I don’t know about you but, before I started working at the office, my idea of office parties was always sort of “The Wolf of Wall Street” kind of party, you know? It is probably because I see the office parties as a way to relieve stress. As I started working, I realized that no lawsuit-waiting-to-happen activities had to happen in order for a party to be successful, fun method of stress-relief.
You’re probably wondering: “Why organize one in the first place?”. Well, first of all, things like this are incredible morale boosters for your employees, it helps them get to know one another besides just doing work together and it shows them your gratitude – it’s your way of saying: “Thank you for your hard work!”
And yes, organizing office parties can be a huge challenge, but if you invest your time in some good planning (and reading these 7 tips), you will see that it is not hard at all.
Step 1: Choose a party theme
It may sound ridiculous, but choosing a theme can make your planning so much easier. It is simple: particular theme requires particular foods, drinks, activities, music and location. Basically, when you find a theme, half of your work is already done.
Of course, you need to consider the diversity of your employees (things like their religion, lifestyle, genders etc.). If your employees are open minded and silly, you can throw a 70s costume party where the dress code is: as ridiculous as possible.
Step 2: Make a budget
Corporate parties can be super expensive if you don’t plan your budget carefully. Make sure that you know how much money can you spend. And not just that, here you also have to consider your employees – if they aren’t getting a bonus of some kind, avoid throwing an opulent event. You wouldn’t want them to think of you as a bad boss, right?
Step 3: Location
If your party is at the office, then you’ll have to make sure that your budget is big enough for all the decorations which will compensate for the lack of a “party location”. If you have a bigger budget, it would be better to opt for a bar or a party hall maybe – you will see your employees in a whole different light. Whatever you decide, know that the most important thing is that your employees see this event as a reward – not obligation.
Step 4: Plan activities
Even if you’re all mature people who are not in kindergarten anymore, there are still a lot of people who will hide around the corners. This is why it is important that you plan some activities in order to “make” them interact with each other. There are many things like slide shows of fun moments at the office (which will give everyone something to focus on), arts & crafts for the kids, photo booth etc.
Step 5: Food and Drinks
Don’t forget that some of your employees are coming to your party to kick back and relax, while others are looking forward to food and drinks. You are the host, so you have to give them what they want. Choose a reputable party catering service which will provide you with high quality food for the event.
Also, a last-minute food advice – don’t try to wow them with food that’s too fancy. Give them what you know they’ll like, and plenty of it.
Step 6: Music
This is a very tricky part, because it’s easy to make a mistake. Probably the most universal option would be a DJ (with a WiFi access, so people can ask for the song they want to). If you can’t afford to bring the DJ, try to provide a quality sound system and a huge variety of music (thank God for YouTube).
Step 7: Extras
Is it necessary? Who knows. But if you have some money and time left, here are some ideas on how to add the last minute spice to your party:
Photographer or photo booth (people love photos, and they will probably want to remember this awesome party of yours)
Time and space for “thank you” speeches
That would be it. As you can see, money is the key, as is the time. Take it slowly, and make the fun of your employees your top priority. After all, this is one of the ways you’re rewarding them for their hard work.