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How To Throw An Epic Office Party

September 26, 2016

An amazing office party is something that will bring the team together, energize morale, and tell the employees how much they are appreciated. On the other hand, a boring, by-the-book office get-together can feel like a waste of valuable time that could be spent catching up on that to-do list. The keys to office party success can depend on what kind of office you work in. To keep you from ending up in office party purgatory, we’ve put together a cheat-sheet for how to create an epic office party no matter what style of office you report to.

The Casual Office Party

It’s right for offices where jeans and t-shirts are the uniform, slides and ping pong tables break up the warehouse space, and co-workers feel more like pals than colleagues.

The theme should be something playful. Since you guys already have a good time when you’re at the office, take the party to a new locale. Something outside, like a picnic or a beach volleyball game will get everyone in the party mood. If your venue offers boat or paddle board rentals, arrange reservations for the whole team. Pack individual picnic baskets that can double as party favors, or outfit everyone with a beach survival kit that includes sunscreen, glasses, a visor, and a blow-up beachball.

Serve classic picnic fare like fried chicken or submarine sandwiches. If you’re hitting the beach consider a cookout over a bonfire. Beverages can be served in mason jars or kept in individual bottles chilled in colorful ice-filled buckets. Make sure to provide plenty of water to keep your officemates hydrated during their outdoor excursion.


The Corporate Office PartyIn The Event™ | Office Party

It’s right for offices that don’t believe in casual Friday and rely on the perfectly synchronized online calendars of all team members.

The theme of this office party should focus on relaxation. Think a spa day or yoga retreat where everyone can unplug and de-stress. To make sure everyone reaps the full benefits, ban shop talk and electronics during spa treatments or group activities. Divide the time between individual relaxation and team events where everyone can learn to interact in a less formal way. Consider a guided meditation, intro yoga class, or workshop about stress management. Give everyone a nice water bottle, luxurious spa robe, or uplifting book to help them remember to take good care of themselves after the pampering is over.

Serve healthy options throughout the day that replenish nutrients and fluids that can be lost during exercise or detox treatments. End the event with a nice dinner or happy hour where everyone can hang out and enjoy spending time together without the pressures of the office. Provide upscale versions of tried-and-true favorites, like a locally-sourced charcuterie board or prosciuttio-wrapped shrimp instead of the usual shrimp cocktail. Opt for lamb instead of beef and upgrade your fish from salmon to something like Chilean sea bass.


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The Creative Office Party

It’s right for offices without walls, clocks, or a dress code. You do, however, have an abundant supply of caffeinated beverages at the ready and it’s not uncommon to see people lounging on Lovesacs while they wait for inspiration to strike.

In The Event™ | How To Throw An Epic Office PartyThe theme should be centered on a common goal. Because creative pursuits are often singular, use the party as a chance to break everyone out of their usual routine and join together as a team. A cooking class or mini-course in wine, beer, or a favorite liquor is a great way to unite the group and still honor every individual’s creativity. Find a local restaurant, farm, brewery, vineyard, or distillery to host the event. If you’re doing a tasting, provide cards for everyone to rate their favorite foods and beverages. Cookbooks, cookware, or personalized glassware are perfect mementos that will remind all of your staff members of this unique event.

Serve food that everyone has prepared (or at least selected) together. If you opt for a cooking class, break everyone into teams and have each group prepare a different course that they share with the whole office. When it comes to beverages, your choice may be dictated by the venue or the theme you’ve selected. Be sure to include options for staff members with specific dietary needs and those who don’t drink alcohol.


The Charitable Office Party

It’s right for just about any office. No matter how buttoned-up or casual your office is, everyone can benefit from coming together to give back to the community.

The theme should focus on a specific service project or charitable organization. You could roll up your sleeves and help with a town beautification project or communal garden. Other options include volunteering at a food bank, homeless shelter, or group home for people with special needs. Find out what types of causes your employees are passionate about and try to find an activity that appeals to a majority of the staff. Be sure to top off the activity with a group dinner that celebrates everyone’s contribution. You can even reward team members who went above and beyond with a donation to the charity of their choice, or give donations in acknowledgement of workplace accomplishments or in celebration of years served.

Serve a communal meal where everyone can break bread together. Look for a restaurant or caterer that can help you bring the whole office together with communal tables. Eat family style where you can look one another in the eye and pass the rolls down the line. In a world where we’re usually separated by cubicle walls and computer screens, it will be refreshing to sit down together and share a meal – especially after a day of working hard and giving of themselves for others.


Pulling off an epic office party isn’t impossible. Your chances of success increase when you take the time to consider what type of office you work in, and what your co-workers need. This little guide is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Use these ideas to kickstart your own creative party planning process, or call in a little help from the pros at In the Event. Either way, you’re already on your way to creating an office party that everyone will love.

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