virtual Christmas Party Ideas

For the businesses where seeing each other face to face is a rarity, consider hosting a virtual Christmas party. There are plenty of activities you can host online for a few hours that will ensure you can still celebrate all the effort that your team has achieved over the year.

  1. Virtual Gingerbread Houses: Build (and perhaps eat?) your gingerbread house. This requires coordination with a service that can ship out all the ingredients needed to flatpack a gingerbread house.
  2. Virtual Magician: COVID made sure that the great magicians were able to adapt. Virtual magic shows are something that can be just as incredible as one face to face.
  3. Virtual Comedy Show: Comedians are nothing if not adaptable. Putting them into your Zoom Christmas Party will ensure a few good laughs are to be had
  4. Virtual Secret Santa: Everyone receives their gift, but opens it live on a Zoom call. 
  5. Virtual Workshops: Perhaps Christmas Cocktails are in order, or learning how to use paper to origami wrap your gifts. Make sure the workshop is a fun one, rather than one to build teamwork or soft skills.

Video: 8 Steps to Planning a Work Christmas Party

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