DIY Outside Parties
There are firms that organise their own parties by phoning a restaurant and making a block booking for a night and this works well too. The major plus to this is that everyone knows each other and a close comradely atmosphere can develop.
However, be particularly careful in such a close atmosphere as lingering office resentments can boil over and spoil the whole thing.
I remember attending an office party from a firm I’d left some months previously. I witnessed a toe-curling attempt at a speech by a gentleman who was possibly beyond real coherent thought or vocal ability and whose main interest was in vilifying the boss who was sat next to him. And then to cap it all, the incoherent gent lost his false teeth in the gutter outside the restaurant, which was a great shock to all. The next day I wasn’t surprised to hear the story had gone the rounds and been embellished to the embarrassment of the person concerned.
Luckily no customers attended the party otherwise they could well have been having second thoughts about doing business with such a company.
The Office Party
The real plus to the office party is that almost everyone mucks in and that helps staff bonding. The real downside is that unless major preparations are made a party that has no real entertainment or sparkle may disappoint the staff. Of course you can buy in outside DJ’s and other entertainment but that begs the question why not simply go out and go a nice venue that’s set-up specifically to entertain you?
Who To Invite?
Obviously invite all the staff. Then perhaps you may want to invite their spouses. What about customers? Do you want to invite them and maybe their spouses too? Finally what about your suppliers, do you want to invite them?
Like any party a Christmas guest list can get longer and longer the more you think about it. And the way to decide exactly how to handle the list is to look at the objectives you set for your party at the very beginning of the whole process.
You may want to consider inviting key clients each year with a selection of other clients on a rotation basis. If there were some clients you’d never want to invite you should ask yourself why you still have them as clients.
Or you may want to invite key suppliers and no customers. Check your objectives.