Your employees work hard all year round. So at least once a year (and hopefully more than that), they deserve a fun and hilarious annual office party!
Best Annual Staff Party Ideas
- Host a company event
- Office Olympics
- Black-tie breakfast party
- Office movie night
- Potluck party
- Desk decorating contest
- Murder mystery party
- Blast from the past
Struggling with ideas? Here are some of the best office party ideas for this year.
#1. Host An Amazing Corporate Event
Parties can be tricky sometimes. If you’re unprepared as host, you’ll be left with a boring, lifeless mess. And everyone knows a party like that is, simply put, a failure.
You don’t want to put on an office party that leaves your team yawning and checking their clocks. You all deserve to enjoy an evening of genuine fun and team building. That’s what office parties should always be about!
Party planning can be a serious thing. But it’s also all about fun! Suffice it to say that balancing all the aspects of putting on a party properly can be challenging.
Let me help you out.
How Can You Make Your Office PARTY Truly Fun?
Making your party fun doesn’t need to be a complex challenge. It’s not rocket science!
I’ve been a corporate emcee for a while, and I’ve learned a thing or two about planning and executing enjoyable and fun functions. It comes down to a few key aspects.
I’ll lay it out for you in the word PARTY.
P – Planning
Yes, parties are about fun. But you might have to do some un-fun things in order to make your function a success.
Most people don’t consider general planning and preparation to be fun. But, of course, it might be fun for you! Regardless of your feelings about party planning, the planning process must be executed in order to create a fun office party.
In fact, almost anything in life requires a certain level of planning in order to end successfully. And a party is no different! Make sure you do things like set a budget, choose a venue, decide on the theme, and send out invitations well in advance.
A – Activities
Imagine showing up to a “party” where there’s nothing to do. Most people don’t arrive at office parties and expect nothing.
Staff parties are supposed to be filled with fun and interactive activities that keep people entertained. And as the party planner, it’s up to you to fill your upcoming staff event with things like games, contests, or other team-building activities.
R – Refreshments
What’s the one thing that can always turn a failing party around? Food!
Everyone can get on board with party refreshments. Drinks, snacks, and even catered food can be a big hit with your team. It keeps people’s stomachs full and the good feelings going.
In fact, no party is truly complete without refreshments. Have plenty of drinks and snacks available if it’ll be a shorter gathering, but be sure to bring in some sort of catered meal if the event is planned to run a bit longer.
If you’ll be having alcohol at your party, be sure to also offer non-alcoholic options too.
T – Team Spirit
Office parties are about more than partying. It’s about building bonds and connections with those around us. It’s also about promoting positive company culture and encouraging camaraderie!
That’s why it’s important to make your party more than a meaningless gathering. Find a way to tie it back into the mission and roots of the organization. This way, you’ll really get folks engaged with the company culture.
Y – Yearly Recognition
If you’re hosting an annual staff party, there is one more aspect that you’ll need. All amazing annual parties have some sort of yearly marker! That’s where yearly recognition comes in.
Employee recognition is an essential part of all companies. It’s the foundation of happy and engaged workers and is essential for creating a positive work culture.
And an annual staff party is the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of your staff over the past year. Feel free to give out awards, certificates, or plaques to your team members who’ve demonstrated exemplary work.
Creating A Staff Event Your Team Will Love
So, let’s get down to (party) business. Now it’s time to really delve into what kinds of party ideas are best for your professional team members.
For starters, you can never go wrong with hosting a company event. This is a great way to promote positive team spirit while providing your team with amazing entertainment they’ll never forget.
And with the right speaker or emcee, your event becomes that much better. You can incorporate team-building activities, games, and friendly competition. Don’t forget about things like food and drink, and you’re on your way to hosting the best company event your team will ever see!
#2. Office Olympics
An annual staff party calls for some unique ideas. The best annual parties are something that your team will look forward to all year long. So you need to give them something worth looking forward to!
That’s where an office Olympics party can be a big hit. The real Olympics are hosted every four years, so why not put your own spin on it and host your own every year?
The Olympics (both in real life and in your office) is all about positivity and togetherness. It’s about bringing people together in competition and teamwork. And that sounds like the perfect thing for a workplace.
But don’t worry about the complexity of planning it all. It won’t be nearly as extensive as the real Olympics. Just make sure you do your due diligence, and your team is guaranteed to have a blast!
