‘That time of year’ is fast approaching where businesses look to arranging their staff parties and ‘thank you’ events for clients.

Inevitably we want these events to be enjoyable and inclusive and almost as inevitably we are looking at alcohol being a part of the process. This article seeks to neither to approve of or discourage this practice, as responsible adults it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy a convivial drink or two with colleagues. However the responsibility for the organisation of the event and any negative consequences that may result from incidents or accidents associated with overindulgence will also inevitably end up at the employer’s doorstep – so let’s set some ground rules in place as a guide to your next function.

What are the goals and objectives for holding this party? Staff may see it as a chance to drink booze on the Company, there are all kinds of disagreements to balance, from where to hold it to what to serve.

  1. Establish clear guidelines as to location, start and end time, participants (eg staff only/partners etc)
  2. Don’t have your business function ending too late in the evening but consider finishing at a reasonable  hour
  3. Provide transport options eg taxi vouchers/buses so that drinking staff don’t drive home themselves
  4. Consider limiting the amount of full strength alcoholic beverages available eg a voucher system for drinks
  5. Have plenty of low and non alcoholic beverages available on the day
  6. Appoint management staff to ‘monitor’ the event if necessary and  keep an eye on proceedings
  7. Provide food and nibblies so that the effect of alcohol can be reduced
  8. Keep your objectives for the event in mind and make sure you actively work to achieve them
  9. Try to prepare for the ‘unexpected’ as much as possible
  10. Have fun!