Have you been put in charge of the office cocktail party and want it go off with a bang? Read these useful and perhaps not-so-obvious tips on planning and giving the perfect corporate party.
GIVE THE DATE OF YOUR PARTY CAREFUL CONSIDERATION
Spend a little time and thought when picking the right date for your corporate party. Choose a date that works for your business and staff to ensure maximum turnout. A mid-week date is usually a good choice as people have personal plans and commitments on Fridays and Saturdays. And try to avoid busy times for certain office departments. For example, avoid the quarterly or year-end rush for the finance department or clashing with the annual marketing roadshow.
GIVE ENOUGH NOTICE
Send out invitations about 10-14 days in advance and make sure you put RSVP on the invitation and whether or not the employees are allowed to invite their partners. Chase up the RSVPs three days before the party date so you can finalize the numbers.
LET YOUR BUILDING MANAGEMENT KNOW
Remember to notify your building management in writing that you are holding an office party.
SHORTER IS SWEETER
Corporate cocktail parties are typically held in the early evening and should not run too long. 6:00pm-8:30pm is a good time. By setting an end time, you can clear the venue out in prompt fashion and by keeping it short, you can ensure a better turnout. if you are going to have speeches, don’t forget to make room for them in the schedule.
PICKING A THEME
If you pick a theme for your corporate party (and they tend to be more fun), try to carry it through to every aspect: from drinks, food, waiters’ attire, background music, invitations and decorations.
2. Decades (the 20s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s)
3. Famous couples
4. Color e.g. gold and black
5. Hawaiian Luaus
6. Country and Western
7. Kids (if you’re giving a party for adults)
8. Shipwrecked / Pirates of the Caribbean
9. Wine tasting
11. Grease/Happy Days
13. Nuns and Vicars
14. Gangsters and Villains
16. Greeks and Romans
18. Countries and Cultures
21. Superheroes and arch-villains
CREATE A MEMORABLE AND FRIENDLY WELCOME
Apart from the food and beverage staff, consider asking some staff to be greeters at the door. Not only can they take business cards and offer a cloakroom service, but it creates a friendly welcome from the start. Perhaps there is an opening activity to get people in the mood e.g. a cut-out photo opportunity (you know, the ones when you put your head in the space and end up with the body of a monster), or a giant autograph board. Or perhaps this is the moment that the Lucky Draw tickets are given out.
DON’T FEEL PRESSURE TO HAVE BACK-TO-BACK ENTERTAINMENT
Do not feel obliged to hire end-to-end party entertainers, play games or have speeches throughout the evening. There is nothing wrong with allowing your staff to talk casually and get to know each other in a relaxed social setting.
KEEP ALL SPEECHES SHORT
If you do have speeches, make sure to keep them short and if several people will be speaking you might want to break them out into two (or more) sessions.
Follow these tips and your office party should be a huge success!