A Guide for Millennials: How to Throw a Successful Office Party

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This is a guest post by Zara Lewis, a regular contributor at Highstylife Magazine, a writer and traveler. Originally from Chicago, she found her place in the sun in Perth, Australia. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others.

Being tasked with organizing the office party is kind of a mixed blessing.

On one hand, sure, it’s yet another chore to add to a very large list. On the other, it can actually end up being really fun and do wonders for your reputation at the company.

Imagine being the hero that made an unforgettable party that people actually enjoyed, and weren’t forced to attend simply because it was a company event and they have little choice.

So, how do you do that? How do you organize something that’s both exciting and office-appropriate? Well, we’ve got a few tips.

1. Know your crowd.

What’s the average age of people in your company? Is it a younger crowd? What do they enjoy?

Use the bonds and friendships you have with other employees to gauge how others feel about office parties and holidays. And use them to pick up suggestions about what they’d like to see.

And don’t worry, making a party for a mixed group of people is still going to be successful. It just might require you to bring more variety to the table.

2. Start planning on time.

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Plan everything as early as possible, and then when a problem arises (and it will), you’ll have time to solve it. This will also make sure you don’t waste all your energy on last-minute panicked details.

Pick a venue, pick a theme, and send out invitations well in advance. You want people to be notified on time so they can plan ahead.

3. Bring the fun booze.

And by this we mean cocktails! Beer, wine, and spirits are great, but cocktails are where the colorful fun really starts. Take inspiration from professionals with a good reputation like the masters of mixology in NYC, and pick a bright, tasty drink that people will be eager to try.

Why not pick a cocktail and introduce it as the official company cocktail? Make sure to create a non-alcoholic version of it as well, for all of those who don’t enjoy booze or simply have to drive home.

4. Make sure the food is varied.

Someone’s a vegan, someone doesn’t eat pork, and someone’s allergic to peanuts. While there’s no way you can make a menu that will satisfy everyone (not if you want to stay within budget), do make sure that there are at least a few different options there on the table.

If you hire a good caterer, they’ll do all the work for you. Otherwise, you can involve a few other employees who are good cooks and have them bring something homemade. Feed-a-crowd meals are an excellent choice for this.

5. Involve others.

Don’t let the party planning overwhelm you and make you stress too much. Involving others is totally allowed, even encouraged.

One, it will make them feel important to know they helped. Two, you’ll get a better idea of what people want to see at the party.

Assign roles to everyone. Someone could be in charge of bringing the baked goods, someone who’s good at drink-mixing could be the bartender.

6. Figure out the entertainment.

Make your own mixtape or hire a DJ, but make sure that there’s good music that people can dance and sing to.

Another thing we recommend for an office party are simple board games. Pick the ones that can be played by a lot of people, like Dixit, Resistance, Mafia, Monikers, or similar ones, and leave the option for people to simply watch if they feel too shy to participate at first. Board games are a good way to break the ice, to get people to interact and stop just sitting in the corner and nursing their drinks awkwardly.

The last step to a good party? Make sure you enjoy it yourself. Don’t spend all the time worrying about something going wrong, just relax and lift the atmosphere with your good mood. The others will be sure to follow your example.

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