Have you been tasked with throwing your offices next par-tayyy? Whether it’s a random celebration, a spooktacular Halloween, employee recognition day, or the annual Christmas bash, throwing the perfect office party is a lot of pressure due to the sea of opinions. Not only do you have to provide a party that caters to all needs, you must come up with something different to last year’s boring do. Staying one step ahead of your colleagues’ expectations is a major challenge; without forgetting the tight-budget too!
There’s no need to panic, take a deep breath and read our top 25 ideas to throw an unforgettable staff party.
Depending on the majority of staff in your office, a daytime do may be more suitable, and who doesn’t get excited about spending an afternoon away from their desk?!
Paintball is a great team-building experience and so much fun! Have employees split up into teams by departments and put them against each other – this will just make their bond even stronger.
2. Pop-up Spa
If your staff are feeling de-motivated and stressed, planning a pop-up spa may be just the thing they need. If you have some outdoor space, you can hire a giant inflatable cloud with a world-class mobile spa. You can offer a wide variety of treatments, including, speed manicures, pedicures, head and shoulder massages and general feel-good activities. You can even have a make-up and hair station to glam up your employees.
If you’re on a tight budget, organising a team picnic could be a great way to boost morale. The team can pull together in arranging foods, location, drinks, music, and games. As they would have arranged it, they’ll definitely enjoy the time spent away from their desk at the local park.
If the office mainly consists of 20-30-year-olds, this idea will set the bar very high. You can hire a cricket ground and throw your very own festival. You can arrange a glam station that will offer some funky jewels and face-paint then have a bar and a food van, some live entertainment and if you can afford it, a small pop-up tent with a DJ.
5. Sports Day
So we all remember that our sports-day at school were SUPER BORING with the usual egg and spoon race… don’t worry this idea is not your ordinary one. Think more gladiators with inflatable sticks to knock each other off and an electric bull. To make it even more exciting, have prizes like a lunch certificate or a day off for the winners – it’s bound to get all staff participating.
6. Escape Room Adventure
If happy hours are just a bit too lame for you, it’s time you tried the adrenaline pumping escape room experience. You and your colleagues will be trapped in a room and you have an hour to get out by solving a series of cryptic puzzles and clues. It’s heaps of fun and also a great team building and problem-solving challenge as it forces you to work together.
7. Office Brunch
If you want to reward your co-workers for their hard work, why not arrange a surprise company brunch? You can get in all their favourites and give them an hour to enjoy the spread and mingle with their co-workers. It will help relieve stress, and they will go back to their desk a bit more energised.
8. Board Game Tournament
If you feel like your staff are losing momentum and are generally in a bad mood, you can lift everyone’s spirits by organising a board game tournament. Arrange an afternoon where they can shut down early, and participate in different challenges. Make the prizes fun; like a spa treat, dinner for two, go-karting experience, day in lieu or a bottle of wine (because you can’t really go wrong with alcohol!)
9. Give Back to Charity
This isn’t exactly a party idea, but it can be a great team-bonding experience and will generally make your co-workers feel good. Give your colleagues a choice of different organisations and arrange teams to go and volunteer on different days (ensuring the whole office isn’t shut down for one day). They could help out at a soup kitchen, children’s hospital or retirement home.
10. Shut Down Early For Lunch
If free food is involved, you’re already onto a winner. Get your team together and arrange an extended lunch so the whole team can mingle, it’ll make them feel appreciated and they will surely tell their friends and family about their tasty lunch.
11. Office Movies
This idea could work at any time of day; you could have a poll of different types of movies that your staff want to watch. Arrange a space where you can all gather comfortably to watch a movie with lots of tasty treats. If you have a big outdoor space, you can easily set up an outdoor movie theater. If not, contact your city about setting up in a local park. Projectors, speakers, and screens can be rented together.
Having something to look forward to after work can be extremely exciting especially if it’s an occasion where you can dress up. You know that it’ll be the talk of the town for a few weeks, even years if it’s a legendary party.
