How to Plan a Successful Office Party

Although a smoothly run office party won’t make or break your career, there are many benefits to having a nice bash. It’ll show that you have a versatile range of skills including your ability to understand social dynamics. That’s the kind of transferable skill that’s useful in almost all industries. Consider the following tips in the days leading up to the event.

Office party planning

The Nature of the Event

Not all events will be the same. A member of senior management’s birthday might be handled differently than a someone who was hired to fill in someone’s shoes while on maternity leave. Think about the following questions:

  • What is the history of the event?
  • Is this a birthday or milestone for an important member of the company?
  • Is the party for your team, office, department, or company in general?
  • What is the venue?

With those notes in mind, you can move on to the other parts of planning.

Getting Logistics Out of the Way

Depending on the way things go in your office, you may or may not have the option of choices that will significantly affect your planning.

  • What’s your budget
  • How many people will be on the committee for organizing, setup, and cleanup afterwards?
  • Can you choose the time?
  • How about the venue?

With small offices, it may be as simple as an afternoon break and some cake. On the other hand, the party may be a well anticipated annual event at a large venue. Knowing the basic facts will help you understand what’s being asked of you and the party.

Food is Key

Office party food

When earmarking funds, err on the side of caution with food. Attendees will not care much about too much food whereas having too little food will be remembered. At this point, it would help to know about any dietary restrictions or allergies that people in the office might have. In a small office, you should probably ask each individual. In terms of planning for food, at this point you might consider asking for suggestions. However, it’s not always necessary or a good idea to know or raise expectations as different people will want different dishes. If it’s too much to information to process, make sure you offer vegetarian and gluten-free food. Also avoid raw meats and spicy dishes.

Keeping People in the Loop

In addition to the time and place of the bash, you should also give some background information to party goers. Birthdays, awards, or commemorative milestones are different from each other. The person being celebrated might feel better appreciated when they know that everyone at the party is on the same page. For awards or recognition based on merit, list a few notable achievements so the office understands what’s being celebrated. Also list contact information in case there are questions or concerns.

Miscellaneous tips:

  • start planning early
  • make deadlines for yourself and your team
  • delegate tasks
  • request RSVPs and keep track of who has confirmed their attendance
  • negotiate with party rental services or other vendors (if applicable)

Researcher of world economy but not always into the market development, also likes to have some fun with paint and brushes, camera clicks and some flying kicks. I like to be fit and sporty too, but mostly, I love to pen about everything new that I come across. – Sandra Otoole


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