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Planning the office festive function is daunting at the best of times… let alone in the midst of a global pandemic!  With this added level of difficulty, it is no wonder that many usual event superstars aren’t quite sure where to start.  But have no fear your Christmas is about to come early!  We wanted to take some of the stress and pressure away for you and run you through our top five tips to prepare for your Christmas party in 2020.  Let’s do it!

Tip #1 – Know Your Restrictions

Probably the biggest and most important tip I can give you in 2020 is to know your event locations restrictions.  There have been a lot of changes over the past few months, so even if you think you know what the restrictions are, it is worth the 5 mins it will take you to double and triple check this on the local government site.  Keeping in mind that these restrictions will be different depending on the size of your event and whether you are hosting your event indoors or outdoors.  If you have concerns, talk to your venue contact or supplier and ask them what measures are in place to make the event COVID safe.  Afterall, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Tip #2 – Be Clear When Setting Expectations

While last year you may have been able to have a Christmas party with a live band, dancing, fire twirlers and fireworks… this year may be a little bit different.  And while I understand that sometimes it’s nice to keep the agenda of the day or the evening’s festivities a surprise, this year it might be a good idea to do things a little differently.  By making sure that you are setting clear expectations for those in attendance, by sharing what will be happening throughout the event you will avoid any disappointment.

NOTE: This does not mean that you can’t still have a few surprises up your sleeve, you are just trying to set some expectations around what is possible.  You may find that you even exceed some people’s expectations especially after the year we have all had!

  • ACTION: Send out clear invitations for the event, including a clear agenda or schedule.

Tip #3 – Consider a Hybrid Event

Does your usual Christmas celebration include bringing teams together from multiple locations, states or even countries?  Now while I am not about to give you a magic teleportation machine to make this in-person company get together possible (sorry), I can suggest that you consider doing a Hybrid Event instead.  A Hybrid Event is the seamless combination of a physical and online event run across multiple locations, to connect everyone within your team for the one celebration (read more about Hybrid Events here).  Perfect for teams of all shapes and sizes, there is a wide range of activities available that will impress every team.

Tip #4 – Make the Lead Up Special

While you may not be able to go all out like you usually do for the main event, that doesn’t mean you can’t create some excitement and spread the festive cheer before you get there.  It’s time to put your Santa hat on and encourage your team to embrace the Christmas spirit by making the lead up to the event just as exciting as the event itself!  Whether you want to do a festive activity like decorate your desk/home office or compete against your team in Christmas trivia, the choice is yours; the important thing here is to set the tone and have some fun with your team.

  • ACTION: Need a little inspiration? Check out our 12 Days of Culture Christmas e-book!

Tip #5 – Be Prepared On the Day

This year has brought a whole new meaning to being prepared come event day.  Whether that means having a tech wiz on standby for connecting your live stream event from overseas or a table for hand sanitizer and a QR code to check attendees in, the important thing is to make sure you take the time to clearly plan out exactly what you need.  Not only will this help you approach your event with confidence, but it will also help you feel cool, calm and collected come event day, which means you will get a chance to enjoy the festivities too!

  • ACTION: It’s time to break out the Event Kit Checklist again! Make sure to revise your list to include any extra COVID safe items you may require and as always try to pack it at least one week prior to your event.
So there you have it, by following these tips I assure you that despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us not only will you pull off the best possible Christmas function possible, but it will be one that your team will never forget.  Oh, and one final tip… don’t forget to give yourself a chance to celebrate too!  Afterall, we all survived this year and will all be back stronger than ever before to take on 2021.  Bring it on!