Office parties can be fun, but they can also be stressful. You have to know your coworkers well to effectively plan a party for something as huge as New Year’s Eve. Luckily, as long as you keep in mind these five essential rules of designing an office party, you will set your foundation and focus on having fun.
1. Remember Food Allergies
The menu is one of the essential parts of any party, and whether you make things yourself, buy everything from a store or encourage guests to bring a dish for a potluck, you need to know what can go into them. For many people, as long as they avoid the food they’re allergic to, they’ll be fine. Other, more severe allergies might mean that people can’t be in the same room as certain foods, though.
Certain nuts and fruits are the most common types of food allergies, and plenty of festive foods contain those. Party organizers need to know what people can’t eat and what everyone can enjoy, especially if the food is a tradition for your office workplace.
2. Plan for Plus-Ones
You can’t expect your employees to want to come to a party by themselves! You should invite their partners or encourage them to bring a close friend or family member with them. Everyone should enjoy the holidays, and by inviting special people, your employees start to learn more about each other’s lives.
Many New Year’s Eve events are adult-only. Still, suppose you have an abundance of families in your office. In that case, you should consider making your party earlier in the evening and encouraging other employees to bring their whole families with them. This way, more of your employees may feel enticed to come, as they can ensure their children are in bed at a regular time, and it saves them from having to find a babysitter to attend the party.
To cater more toward the younger guests that would be in attendance if you allow whole families to attend, you can change the menu by creating fun foods that kids of all ages can enjoy. Instead of toasting with alcohol, let the kids — or everyone — enjoy a toast with cookies and milk in fancy glasses covered in sugary sprinkles. It’s a treat anyone would love.
3. Choose Traditions to Uphold
If your office chooses to uphold New Year’s Eve traditions, what will they be? Many people may say that watching the ball drop in Times Square is their favorite tradition, but how many of your attendees are going to be around at midnight?
You may have an office tradition that’s been passed from party to party. If you haven’t been at your workplace long, ask someone who’s your senior about it. If your office doesn’t have a New Year’s Eve tradition, make one. It can be as simple as getting everyone to write down their resolutions and sticking them on a bulletin board in a break room. Traditions can be fun and interactive, and those in the festive mood would love to participate.
4. Keep Employees Informed
You should solidify a plan a few weeks before the event, just to ensure that everyone is on the same page. That way, you have enough time to address questions such as where the party is located or who they can bring. It’s vital to keep people informed if the party occurs somewhere else. Choose a venue that can accommodate all the guests you expect. Some venues may even provide their own catering, which could leave you with less to stress about.
You should also inform guests on whether the party has a theme. Some attendees may lean into the theme and go all-out with their costumes. Regardless of if you have a theme or not, you should determine whether there should be a dress code. Keep in mind that some people may be grateful for some guidance on what they should wear.
Do you want to encourage people to go all-out and see fun trends like glitter beards on men or intentionally ugly sweaters from the creative folks? Or would you prefer the party to be a more formal affair, closely aligning with workplace dress codes during the week?
5. Choose Entertainment Wisely
Consider adding in some entertainment to get people talking and having fun. Whether you choose to employ a DJ or set up some games, having some form of entertainment will keep people enjoying the night until the ball drops at midnight.
Choosing a DJ to play at your event means that you won’t have to feel responsible for the music or leading every event. It’ll be another responsibility off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on something else like the food or ensuring that everyone is having an excellent time.
As for games, having card games or board games lying around might encourage people to form groups or teams to play in. If you want something more interactive, consider having a full-group game, whether it’s a murder mystery game or a getting-to-know-you activity.
Have the New Year’s Eve Party of a Lifetime
New Year’s Eve signals the start of another twelve months full of exciting challenges at work. Begin the new year right with your coworkers by giving them a party to celebrate their hard work.
By planning out the core components of a party, you set yourself up for a celebration to remember — allowing you to create new traditions with the people you work with.
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