Throwing a summer work party is always a good idea. It helps build employee morale, encourages camaraderie, and gives your employees yet another great reason to love working for your company. But before you make an office-wide announcement that it’s time to party, check out these tips because you’ve got some planning to do.
Choose the Right Date and Time
When you’re planning a work function, it can be difficult to choose a date and time that encourages employee participation without impacting your business. If you decide to throw your party in the evening, after office hours, or during the weekend, there’s a chance attendance will be low. Many people don’t want to do anything work-related unless it’s during their normal working hours — including attending events meant to be fun.
If it won’t affect your business operations a lot, consider hosting an event during work hours. You can plan to host the event all day, but only give employees a few hours off work to attend. As long as you create a schedule that ensures all critical operations are covered at all times, everyone should be able to attend.
If you have a large or medium-sized company, you could rent a banquet hall to have a more formal evening or weekend event. Alternatively, consider planning a whole-day family-friendly event.
Regardless, of the day and time you choose, office parties are easy to organize. Simply create a planning team, contact an event planner, and hire the services, like a water cooler rental company and a catering firm, as soon as possible.
Create Specific Expectations
The success of your party will depend on your ability to set expectations. So take into account who will be on your attendee list.
Your list of attendees will determine your constraints. You don’t want to throw a wild party for a conservative crowd, or an old-fashioned get-together for a restless younger audience.
By carefully considering the interests of your attendee list, you it’s easier to make the decisions required to throw a successful work party.
Besides inviting your employees, consider also inviting people outside your company, like outside service professionals who support your business, product vendors, and distributors.
Choose a Theme
If your party is a corporate event, consider choosing a theme that encourages attendance and interaction. With a little creativity, you can plan a fun-filled themed event that employees will truly enjoy. For instance, you could create a faux Las Vegas night or a mock Hollywood awards gala event.
But you don’t have to choose a grand party theme that transports people into a fantastic new world — your party just has to be different enough to be interesting. If a theme seems like too much work, consider a costume party instead.
Food and Beverages Ideas for Company Events
When it comes to food catering at a work party, cuisine is typically on the lighter side.
Here are some common food selections for a casual event:
Whole grain pita with hummus.
Celery and baby carrots for dipping.
Low-fat snacks like low-fat pretzels, low-fat popcorn, low-fat granola bars.
Fresh fruit like large bowls full of apples, grapes, or tangerines.
Alternatively, you can hire a caterer to provide an entire meal, plus dessert for you event, plan a buffet or cookout-style event, or provide the main entree and have your employees bring a side dish and/or dessert to share.
You should also put some thought into what kind of beverages you want to serve.
Whether you offer alcoholic beverages depends on the context of the party:
If your company hires young people below the legal drinking age, it’s probably not a good idea.
If it’s a picnic at a public park, park regulations may restrict beer, wine, and distilled spirits. However, many parks just ask that the attendees be of legal drinking age.
If the catering company you hire has a bartender, then you could offer both non-alcoholic and alcoholic options:
Sodas like Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer, Sprite,7up, and Mountain Dew.
Fruit juices like sugarcane juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, and orange juice.
Spritzers like, Rainbow Coconut Water, Rose Lemon and Grapefruit Lime
Mocktails like Moscow Mule, Strawberry Orange Mango Kombucha Mango, and Meyer Lemon Margarita
Wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.
Imported beers like Amstel and Stella Artois.
Domestic beers like Miller Lite and Coors.
Hard liquors like vodka, gin, tequila, and baijiu.
Regardless of the type of work party you organize, your employees will love the chance to mingle with their colleagues and celebrate the season.