How to Shake Up the Traditional Workplace Christmas Party

Posted by Allen Quinn in Zone Vancouver 20 Nov 2014

3184277769_8e8b441ba0_bBeautifully lit up streets, colder weather and holiday parties are sure signs that the Christmas season is upon us.  Workplace Christmas parties are a must at this time of year, often following the traditional format of get-together with delicious food and beverages, while serving as an opportunity to recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate accomplishments made throughout the year.

Employers are becoming increasingly creative in putting on engaging soirées to inspire their staff for the year to come. After all, annual get togethers can boost productivity, company morale, and give employees an opportunity to forge better relationships with one another.

Here are four ways to help you create even more excitement surrounding your annual workplace holiday gathering.

1. Plan Team-Building Activities

There is no better time for team building than the end of the year get-together.  Team building encourages better communication, motivates employees and brings people closer together, all needed for higher morale and productivity.  Team-building activities range from outdoor activities such as skiing, to indoor populars such as board games.  Just be sure to choose something that everyone can participate in with ease.

For a fun ice breaker, try a game of Guess Whose Job, where each staff member writes down one or two things about their job and then teams have to guess who that person is.

If the budget allows, consider a game or a show as well.  Going to a Canucks game with your co-workers sounds great to us!  For more activity ideas, check out Canadian Outback Adventures & Events, the leading team building event and group activity producers in North America. They provide plenty of creative and unique team-buildingopportunities for all sorts of themes and budgets. Guess what? Zone Vancouver will be hosting their Christmas party at our space for the second year in a row!

Additionally, you can check out Vancouver events in December for many free and fun things to do locally.

 2. Organize a Gift Exchange

Secret Santa is the traditional, go-to method when exchanging presents. Try switching it up with the following alternatives that are fun and inexpensive: Holiday Idea is a trivia game where the person who answers the question correctly gets to pick the present from the bunch. Once they win, they are out of the game until everyone gets a gift.  Another twist to Secret Santa is to make it a charity exchange, where instead of swapping gifts, staff can donate a set amount to that person’s organization of choice. This takes the pressure off of having to find a gift. Lastly, you can organize a Silent Auction. It’s easy to set up and a great way to raise money for charity or future events.

Check out 12 Gift Exchange Ideas for Your Office Holiday Party by business News Daily, or yet another list of gift ideas for your workplace Christmas party, only this one is local! From us!

3. Take the “Office” out of Office Christmas Party

shutterstock_91360541Team building activities, volunteering and gift exchange should be complemented by a Christmas party that ties everything together. Refrain from hosting your party in the workplace if possible as it gives employees too many reminders of work that needs to be done. Instead, opt for a private venue, restaurant, or hotel.

When looking for an appropriate venue, ensure you set the requirement beforehand and stick to the plan.  In general, key things to look for are ample food and decor options, a cozy and inviting atmosphere and space configurations that encourage mingling. For tips on how to ensure your party is a success please visit one of our popular posts: 5 Tips to Make Your Small or Medium Sized Business Christmas Party a Success!

Concerned about the legal implications of throwing a party for your staff?   Seven tips to avoid legal pitfalls at your office holiday party should be of much help.

4. Give Back to the Community

Get out of the office this year and participate in numerous volunteer opportunities around the city. For example,you and your staff can get involved with a Soup-Making event with Soup Sisters in downtown Vancouver, a dedicated organization that delivers hot food to a local emergency shelter. It’s a great way to contribute to the community and build camaraderie amongst your staff. Another option is to Sponsor a Family with the YWCA Presents of Peace. Fulfill the wish list by having your staff break into teams and go shopping.

Whether you want to make deliveries, help with events or sort toys, there are lots of opportunities to give your time for a great cause, visit for current opportunities and/or for a list of annual volunteer opportunities.

Check out the Convention Services Team at Tourism Vancouver to find even more opportunities to volunteer and give back to our community.

Book with Us

Still looking for a perfect place to host your Christmas party? Consider Zone Vancouver and let us take the worry out of planning for you. Our venue is ideal for up to 75 guests and is easily configurable to suit your unique company needs and requirements.  With its Gastown charm, high ceilings and wooden beams, our easily accessible venue offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a jolly holiday soirée. Contact us today!

Edited by: Nicole Yeh

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