The office Christmas party season is fast approaching and many people are starting to plan for their work events. However, a recent survey from comparison site NerdWallet found that 36% of businesses will have to strip back their Christmas parties in 2022 to save on costs. The UK wide survey conducted by One Poll also identified that 27% of businesses won’t be having a Christmas party at all this year – 13% of all business decision makers had to call them off due to financial reasons, while 14% say their business doesn’t throw Christmas parties in general.
This is a further blow to the hospitality sector which is also struggling to bounce back across Yorkshire post the pandemic.
When asked about Christmas decorations, 42% of businesses said they will have to reign these in to save on costs. Also, 32% of companies will be stripping back their Secret Santa activities, with 19% claiming they won’t be doing the gift-giving event at all this year.
However, it is not all doom and gloom as many parties will be going ahead and for those that do, there are ways to budget to help plan a great Christmas party in 2022. NerdWallet’s business finance expert, Connor Campbell, gives his advice to Christmas party planners and shows where savings can be made.
Arrange Your Venue Now
If you are looking to cut back on your Christmas party spend, hosting your event at your office could be a great way to save on money. Whether you use this space as a starting point before venturing out, or turning it into a whole-night venue, you will save on hiring out somewhere else.
If you do want a change of scenery and are looking elsewhere for your event, it’s best to try and book early to lock in a price and secure a venue. It’s important to compare different venues and packages to make sure you are getting a good deal. Having an idea of what other venues are charging may help when it comes to negotiating with your preferred vendor.
If you can afford to wait and use your office as a backup venue, you may be able to strike up a discounted deal with a venue with late availability. This is a riskier strategy that may not pay off, but it may be worth checking for late deals just in case you have a change of mind.
It may sound obvious, but is your office space geared up to support a party? You may have enough room for people to do their day to day work, but is there enough social space and areas for food, drink and entertainment?
Consider Travel Costs
If you or your colleagues live a distance away from where the Christmas party is being held, you may need to consider transport and accommodation costs. If you are not hosting your event at the workplace, you may wish to consider choosing a meeting point that is easy for the majority of your team to get to.
There will likely be demand for train tickets and rooms as Christmas parties make a comeback post-pandemic, so booking early could be a way to secure cheaper rates. It’s always worth exploring business or group rates with rail and hotel groups to see what discounts you may be able to get for multiple bookings.
Plan Your Food And Drink
If you are hosting an event in your office, it’s likely you will need to arrange food and drink for your guests. You will need to consider dietary requirements and allergies when it comes to food, as well as providing a range of drinks to suit casual drinkers, drivers and those that don’t drink alcohol. This may be a cheaper option overall, but outsourcing this may be more convenient.
Putting together a budget of what you may need to buy and comparing this with hiring out a venue will give you a greater idea of what may be the best option for your finances. It’s always wise to compare and work out the trade off to arranging food and drink versus giving the responsibility to a more experienced vendor.
Set A Price Limit On Gifts And Decorations
Many people will be feeling the pinch this winter and may not be in a position to take part in Secret Santa activities. Setting a price limit may be a good way to encourage participation, but it’s important to ensure this is an optional activity to reduce pressure on spending.
When it comes to decorations, less may well be more this year. Encouraging teammates to come in with homemade creations or borrowing decorations from home could be an easy way to save money, encourage creativity and have some fun along the way.