When we think of the office Christmas party, there are a few things that always spring to mind – too much booze, awkward avoidance of a sprig of mistletoe that somehow snuck into the building, and someone making a fool of themselves in front of the boss. Love them or loathe them, the annual office party is always one to remember, but how can party organisers make sure their event is as good as it can be?

The top 5 things that employees don’t want to see at the office Christmas party are:

The boss

Many survey respondents didn’t feel they could relax with the boss or higher management in attendance.

A dress code or fancy dress

79% of those surveyed were decidedly anti-dress-code. Relaxing the dress code means that people can relax themselves, and really enjoy the event. If you want there to be a theme, consider spreading fancy dress accessories around your venue for people to pick up, rather than specifying the need for a costume or style.

Less alcohol

Limiting the amount of alcohol on offer was a surprisingly popular suggestion, and attendees of Christmas parties wanted the event to be suitable for those who didn’t drink, as well as those that did.

Budget entertainment

Entertainment flagged up as one of the most important factors for a successful Christmas party, but respondents wants more budget to be dedicated to quality entertainment, as low budget tends to be equally low quality.

Too much work-chat

A common complaint was that office parties tend to be taken over with talk about work and the office. Encourage different topics of conversation, and maybe think about introducing some ice breakers to get conversations started.

As well as the things they don’t want to see, survey respondents got the chance to highlight some of the things they really do want:

74% would like the chance to vote for key aspects of the Christmas party, so if you’re in charge of organising it, give your colleagues the chance to have their say on factors like venue, food, drink and entertainment.

Venue and food came out on top as the most important aspects of the Christmas party, so start looking at options and trying to make bookings early to ensure best value and availability for your party.

Alternative entertainment options were popular, with a live band, DJ, comedian and photobooth at the top of the list for desired party entertainment.

What are your top tips for planning the office Christmas party?