Three Steps to Hosting a Trouble-Free Office Party

Hosting a holiday office party this year? You aren’t alone. Research indicates roughly half of all employers plan on celebrating the holidays with at least a small office party.

Despite management’s best of intentions, a lot can still go wrong without proper planning.

Following are three ways to avoid holiday office party problems:

Set a Strict Budget Limit

A lot of people are feeling the effect of the economic downturn this year, so establish a strict budget for both the gift exchange and the party. Not only will it alleviate the stress of expensive gift giving, but it avoids the stigma of over-spending during tough times. Better yet, get creative and avoid the expense of gift giving entirely by replacing it with a fun company-sponsored skit or other activity.


Not everyone celebrates the same way or even celebrates the same holiday. Rather than planning a specific holiday theme, make the celebration a seasonal event that is inclusive rather than exclusive to any one religion or cultural association. Remember to include neutral music, food and decorations that reflect an open and inviting atmosphere.

Relax the Rules

Be sure everyone is on the same page before showing up for the big day. Few things are more distressing than wearing the wrong attire or forgetting an important name. Provide a full review of what to expect, how to dress and who will be attending well in advance. Most important of all, set the stage for a fun and festive event that people can enjoy rather than attend due to a sense of obligation.

Make sure you’re covered

Lastly, make a call to your insurance agent. Some policies have exclusions for liquor. Understand the extended laibility that you and your company may be assumming. The get together may not be at the office but realize that it may still be considered work.

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