With the holiday season upon us, many people are rushing to get everything done that they intended for the year and trying to make it through this busy season. For businesses, this time of the year not only includes sending cards and gifts to clients, navigating employees being in and out of the office, and closing the year on the right track, it also means showing your employees that you appreciate them and usually that includes some type of office party. If organizing an office party has been the last thing on your mind, you are likely scrambling at this point. We are here to help with some tips for how to plan and host an office party during this time of the season and all year round.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, 75% to 80% of U.S. businesses hosted holiday gatherings in 2019. As we start to come off of what seems like two untraditional years, companies are likely going to want to reward their employees and start to show them appreciation again. An office party can be the solution.
Tips for Organizing an Office Party
Let’s be honest, we know you are busy and organizing an office party is likely not your number one priority. We are here to make that easier for you with some tips for organizing an office party to ensure yours is successful this holiday season.
- Determine the Basics: The first step to planning an office party is deciding on the basic elements of the party. Items like theme, budget, guest count (employees only or employees and spouses, etc.), general ideas for a date and time, if it will be onsite at your office or off, amongst other basic details. At this point you don’t need to get into the weeds, but you should have overall opinions, so the start of planning can begin.
- Select a Planning Committee: Your hands are likely filled with so many other things and having people help plan your office party can make it more enjoyable and less stressful for you. You can remain as hands on or hands off as you choose. Ask employees to volunteer to help with the party. People will likely gain more enjoyment from a company event if they help with the decision-making and planning aspects of the party. Once you have selected the committee, let them know about the basic items you decided on. Give them the budget, theme (if you have one), timing, etc. It is now their turn to roll with it and make it happen.
- Choose a Time and Place to Host the Event: If you have put the office party planning in a committee’s hands, the rest of the decisions are mainly up to them. The next step is setting the time and place for the party. Some companies opt to have the office party during the work day (about 50%) and others chose to do it outside of work hours. Try to select a date around a time where there aren’t many pressing commitments or deadlines. Don’t feel bad if you have to push the party into the New Year, January is still a great time to show employees appreciation. It is also important to decide whether or not you will have the party in your office or at a separate location.
- Decide on Entertainment and Activities: The type of activities and entertainment you offer is likely strongly determined by the guest list. If families will be at the party, having things for children to do may be important. If hosting during the work day, where you intend employees to get back to the grind afterwards, you likely will not want to serve alcohol. Making the event a success heavily depends on when, where, and who will be at the party.
- Invite Employees and Create Excitement: There will be people who don’t get excited about your office party, but you should try to create as much buzz and enthusiasm around the event as possible. Send out invites, post flyers and signs, have activities leading up the party, etc. After the party, you can start creating anticipation for next year by posting pictures to your company’s social media pages and/or website.
- Set up the Space: If you have selected to host your office party on location at your office, you will likely need to rearrange the office furniture to make the best use of the space. While you may have the right office furniture for your office space on the average work day, it likely is not ideal for hosting an event. Make sure to create a party space that is inviting and gives employees the feeling of being outside of the office and not part of their daily routine.
When it comes to organizing an office party, the main goal should be to make it a success.