Coffee Break

Tips For Throwing A Fantastic Office Party

The office party is something that can fill people with a sense of excitement or dread, depending on your role in making it happen. Some people will be excited because it’s a chance to really enjoy themselves and not have to think about work while getting to know their colleagues better, but others – usually those in charge of putting the party together – might not be quite so happy with the idea, as there is so much to think about and you’ll want to get it just right; a bad office party will live on in people’s minds for many years to come. 

If you’re in charge of the office party this year and you want to make it one to remember for all the right reasons, here are some useful tips for making it a fantastic event that will put you in your colleagues’ good books for the year ahead. Read on to find out more.


Photo by cottonbro studio

Start Planning Early 

Although there’s not too much time before the Christmas office party season right now (many will already have taken place), that doesn’t mean it’s not too early to start planning next year’s bash, and if that’s your job, getting at least the initial stages planned out and organised well in advance is very helpful indeed. 

Why is it so crucial to get started as early as you can (perhaps as much as a year ahead of when you’re planning your party)? It’s because you’ll have so much choice. If you leave it too late, you’ll find that the best venues (and even those that aren’t so good), the entertainment, the caterers, and anyone else you might want to hire to make your party the best it can be just aren’t available – they’re already busy at other parties that were booked well before you even started thinking about things. 

Another reason to start planning early is that you’ll be able to spread the cost. Okay, it’s probably not you paying personally, but businesses need to be just careful with their outgoings as individuals do, and if you can spread the cost of your annual office party out over a longer period of time, that helps with budgeting and cash flow. If you’re the business owner, you’ll know firsthand just how important that is, and if you’re an employee, you can be sure that your boss is going to be happy if the business doesn’t have to pay out a lot of money all at once and can pay in smaller monthly installments instead. Everyone involved is going to be a lot happier. And you can also give people the date of the party well in advance to ensure they keep the date free and don’t make other plans – the more people who can come, the merrier! 

Plan The Menu Carefully 

So what’s involved in an office party? You’ll need a venue and music, perhaps entertainment, and you’ll definitely need food and drink. In fact, even if the other things are lacking somewhat, if you have some great food on offer, your colleagues will still have a wonderful time – keep people fed, and they’ll be happy. 

When it comes to planning a great menu, the first thing to do is to know what dietary requirements and restrictions there are for the people you’re inviting to the party. In other words, find out what people can and can’t eat, and ensure that’s catered for (literally). That means you might need vegetarian or vegan options, you might need dairy-free food, or perhaps you need to ensure there are no nuts or other allergens at the party so everyone can have fun without worrying about what’s in the food. 

Once you’re armed with that information, it’s best to outsource the food to a corporate catering specialist. These are people whose sole job it is to cater for office parties (and similar functions), so not only will they be able to provide great food that takes everyone’s preferences and restrictions into account, but they’ll also know how to get the food to your venue on time, set everything up, and even take things away when the party’s over to save you having to deal with washing up! Interview a few different caterers to get an idea of what they can provide and the cost involved, and when you find one you like, work with them to design the ideal menu. You’ll need to decide whether you’re going for a more formal sit-down meal or whether a buffet-style menu would work better, for example, and you might decide to choose a certain cuisine. Working with the caterer will help you decide and ensure you get what you want, making your office party a truly tasty one. 

Book Your Venue

Unless your office has plenty of space for everyone to be there all at once and you don’t mind dealing with cleaning up after a party (and assuming you even have an office – if you’re a one hundred percent remote company, that’s not even going to be a consideration), you’re going to want to find a venue to hold your office get-together in. This is definitely one of the first things (if not the first thing) to book because then you’ll have a firm date and location to work with, and everything else can move on from there. 

When you’re looking for a great venue to hold your office party in, there are many things that have to come together, and one of the biggest is just that… how big the place is. You’ll need to know approximately how many people you expect to come to your party because there will be some venues that are absolutely great and have everything you need and are even in a lovely central location, but if they’re not going to be able to comfortable and, crucially, safely, hold all the guests, it just can’t be used. Conversely, if the venue is huge and you’ve only got a small number of people coming to the party, it might feel uncomfortably large, and people won’t be able to relax, not to mention the fact that a larger venue will probably cost more, so you’ll be wasting money. Knowing the size of the venue you need and making that a priority is vital. 

Something else that’s important is the location of the venue. It shouldn’t be too far away from your office because otherwise it’s going to be awkward for people to get to. If you’re a remote company, see if you can find a venue that’s in the middle of your colleagues (if that’s possible), or perhaps that’s close to where the majority of them live. At the very least, you’ll need a place that has good road links and plenty of parking and/or that’s close to public transport and plenty of taxi options – if you make it easy for people to get to and from your office party, they’ll be more likely to accept the invitation and your efforts won’t go to waste. 

Finally, what do you want from the venue? Is it just a space for people to go to and you’ll arrange everything else, such as the catering and the music? Or do you want a venue that does everything for you? Or would it be best to organise some things yourself and let the venue do the rest? This decision will be down to budget and preferences, so it’s wise to know ahead of time as it might make a difference when it comes to choosing the venue. 


An office party doesn’t always need a lot of entertainment included, but you will definitely need music. A party isn’t a party without music, and it’s something people will be expecting, so you’ll need to put that in place. You can make your own playlist and set up some speakers to play music from your phone, and that might be enough, but why not push the boat out a bit more and hire a DJ for the night? The pressure will be off you, and you can rest assured everyone will enjoy the music – a DJ will even be able to do requests and shoutouts or hold a silent disco, which makes the event more special, and it’s not something you’d be able to do. 

As well as music, you might want to think about other forms of entertainment. A close-up magician is a good idea; they’ll go around to people as they’re enjoying the party and do magic tricks for them up close and personal, and it’s always a treat to see people’s amazed faces as they try to work out how they’ve done it. Or you might choose something a little more dramatic, like fire breathers and some funfair rides, or why not include some interactive games for people to play? Again, your budget is going to dictate a lot of this, as well as the space you have and the rules of the venue, but your early planning and research means you’ll already know what’s possible, and you’ll just have to get it in place ready for everyone to have a fantastic night.