Organising a work or office party can feel like an impossible task. You have so many people to please and it’s hard finding something that everyone will enjoy. But planning an amazing night doesn’t have to cost the earth, and people will remember it for years to come. To help the planning process we’ve put together our top tips for planning a work party that everyone can enjoy.
- Create a committee
Having a small group of people dedicated to organising the event provides a few benefits. Firstly, by only have a handful of people involved in the planning you make it easier to get decisions made and agreed on. Secondly, it spreads out the load between a few people, rather than it all falling on one person. Tasks can be delegated to make things more efficient and relieve the burden. But don’t have too many people on the committee, or it will become counterintuitive!
- Set the date early. People’s schedules can book up pretty quickly, so to ensure as many people can attend as possible, lock the date in well in advance. You don’t need to have the venue or time sorted at that stage; this can be announced later. However, it is a good idea to let the staff know whether partners are invited. This is especially important if you have people with children, as they may need to arrange a sitter. Another reason to lock the date in early is to make sure you don’t miss out on venues if you are hosting the party off-site.
- Make sure you have enough food and drink.
This is not an area to scrimp on. If you have a small budget, make this your priority. Having plenty of food and drink keeps people happy! Just make sure you have some rules in place around drinking alcohol, and ensure you cater for people who are not drinking alcohol.
- Think about planning an activity for beforehand.
Depending on the type of event, size of your workplace and how many people you have attending, doing an activity beforehand can help loosen people up and get them mingling. Ideas such as bowling (indoor or outdoor!) or visiting a local attraction such a zoo or aquarium are low barrier options everyone can enjoy.
- Plan entertainment and activities for the main event.
Don’t leave people hanging with nothing to do! There are so many ideas you could use here, such as having a dress up/themed event (this is great for holidays such as Halloween and Christmas), having on-theme activities available, planning some party games or a quiz, having a DJ, or hiring a photo booth. These don’t need to be high cost, but some fun activities can really make the event memorable. Putting together a quiz is a cheap, fun activity that everyone can take part in. If you can only afford one major thing, look at hiring a photo booth. These provide two benefits – entertainment, as well as photos of the event. And people love having something they can take away with afterwards them as well.
Plan some little, thoughtful touches.
Don’t just focus on the big things. Small gestures and little extras can really make the party feel special and personal. For example, provide goody bags for everyone, have a lolly buffet, put some extras in the bathrooms such as flowers, fairy lights, nice hand cream and a hair straightener. These make people feel like you’ve gone the extra mile.
Be a responsible host afterwards.
If alcohol is available, then providing transport for the guests afterwards is a responsible thing to do. This could be taxi chits, a bus, or just telling people to keep their transport receipts and you will reimburse them later. This means everyone can enjoy themselves and also be safe.