By Dixie Somers
Company parties are a great way for employees to unwind in a relaxed environment, network and socialize with others around the office, and celebrate holidays with coworkers – lots of fun for them, but not as much fun for the party planner! If you’ve been tasked with the thankless job of planning the company party, here are a few ways to make sure that you can share in the relaxation without driving yourself up a wall talking to catering companies and bakeries.
1. Crowdsource the Brainstorming Session
Everyone wants to have their opinion heard, and as the party planner, you don’t have to accept every idea—just the good ones. Maybe someone in your office has heard of a discount caterer, or someone from accounting has a brother-in-law that can get you a free cake. Taking advantage of the connections and the knowledge of your coworkers is the fastest way to simplify the party planning process and show those around the office that you are open to good suggestions for improving office events.
2. Keep Track of Allergies
No one likes to have their party ruined by a main dish or entree that they can’t keep, so do your due diligence—by knowing allergies, likes and dislikes, and little facts about everyone around the office, you can create a party that feels personalized for your coworkers, even though only a few additions were made on a personal basis.
3. Choose a Simple Theme
If the party is for some occasion other than a holiday, it is best to pick a theme to engage those in the office. If you are having a party for Columbus Day or for President’s Day, why not make it a luau theme? Attendees at a company party value escape from the dreary workday, and simply themed parties remind people that it’s okay to have fun and let loose a little bit, even at the office!
4. Use the Services of Professional Party Planners
Although it’s tempting to do the party entirely yourself, use professionals who are experts at catering in Manhattan or corporate employee engagement companies in your own town. It is their job to make sure that both big and small corporate parties go off without any hitches, and delegating to their expertise is the easiest way to take the pressure off of yourself (while still taking credit for getting the party off the ground!)
Planning the office party doesn’t have to be a stressful job — knowing the people around your office and knowing how to delegate can lessen the burden and ensure that you, too, have an excellent time partying with your coworkers.
Dixie Somers is an Arizona-based freelance writer. Follow her @DixieSomers.