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    How to steer clear of festive party disasters

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    You might have some doubts in the back of your mind about whether your office Christmas party will be a hit with the rest of the team. To help you avert a potential festive farce, here are some handy hints on how to avoid the top Christmas party clangers.

    The sit-down meal
    While we all like the opportunity to see our colleagues outside of the office, awkward seating arrangements can dampen the festive spirits. Try a stand-up buffet, fondue or canapé meal instead, allowing everybody to move around freely.

    The early guest
    Everything is ready at the venue; the decorations look fabulous, the music is playing and the staff is ready to serve, but nobody has turned up yet. This year, try launching the event with a Christmas-themed treasure hunt, with the final clue leading to the party destination. Teams will love sharing their tales of adventure.

    The over-indulger
    Your office will inevitably have that one character who tends to gravitate toward the free bar as soon as he or she arrives. Plus, an unlimited bar can put a dent in the budget. A tasting evening, on the other hand, allows colleagues to have a drink without being given too much. Wine is a popular choice, but have a think about beer, cider, or spirits, as well. For those who don’t drink, you can run a cheese or chocolate-tasting event instead.

    Secret santa
    Buying for someone who wouldn’t normally be on your list can cause heaps of embarrassment, even with the anonymity of a secret santa draw. Try to get to know your colleagues ahead of time and watch out for subtle clues on what they would like as a present.

    With thanks to Fresh Tracks, which offers innovative people development programmes and events. For more information, visit freshtracks.co.uk

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson