Help your clients keep their holiday parties from getting out of hand with our new tip sheet, and make sure everyone gets home safely.
Setting is everything
Choose the right place for your party
When choosing the venue, consider if it can safely accommodate the number of people attending the party. Cordon off areas that don’t need to be part of the event to reduce the risk of damage.
Run a coat check service for people’s jackets and handbags so that guests don’t lose valuable belongings. It will also reduce the risk of guests tripping overcoats and jackets that may be otherwise left on the floor or on the backs of chairs.
Registration on arrival
Ensure staff members and their guests register when they arrive at the event before they get their drink tickets. Doing so will make sure that all guests are accounted for, that the correct number of people are admitted and that no non-staff members sneak in unnoticed.
Sensible table decor
Make sure that tables are decorated appropriately and that there are no open flames present, e.g., no candles on tables.
Food & drink
Serve plenty of non-alcoholic options
Offer unlimited, free non-alcoholic beverages—including juices, mocktails, coffee and tea—to encourage less drinking. And don’t forget water!
Are your servers certified?
Ensure that your servers are licensed to serve alcohol so they understand not to over-serve guests and how to recognize people who have had enough to drink.
Have lots of food around, too
Drinking on an empty stomach multiplies the effects of alcohol—so food is a sure way to reduce risk. Just be sure to respect food allergies and intolerances!
Ensure your staff members drink responsibly
Limit the amount of alcoholic drinks by distributing tickets, and avoid having a self-serve bar. Put up reminders around the venue to drink responsibly. Or, consider hiring a professional bartender to guard against over-serving.
Set clear rules about the use of cannabis
As with alcohol, you’ll need to reinforce your company’s policies around cannabis and communicate any smoking (including vaping) rules of the venue itself. Remind employees not to drive impaired by either drugs or alcohol.
Make arrangements for safe transportation
Reduce the risk of drinking and driving: consider reimbursing employees for their transportation costs, appointing voluntary designated drivers or hiring a fleet of cabs.
Remind attendees about the essentials
Send out an email the day before the party to remind everyone that this will be an office party—it’s still considered a workplace event, so they are expected to behave responsibly and take cabs back home.
Edited for ILSTV