You’ve been given the task of planning your next work party. Lucky you! In addition to cultivating coworker relationships, work parties are also a fun way to celebrate a new acquisition or blow off some steam after a particularly demanding quarter.
No matter the reason for your workday soiree, when planning a work party, you must strike a balance between fun and professional. So, how do you throw a company party that perfectly threads the needle?
This guide is here to help: We’ll go over some of the main factors you should consider when planning the event and include some creative work party ideas so you’ll be ready to plan the perfect party for your hardworking team.
Work Party Considerations
Let’s face it, a work party isn’t the same as a normal social gathering. Company event ideas are a bit more involved than just texting your friends to meet at the local bar. You need to consider what your company is about and make sure that your party doesn’t clash with any company values.
But you also still want to keep things fun.
Let’s go over a few of the things you should consider before you even start compiling a list of work social event ideas.
Not all parties need a theme. Depending on the reason for the party, something casual like a happy hour may suffice. However, a theme can build excitement and provide an opportunity to involve your coworkers—invite them to provide a few ideas and put the final theme up to a vote.
A few examples of fun and professional themes for your work party include:
- Movies – Who doesn’t love movies? You can set up a screening, bring a movie to work, or just design your party with certain movies in mind. You can even invite coworkers to come to the party as their favorite movie characters.
- Gift exchange – An office gift exchange is a great way to bring people together and build team unity, especially around the holidays. It also provides coworkers with an opportunity to get to know each other. Just be clear about the budget for each gift and make sure it’s affordable for all involved.
- Games – Board games, trivia, card games—there are endless possibilities you can incorporate into company culture event ideas. Games have a way of loosening people up and creating a fun and friendly atmosphere.
- Talent show – Encourage your coworkers to show off their skills with a workday talent show. Whether they’re playing their latest guitar riff or juggling a few clubs, your team is bound to have a fun-filled day headlining their crafts.
A lot of what you’re able to do with your work party will be determined by your budget. Outside venues will cost more than parties held at the office. Catering costs more than a potluck dinner.
You want your party to feel respectable and fun without going over budget or having people question whether funds would have been better spent elsewhere.
If you’re budgeting for a sophisticated holiday party, it’s generally appropriate to allot $75 per head. However, your budget will greatly depend on your theme, date, and location.
Date and Location
There’s one thing that’s absolutely essential to a successful work party—your coworkers. To that end, it’s important to choose an available date and location for your party to make sure your entire team is able to attend.
When choosing a date, be sure to keep in mind:
- Work concerns – This is a work party, but it shouldn’t be about work. Avoid times where there are looming deadlines or large projects. Scheduling your party for stress-free times will help people relax and have fun.
- Time of year – Beach parties might be fun, but not in the winter. Also, holiday parties are great, but you don’t want to cut into people’s family plans. Some venues may also be booked up in the winter or summer months. Be mindful of these considerations to ensure everyone on your team is happy and excited about the event, and free to attend.
- Time of week or day – You don’t want your party to go too late if everyone needs to be back at work in the morning. You also may not want to throw an early morning party coming straight out of the weekend. If your company values a work-life balance, schedule the party during work hours on a Friday afternoon. Or, opt for a weekend celebration if your team needs to finish up large projects during the week.
Location is also important to consider—while an office party may result in larger attendance levels, it may also be fun to get away from the daily grind within a beautiful venue. When choosing your location, remember to incorporate the opinions of your team and provide transportation options if necessary.
A great way to amp up your party is to bring in outside entertainment—it provides a fun addition and plenty of conversation material. When planning entertainment, make sure it’s suitable for a work environment. Some work-appropriate entertainment options include:
Food and Drink
What’s a party without food and refreshments? This is an area where you can elevate your event with tasty treats and scrumptious snacks. Whether it’s homemade, catered, at a restaurant, or straight from the food truck, your food choices can transform your party and make it memorable for years to come.
Equally as important as food are the drinks you serve. If you’re having an out-of-office party, host a happy hour at a local winery or pub where your team can sip on delicious cocktails or savor aromatic IPAs. Consider tailoring your libations to the party’s theme, too.
If a happy hour doesn’t align with your company values, you can still incorporate creative mocktails into the day’s events to infuse the day with merriment.
Work Party Ideas
Now that you’ve considered the work party logistics, let’s get into four company party ideas that are both fun and professional.
#1 Cooking Class
Cooking classes are a tasteful way to bring your team together. You and your team can learn new kitchen skills in a welcoming environment, work as a team, and feast on a delightful meal together.
There are a number of ways to organize a cooking class, depending on where you are located. Many locations have sites dedicated to cooking lessons, restaurants that hold classes, and on-the-go chefs that will come to you.
Also, classes can be a great way to involve your coworkers in the planning process when it comes to things like choosing the cuisine and the specific menu you will be making.
#2 Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a unique team-building idea that gets people out of the office and into the world. You can organize the hunt yourself or hire a scavenger hunt expert to devise a perfectly fun (and professional) out-of-office quest.
Hosting a workplace scavenger hunt can encourage:
- Friendly competition
- Cooperation and bonding
Encourage your whole team to participate, and even consider awarding the winning team with a prize, such as spa day gift certificates or personalized care packages. Following the scavenger hunt, host a celebratory after-party filled with small bites and refreshments.
#3 Office Awards
Fans of The Office may remember The Dundies, an annual award show hosted by Michael Scott himself. We’re not advocating for anything quite that silly but certainly, some silliness is welcome.
In general, office awards are a nice way to reward workers and acknowledge their achievements, and they can function very well within a budget. Find an appropriate space, provide some flavorful fare, and celebrate your team in style.
#4 Karaoke Night
Karaoke is a classic for a reason—it provides a relaxed atmosphere in which coworkers can let loose and enjoy many lively musical selections. It’s a fun bonding activity that also lets the wallflowers of the office hang back if they don’t feel comfortable performing. When planning a karaoke night, you have a few options:
- Karaoke bar – Plenty of bars offer karaoke nights. Putting together an outing is as easy as planning a time and making sure people know where to go. Be wary though, karaoke nights can get crowded.
- Private room – Want to avoid the crowds? If you have the budget, rent a private karaoke room to allow your group to let loose without the pressure of feeling that they’re performing for the public. Most locales will have food and drink options, too.
- DIY – Rent a karaoke machine or hire a karaoke DJ and let loose in the office. To make things a bit more professional, you can even rent a projector to help the whole office see the lyrics. Hire a bartender or make your own food and drinks in the office kitchen. You can even surprise your coworkers with a live performer following your show-stopping karaoke performances.
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Plan Your Work Party with GigSalad
When planning a work party, it’s important to follow workplace guidelines and respect company values. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun along the way. Hopefully, these ideas have got your brain working, and you’re already jotting down some party prospects.
No matter what theme, location, or cuisine you choose, GigSalad can help turn your ideas into reality.
When you book musical acts, entertainers, speakers, or bartenders through us, you’re guaranteed amazing service, payment protection, and hassle-free refunds if anything goes awry.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next work party and when you’re ready, enlist our help to find the perfect entertainment to make your celebration the best one yet!
Book something unforgettable for your work party! Find the best at GigSalad.
Sonia is a Customer Happiness Agent at GigSalad and uses the knowledge she’s gained from helping both the vendor and client through the booking process to give her best event planning advice. When she’s not at work she enjoys the outdoors, a good book, trying new recipes, and spending quality time with her husband and their furbabies.