Feel free to also include things like opening and closing ceremonies as well as medal presentations. Embrace the fun of it!
#3. Black-Tie Breakfast Party
Here’s a fun and professional spin on a standard office brunch. Hosting a black-tie breakfast party ensures everyone starts the day on a positive note and on a full stomach!
After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And who doesn’t adore breakfast food? This party idea is just a win for everyone involved!
And by making it black-tie, you can put a fun yet fancy spin on it all. It’s fun to give your employees a chance to put on their best attire and wow their co-workers! After spending each day wearing the same boring outfit, it can be enlightening to take time to look our best.
The key is to ensure the entire party has a fancy spin on it. That’ll make it enjoyable and truly unique!
Here are some ideas for the details:
- Include a tea or coffee-tasting experience
- Have a mocktail mimosa bar
- Put out delicate eats like miniature quiche and single-bite cinnamon buns
- Use tasteful dishware
#4. Office Movie Night
Not all staff parties and events need to be overly put together. Sometimes, enjoying a laid-back evening can be the treat your employees desperately want!
Movie nights are a classic way to spend time with each other. Plus, they’re easy to plan and put together if you’re short on time. All you need is an office TV or projector, plenty of snacks and drinks, and a few extra details to tie it all together.
It’s also a good idea to have your team vote on the movie ahead of time. Give them a few options, then let them pick which one they want to see the most.
Adorn the evening with snacks like classic popcorn and candy, and feel free to throw in a few pizzas (or other similar crowd-pleasers). Then, let your team feel satisfied with some tasty goods while watching an enjoyable movie!
You can also make it themed if you want to take it an extra step. You can get decor and extra trivia games that are on-theme to make the evening a bit spicier.
#5. Potluck Party
As I said earlier, the best parties have plenty of food. So why not host a party that’s all about food?
Potluck parties are one of the most classic party ideas. They work for almost any type of gathering, and they’re always amazing because everyone brings their best dish.
It’s a great low-cost and low-effort option for a party if you’re running low on time or need a quick office party idea. All you need to do is create a signup sheet (so multiple people don’t bring the same dish) and get plenty of disposable utensils and plates.
Don’t forget to have someone bring drinks too!
#6. Desk Decorating Contest
Everyone knows that parties have music, food, and decor. So make that last aspect part of the festivities itself!
Hosting a desk decorating contest is a great way to create a stunning and lively space for your party while encouraging some friendly competition.
You can either make the contest about creating a decorated desk perfect for any standard workday or all about making the most party-ready desk. The theme you choose is up to you!
Whenever you host your next party, give your team a heads-up beforehand about the upcoming contest. Then, on the day of, give them an hour or so to put their artistic design skills to work. Let them create a masterpiece on their desk, then judge the final decor.
#7. Murder Mystery Party
Everyone loves some good intrigue. A mystery can always leave us feeling enticed and wanting more. And that’s an excellent recipe for an office party!
A murder mystery game is a popular and fun way to make your staff party really stand out. It lets you transform your entire office into a life-sized version of the game Clue while engaging in fun antics with your team!
You can also take it to the next level by including things like props, and costumes, and even hiring an emcee to bring it all together. But all you really need is a script and an engaged team!
After you get a script, assign your team members to different parts, then let them act it out. It’s about more than playing a game. It’s about teamwork and collaboration, intrigue and alertness, and fun and enjoyment!
If you’re hosting a virtual party, you can also try out some online murder mystery games.
#8. Blast From The Past
Everyone loves the feeling of heartfelt nostalgia. So why not make a party all about it?
Throwback parties aren’t new, but it’s still a great idea for a staff party. All you need to do is pick a decade (such as the 50s or 80s) and throw a party under that theme.
Have your staff come dressed for the part and include foods that were likely gaining popularity during that time. You can even have your employees bring mementos or photos of themselves at that time (if applicable).
Hosting the perfect annual staff party can seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t need to be complex! As long as you know what it takes to throw a great party, then you’re already halfway there.
Find an idea you know your team would adore, and roll with it! Feel free to change it up how you see fit or to make it more enjoyable for your employees.
The best parties are the ones that feel like they were made just for you. So make it all about your team!
Keep Reading: 5 Amazing Benefits Of Hiring An Event Planner
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.