It’s a little startling to see holiday decorations popping up at your favorite shops in early autumn, but the holiday season is just around the corner. And that means you may be running out of time to plan your awesome office holiday party.
Planning your office party early can help you avoid stress, reduce unexpected costs, and ensure it doesn’t become a boring obligation for employees. Here are a few ideas for making your holiday party a fun and unique departure from everyday office life.
1. Get creative with food
It’s no secret in event planning that great food is a surefire way to wow party guests. Even for the budget-conscious, food is an area you don’t want to skimp on—particularly if alcohol will also be served.
It may be easy to fall back on pre-made veggie trays and fattening dips, but it doesn’t take much extra effort or cost to offer truly tasty alternatives. Consider a fun spread like a pizza or nacho bar, plan a themed potluck, or find out what food trucks offer a great deal for parking on-site for the evening.
2. Shake things up
Not everyone is a natural mingler—and hanging out after-hours with professional associates can feel awkward. Planning an interactive activity or game is a fantastic way to get people out of their comfort zones and chip away at lingering discomfort.
- Have a professional DJ? Enlist their help to play “Name that Tune”
- Rent a photobooth for a fun way to create memories of the event
- Charades may feel cheesy, but getting people to laugh at themselves is a great icebreaker
- Run a food or clothing drive to collect items to donate to a local nonprofit
- Plan a Secret Santa (or even better, White Elephant) gift exchange
3. Take it outside the office
Keeping your party in-house may be easier and more budget-friendly, but it’s not exactly fun to party where you work. If you plan early enough—or compromise by having your party earlier in the season rather than right before Christmas—you may be surprised at the great deal you’re able to secure for a venue.
If booking a venue simply isn’t possible, try getting creative at your place of work. If there’s no outside space or other area of the building you can temporarily use, try making your office feel different with decor or by “hiding” all the things that remind your attendees of work.
4. Create a signature cocktail
Creating a special cocktail for the night is a fun way to celebrate the company as well as each other—and it can keep the cost of multiple drink options down. It’s also a great opportunity to come up with a fun name that gets everyone in the spirit of the festivities. Don’t feel intimidated; most of us aren’t natural mixologists. To get started, get some inspiration from well-known recipes—or straight up copy a recipe and simply make a play on the name. You can also follow these tips for creating your own cocktails.
Whatever you choose, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives in addition to a few standard wine and beer options for those who aren’t fans of mixed drinks.
5. Have transportation available
If you’ve done your due diligence and the party is a hit, chances are people are going to let loose—particularly after that signature cocktail! To make sure everyone is safe, think about transportation ahead of time.
- Queue up the Uber or Lyft apps to coordinate rides home as necessary
- Have guests sign up ahead of time for DD status and carpooling
- Consider renting a shuttle or van for the evening, if your budget allows
Bonus tip: Enlist the help of a pro
Did you know that hiring an event DJ may be more affordable than you think? Not only do you get a professional, experienced DJ to help keep guests entertained, you will also have the support of a talented emcee to keep the flow of the party moving forward. (Looking for a professional DJ in Los Angeles? Contact us to learn more about our services!)
Happy party planning!