Giving your employees a rest from their mundane day-to-day routines can be more powerful and uplifting than you might think. That’s why hosting a perfectly entertaining, enjoyable, and enthusiastic annual company dinner is so important!
If you want your team to feel excited about your company’s yearly event, it’s important to make sure the festivities are complete with fun and engaging games. Some genuine, heartwarming activities can make or break the evening!
Keep reading, and I’ll share five of the best games for your next company dinner.
See Related: What Is B2B Event Planning? Your Complete Guide
#1. Blobs and lines
The thing about company dinner parties is that you don’t want them to feel too uptight. If you’re opting to circumvent the traditional corporate event route and simply go with a simplistic dinner, don’t forget to still make it entertaining enough.
Though a delicious plate of thoughtfully catered food is already enough to make most people melt, you’ll likely need to take it a step further. You can’t rely completely on your evening’s dishes to entertain the crowd.
That’s where fun dinner party games come in!
Never underestimate the power of fun dinner party games!
As a corporate emcee, I’ve played my part in many, many company events over the years. As a Master of Ceremonies, I’m responsible for both guiding the festivities and putting on games and activities.
If you want your annual dinner party to be a truly memorable and heartwarming experience for your guests, don’t forget to book an event speaker. That’s the only way you can be sure that your annual event ends in success!
Annual dinner games can help your employees build positive relationships in a meaningful way
Not everyone in your office will be super chummy with each other. But it’s important to prioritize and promote camaraderie in the workplace for more reasons than one. That’s why dinner games that help people connect can be so crucial.
For starters, camaraderie in the workplace is the foundation of collaboration and teamwork and even boosts employee engagement, productivity, and workplace morale. Don’t underestimate the power of positive workplace relationships.
Here’s a dinner party game that will help people get to know
Blobs and lines is a fun yet simplistic “get to know you” game that is perfect if you’re looking to help people break out of their box. If your employees don’t connect well in the office, this is a great way to help them learn more about each other in a fun, interactive environment.
The leader for this game (which, ideally, would be your event’s emcee) will have a list of ways to gather people together into either blobs or lines. Some simple examples include lining people in order of birthdays or making groups of dog lovers and cat lovers.
Feel free to make it as specific or personalized as possible to your unique crowd!
#2. What’s in the box?
Are you looking for a classic game that will bring out the daring side of your employees? “What’s in the box?” is a great activity for encouraging some fun and laughter in a creative and weird way.
It’s time to let your employees test their courage!
Start by creating a five-sided box that will allow the crowd to see the contents inside, while hiding it from the person up to bat. Put mystery items in the box, and then have guests take turns putting their hands into the box to touch the items, and try to guess what the items are.
Wondering what items to put inside?
Here are a few ideas to get you going.
- Pokey plants
- Cotton candy
- Melted marshmallow
- Cooked spaghetti
- Pine cones
- Toy cars
#3. Never have I ever
At your next dinner party, try out this classic, fun game in order to get people interacting. Though “Never Have I Ever” can be seen as a more daring drinking game, it’s easy to incorporate it into your next annual event.
Start by having each guest write down a secret with their name on it on a piece of paper. Have them all add it to a bowl, and have the event emcee fish one out of the bowl at a time.
After the paper is read aloud, the event attendees will take turns guessing whose secret it was. If you have a large crowd, try to split the guests into small groups to make the activity more manageable.
#4. Do the opposite
It’s time to let your guests defy commands and be a little rebellious!
This party game for your annual company dinner is an engaging game that not only acts as a conversation starter but also lets people start to exercise the more hidden parts of their brains.
In this game, people simply do the opposite of what they’re told. So, if the emcee tells everyone to “sit,” it’s time for everyone to rise to their feet!
#5. The matching game
This game is perfect for mingling. All you need to do is write the names of famous people or celebrities on a name tag or sticky note and give one to each guest. Mix them up, and stick them to their backs, so each person doesn’t know the name they were assigned.
Then, have people mix and mingle. Guests will then walk around and ask yes or no questions to try and deduce the name they were assigned.
The first player to guess their assigned name wins!
The five things you need to think about when hosting your annual dinner
Hosting the perfect annual company dinner might not be as easy as you think. Luckily, I’ve learned plenty about what it takes to ensure your event goes smoothly.
Let me break it down for you with the acronym GAMES: G – Guestlist, A – Atmosphere, M – Menu planning, E – Entertainment, and S – Schedule.
G – Guestlist
For your dinner event, it’s a good idea to invite more than just your regular workers. There are more people than that who contribute to it running smoothly!
From key stakeholders to important clients, it’s important to include people who play a role in the success of the company. It’s also a good idea to encourage a mix of departments and levels within the company to foster a sense of community.
Want to take it a step further? Personalize the event invites to make attendees feel valued and appreciated.
A – Atmosphere
The atmosphere you create is by far one of the most essential parts of hosting a great annual event. The tricky thing is, there’s a lot that goes into it!
Start by picking a venue that aligns with the tone of the event. Then, go on to cultivate an atmosphere that complements your company culture and the purpose of the event
M – Menu planning
If you’re hosting a dinner party for your employees, it should go without saying that you need to put some emphasis on the food.
If you’re catering the meals, be sure to work with the team to create a menu that suits a variety of tastes and dietary preferences. Don’t forget to offer a delightful and delicious mix of appetizers, main courses, and desserts.
E – Entertainment
Your guests deserve to be entertained from start to finish. That’s the key to hosting a successful event! And the only way to do that is with a great event emcee.
A great Master of Ceremonies will help put on the festivities while guiding the games. And that’s how you create immaculate entertainment that resonates with your attendees!
S – Schedule
You can’t just have people show up for your company’s annual dinner and expect things to just happen on their own. That’s why crafting a well-balanced schedule is so important!
With an evening packed with fun and games, don’t forget to incorporate breaks between activities to allow for socializing and ensure that guests have time to enjoy the meal.
Hosting an exciting and engaging annual company event is only possible with the right activities and games on the schedule. With these five ideas in your pocket, it’ll be easy to start off on the perfect foot!
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.