20 Dos and Don’ts for a Killer Halloween Party

Is your work Halloween party coming up? Check out these dos and don’ts that’ll help you have a good time!

Illustration of a girl getting scared by a guy and falling over

It’s that time of year where things get a little crazy – from spooktacular costumes to magic potions, it can be hard to maintain your professional persona, especially if your boss decides to throw a Halloween bash.

To make sure that you still have plenty of fun – and don’t live to regret it – we’ve devised a handy list of dos and don’ts for your Halloween office party!

The Dos

1. Bring food

If you really want to embrace the holiday spirit, get involved by baking some Halloween-themed goods. Whether it’s a pumpkin pie or caramel apples, you can get creative with food. There’re numerous recipes online that are fit for even the most novice bakers!

2. Participate in the costume competition

Every office Halloween party will undoubtedly host a costume contest – it’s a given! Whether you plan on showing up with a homemade costume or a last-minute, Amazon find, be a sport and get involved.

3. Get creative

Skip the clichés this year and get creative with your costume – ditch the witch hat and the Addams Family costumes and think outside the box! You and your work bestie could come up with costume ideas fit for pairs, or groups, and get everyone in your department involved!

4. Turn up

Even if you are a holiday Scrooge, it’s important to show your face and get involved in the festivities. If you’re not a big fan of fancy dress, invest in an accessory that can be thrown on when the party is about to kick off.

5. Stay away from raunchy costumes

If, on the other hand, dressing up is your jam, don’t wear anything too raunchy especially since your supervisors will probably also be there. If you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see you in that outfit, it’s probably best saved for a Halloween party that’s hosted outside of your work.

6. Make sure treats are free of allergens 

If you’re in charge of bringing treats to the party, make sure to check if anyone attending has any intolerances or allergies. You can also label any snacks that may contains allergens such as gluten or nuts!

Just make sure that allergy-safe snacks are prepared separately from the rest. You may also consider hiring a caterer to make sure everything runs smoothly!

7. Pitch in with the planning

You may not be the designated event planner for this event, but if you love getting into the holiday spirit, don’t be shy to pitch in and get involved with the organisation of the party. You could be in charge of the theme, the decorations or the food – whatever your forte is!

8. Enjoy yourself

Even though it’s a work event, you’re allowed to have fun and get a little crazy! So, make sure to socialise with colleagues from other departments, and partake in games!

9. Play games

Games are a great way to break the ice and get the party started. If you’re celebrating Halloween in the office, playing a number of games can be great for team building and employee morale. If you’re stuck for ideas, do some research online for some inspiration.

10. Help with the clean up afterwards

Make sure to offer help cleaning up to the party’s organiser after the festivities. Don’t be the kind of person to dash off after cracking a dozen party-poppers!

And if the organisation of the event was a group effort, it might be a good idea to designate clean-up tasks to everyone – otherwise, it’s very likely that the Halloween décor will be up until Christmas!

The Don’ts

1. Prank your colleagues

Even if you’re best buds with John from marketing, save the pranks for out-of-office hours. You don’t want to make a scene by taking you prank one step to far!

2. Be a party pooper

Even if you aren’t a fan of Halloween, you shouldn’t be a party pooper. On the days leading up to the event, avoid listing reasons why you see no point in these celebrations and on the day of the event try to be present, engage with you peers and try to have some fun!

3. Go overboard with your costume

Dressing up can be fun – we get it! But try not to go overboard. You need to have a practical outfit that you can change out of in case an impromptu client meeting is called. You don’t want to carry out a meeting with fake blood dripping down your face!

4. Be offensive

Be sure to steer clear of political or culturally insensitive costumes. They may cause offence and an awkward debate within the office. And, whatever you do, don’t dress up as Trump (however much you hate the guy!).

5. Wear something that would interfere with your work

If you can’t sit down in your outfit, then it’s definitely not suitable for work. Similarly, you don’t want to be sitting at your desk with a mask over your face for the entire day! Make sure your costume of choice is comfortable enough so that it won’t interfere with your tasks.

6. Use body paint or glitter

Body paint and glitter might seem like a brilliant idea at the time, but it’s not fun when you can’t get it off your skin, out of your hair and off your desk chair!

7. Be too noisy

It might be fun to play a spooky noise every time someone puts their hand in your candy jar, or for your costume to make special noise effect but after a while it’ll get annoying and could interfere with your colleagues’ work.

8. Forget to take snaps

When you’re having loads of fun, you often forget to take pictures at the party. But try to take as many snaps as you can and share them with the rest of your team after the event. You can even share them on the company’s social media pages to show what the company culture is really like (with everyone’s approval, of course).

9. Get drunk on office time

When there’s free booze, it’s easy to get carried away and have one too many. But hold back on the magic potion before you end up making a fool out of yourself!

10. Be too competitive

If you have a competitive streak and plan on joining on all the games, make sure not to go overboard as this could create unnecessary tension. And if you end up losing, keep yourself in check – no one likes a sore loser and bobbing apples isn’t an Olympic sport!

Final thoughts

Halloween office parties are a great way to bond with your teammates and celebrate all the hard work that you do. However, you need to keep a few of these dos and don’ts in the back of your mind to make sure that you don’t have too much fun!

Join the conversation! Can you think of any other office party dos and don’ts? Share them with us in the comments section below!

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 24 October 2018 and contains contributions from staff writer Melina Theodorou.