Herding Cats: Christmas Party Crowd Control

Published on May 11, 2018

If you’ve volunteered for the task of organising your work’s Christmas do for the first time, we know that trying to coordinate a large group of people to enjoy themselves, some of whom you may not know, can be daunting. However, there are some simple steps to take to ensure a pleasant evening for everyone concerned – even you!


Christmas Lights


Communication is essential to spare yourself endless repeated questions from your guests. “Where is the venue? When do we have to get there? Can I wear jeans? I’m dairy intolerant.” Keep all the details in one place on a company email so no one is left out. Office Christmas’ award-winning personal group portal can also help overcome this problem, find out more on our website.


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When guests arrive at the venue, set a sophisticated tone to the evening with your choice of reception entertainment.  A pumping DJ and flair cocktail barmen can bring out the party animal in everyone before the night has even begun, whereas an elegant string quartet and close-up magician wandering around can extend the welcome drinks without leaving your guests worse for wear before dinner.  A light-hearted quiz or round of bingo can also keep guests seated at tables instead of propping up the bar.


Wine party


Short of routinely breathalysing individual guests throughout the evening, there is no sure-fire way of stopping your guests indulging in too much drink, but there are some tricks to delay the inevitable. A steady flow of food throughout the evening will soak up some of the booze, so keep canapés coming during the reception and follow the dinner service with a midnight snack of hot bacon rolls. Offering a complimentary selection of wine on tables to accompany dinner can help curb excessive drinking by encouraging people to share between their table and show restraint in front of others.  As tables are cleared and the entertainment gets underway, bring out fresh carafes of iced water and glasses for each table so people can help themselves to non-alcoholic refreshment throughout the night.  If you’re generously offering an inclusive drinks package, consider making this strictly beers, wines and soft drinks only. No one will mind if spirits aren’t included, and it’s common practice across the majority of events not to do so.


Happy Party


At the end of the night, laying on transport is a simple way of clearing guests out of a venue – no one wants to miss the last coach home!  There will inevitably be some guests who do, so be prepared with local taxi numbers to pick up the last few stragglers who need help getting home. If your venue is in the centre of the city and you’re worried about guests slipping away early to hit the town, consider staging a prize draw or raffle towards the end of the evening to keep guests at the venue.  With this in mind, any important speeches or announcements would be best made earlier in the evening to ensure a full and attentive crowd.  

Most importantly though, put down that clipboard, leave your comms radio at home and enjoy the party yourself!


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