Your employees work hard. Rewarding them through a little party can go a long way. From an ice cream truck to custom pizzas, throw the ultimate office party.
Have you been tasked with organizing your company’s annual office party? It can be a daunting proposition since you have to please a wide variety of people while sticking to an often strict budget.
Planning the ultimate office party, however, really isn’t hard if you consider these essential elements!
1. An Inviting Atmosphere
If your budget allows for it, try to host the party offsite. It can really put a damper on the festivities if folks are mingling in the conference room or jammed in a tiny office kitchen.
A bar or restaurant is always a good choice. If the company is small enough, you could also ask around to see if anyone is willing to host the office party in their home — that will really help cut costs, as well as provide a more intimate setting.
In a pinch, you can always hold the party at the office. To help employees get their mind off deadlines and to-do lists, push aside desks and chairs. Dim the lighting, too, if possible, and use decorations to make the atmosphere more convivial.
2. Something to Keep Everyone Entertained
One of the problems with office parties is that conversation tends to revolve around work-related issues. And if you’re still talking about those TPS reports or the year-end goals, you’re probably not going to have a very good time.
Providing some games or other diversions can prevent people from falling back on that common conversational denominator. Games that can be played while people are mingling, such as the “Sticker Stalker” game, are especially good for an office party. Good old-fashioned charades or Pictionary will also let folks loosen up and laugh.
3. Delicious Food
What’s a party without food? Steer clear of ordinary fare like pizza and sandwiches.
Instead, provide a variety of appetizers and small plates. These are good for an office party because they can be eaten while standing up, and don’t require knives and forks.
A more informal option is to make the party a potluck. It can also be fun to decide on a theme.
For example, ask everyone to bring their favorite dip or spread, or host a cheese tasting. If you decide to go the potluck route, turn it into a contest with prizes for the most creative and delicious dishes.
It’s hard to go wrong with a “make your own” setup. Provide tortillas, chicken, beef, and all the toppings for a make your own taco bar. Chili with a variety of toppings — sour cream, hot sauces, cheese, crackers, avocado, and onions — is a foolproof dish, too.
Whichever route you go, just remember to offer some meat-free selections for any vegetarians in the office. Additionally, it’s good to check with your company to see if any employees have food allergies or sensitivities.
4. A Selection of Drinks
To serve alcohol or not to serve alcohol? That is always the question when organizing an office party.
You definitely want people to relax and enjoy themselves, but not so much that they become the fodder of office gossip for years to come.
You can minimize the potential damages by giving each employee two drink tickets. If they wish to consume more than two drinks, they’ll have to pay for them out of pocket.
Another option is to serve only wine and beer. This won’t necessarily prevent people from imbibing too much, but it can help avoid awkward moments, like doing tequila shots with the CEO.
It’s smart to talk to managers or supervisors beforehand and ask them to set a good example by limiting their intake. Of course, you will also want to provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, like water, sodas, sparkling juice, and coffee.
5. Bring the Party to the Office!
For a really fun and memorable celebration, why not have a food truck come to the office? An ice cream truck is guaranteed to make every employee smile and line up to get a treat!
In fact, an ice cream truck would make a perfect end-of-the-week treat all on its own. Or reward the team for hitting a sales goal or completing a large project on time and under budget by having an ice cream truck visit the office.
6. A Way to Make Memories
Want to help workers break the ice, while also providing them a souvenir of the party? Try a photo booth rental!
Everyone will have fun smiling or mugging for the camera, trying to squeeze the entire marketing team into the booth, or playing with silly props and costumes.
Most photo booth rental companies will provide funny hats, feather boas, gag glasses, and other accessories for folks to dress up in.
You can also encourage people to bring their own items. Why not incorporate, say, funny hats as a theme of the party? Then document everyone’s contributions with the photo booth.
A Few Other Considerations
Make sure that you specify in the invitation whether or not family members or “plus ones” are welcome at the party. Having unexpected guests show up is going to wreak havoc with your food and beverage supplies, and can be awkward for everyone involved.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to schedule the party at the end of the workday.
For a traditional company that conforms to business hours, Friday is often the best choice. Have the party begin at 4, so that anyone who has a family, or other obligation, can stop by to say hello and have a drink or a bite to eat without having to adjust their schedule.
Ready to Get Your Office Party Started?
We hope this article has given you some inspiration for your office party!
Even if you aren’t able to host a big, swinging shindig for your coworkers, why not bring in an ice cream truck to tell everyone that their contributions truly are valued? Contact MegaCone for a quote today.
Tell us about your plans — or share your office-party horror stories — in the comments!