5 Tips for the Office Party Planning Committee

Whether you wanted to or not, you're on the office party planning committee and you have no idea what to do! Here are some tips to get you through every office birthday, holiday, and company party.

Tips for the office party planning committee:

  • Start with a cool name. Employees will be more likely to attend events if they sound cool (or if you’re giving away free stuff). Have a contest to name the party planning committee. Give away movie tickets to the winner and you will be amazed at how many entries you get. Encourage coworkers to be creative and have fun with it!
  • Serve food. A surefire way of how to plan an office party well is to have plenty of food. Everyone loves free food. Even if it’s after lunch and people are stuffed, they can't turn it down. If you find your group is having trouble getting employees to a party or even to planning meetings, serve food. Cake is an obvious solution for parties, but you might also consider having your planning meetings over lunch and order pizza or sushi. Make the committee feel special for volunteering their time.
  • Giveaway prizes. More office party planning ideas include giving away free stuff. Again, if you’re having trouble getting people to your events (some companies have this problem more than others), find something fun to giveaway. Ask your vendors or partners if they have something to donate. Or use a tiny piece of your budget for the latest and greatest gadget. Chalk it up to employee moral, which has been proven to improve employee productivity.
  • Think outside the box. The types of parties that the party planning committee plans are typically pretty standard—birthdays, baby showers, retirement parties, going away parties, etc. Instead of the standard party in the conference room with cake and gifts, try something different. Maybe a potluck picnic outside? Or a make your own sundae bar?
  • Figure out your funding source. Money is always a sticky subject, especially within an office where there are different pay levels and enthusiasm for office parties. If your company has a budget for parties, that’s great! If not, figure out how many parties you estimate during the month, quarter, or year and either ask for money from the managers within the organization, or see if each employee can donate a small amount. Be careful though. Asking for too much will be a turn-off.

Most of all, the best office party planning tips can come from the people who did it before you. Ask them what worked and what didn't and make sure not to repeat their mistakes!

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