Surprise your team with a fun retro bowling night; it’s simple, easy to participate and challenging enough to bring out a bit of harmless competition. To make it more interesting arrange a theme and offer a prize for the best-dressed team.
13. Year Themes
When arranging a staff event, a theme can make it a lot more exciting. You can choose year themes like the 80s; you can have video game arcades, boom boxes, neon decorations, guitar hero, and light up LED wristbands. Keep the music, cocktails, and nibbles in line with the theme too and you have yourself one h*ll of a party!
14. Fancy Dinner
So all of us like to be spoilt, that’s a given. If you really want to please your staff, arrange a posh dinner in a fancy hotel function room. It’ll give your staff an opportunity to wear their Sunday best and will make them feel super lucky to be working for the company. You can limit the wine to 4 bottles per table for the entire evening, so it's kept as a classy event.
15. Annual Ball
If the company is large, with many offices in different cities, an annual ball would be the ideal way to end the year. Have all staff travel to one location (arrange mini-buses and accommodation) and throw an extravagant do. It’ll be good if the CEO could also make an appearance and give a short, motivational speech to show his appreciation to the staff.
16. Crazy Golf
If it’s someone’s birthday, or if you simply want a team bonding day, crazy golf could be an exciting option. There are many golf clubs that have wacky and wonderful tracks for you to complete. Whoever finishes in the fastest time can win a treat from the company too.
17. Pub Quiz
When you hear ‘pub quiz’ you think “boringggg”, however, they can be a really great way to mix people from different departments and to generally have a laugh trying to solve the questions together. Again make sure there are lots of prizes to keep the energy levels high.
18. Mexican Fiesta
Areeeeba! Who doesn’t love fajitas, tacos, nachos, margaritas, sombreros, maracas and piñatas? You can host this event in a Mexican restaurant; have a dancefloor and a good limbo going on.
19. Arabian Night
This will definitely be the party of the year. Make sure the space looks mysterious, decorated with Moroccan interior. You can hire a marque with the stools, tables and luxurious lamps. Ensure there’s lots of food, shisha, and belly dancers. You could have some belly dancing scarves and encourage the professionals to get the ladies up and moving their hips too!
20. Cocktail Making Class
Host a cocktail making class, where you can hire mixologists to teach your staff how to make their favourite cocktail - the best cocktail maker can win a prize. This evening will be enjoyable and entertaining for all of your staff.
21. Share Your Party
If you don’t have the budget to host your own party, split the costs with the other companies in your building and share your party. You’ll be able to create something far more impressive, and your colleagues will most likely form bonds with the people they bump into on a daily basis.
22. Decoration Competition
If there are a group of different pods in your office; you can have each pod come together as a team and decorate their area. On the last day before Christmas holidays, you can have them judged and the best-decorated pod can win a prize; it could be something fun like water-sports or go-karting, laser-quest (an activity that they can all do together). Keep the prize a surprise until the day for added excitement.
23. Secret Santa With a Twist
Year after year, secret Santa can become very dull. To keep it exciting you can arrange for each member to bring in something that they don’t want but think someone else would (that is suitable for any gender) and play a game of white elephant.
24. Christmas Around the World
To mix up the office party, you can split the company into groups and give them different countries to represent. They will be given a certain budget to represent how Christmas is celebrated around the world. This can turn into a competition with prizes given for the best dressed, best station, best drink and best food.
25. Winter Wonderland
Nothing screams Christmas more than a magical winter wonderland. Make the party super dreamy with fake snow, white draping, fairy lights, ice sculptures, glittering snowflakes, and cuddly polar bears. You can even have the boss dress up as Santa Clause and hand out drink tokens throughout the night. For drinks, serve an icy vodka cocktail and some delicious, warming mulled wine. Food should be warm and funky - crudites, savoury bites, coconut balls, baked Alaska and pannacotta.
A rule to remember when creating any type of staff gathering is to make it fun, exciting and entertaining. If you arrange a boozy do on a Thursday night, be nice and give your employees a later start the next day as they will most likely be feeling a little light-headed.
Have you arranged a staff party that was a big hit? If so, share your experience with us in the comment section below…