The Office

A successful company requires a diverse group of people, perspectives, tastes, and talents. Creative and linear. Gregarious and the studious. Old and young. In daily operations, these divergent capabilities converge to make things happen. But when planning a party for them, landing on entertainment options that will please such a diverse crowd is no easy task. Has this task just been handed to you? Feel like you’ve been handed an impossible assignment? Good. You’ve come to the right place. Let our experience be your guide, as we offer our insights for entertainment options to captivate your entire office.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.

The worst office party nightmare of many working professionals is this: little to do and few friends to talk to. A “party” more accurately described as a decorated waiting room. An awkward, unfun, obligatory waste of time. Think of this nightmare as your arch nemesis—the evil you’re tasked with defeating. Motivated? Good. Now, let’s tackle the task together.

The Plus One. Or two. Or four.

Your first opportunity to give your guests a good time actually comes at invitation time. Every party is more fun with someone by your side. Perhaps the best way to guarantee that your guests will have a good time is to empower them to decide who joins them. This is certainly more a question of budget than anything else. But if funds allow, consider allowing your employees to bring their families, kids and all. For employees with kids, enjoyment of a party that fed their kin, versus one that cost them handsomely in babysitter funds, comes much more easily.

Think like Myers-Briggs.

Are you a raging extrovert? Your idea of a good time is perhaps a blaring karaoke machine or a three-legged race. Fun! For you. But if your hiring team did a good job of hiring the most qualified people for each position, your office is likely a mix of extroverts and introverts, emotive and reserved, gregarious and thoughtful. If you’re an extrovert, put on your introvert cap. If an introvert, vice versa. Extroverts will be looking forward to getting a buzz from being around lots of people, having fun, and making conversation. Introverts, probably not so much. Activities they can do with one or two close friends, or their plus-one, will be appreciated. Things like a photo booth, a one-on-one game, or tables to sit down for an extended conversation. One way to ensure you have something for everyone is to ask! Email a few team members your plans for the evening, and ask if the offerings fill them with anticipation or dread. If their feedback is positive, but regarding opposite aspects of the evening, you’re probably on the right track.

Give them a break from the mundane.

Some aspects of a company party won’t be a departure from daily life: food, drink, talking. But in the category of entertainment, you have a unique opportunity to liven things up with games, activities, and rentals that no average family is going to have access to. Here are a few of our favorites:

summer company picnic with hamster balls and water slide

How many heart-pounding inflatables can one fit in a single picture?! Hamster ball racing, a 100-foot long blue crush water slide, and a 27-foot high dual-lane cliffhanger slide.

summer company picnic with giant chess game

Giant Chess—big fun, perfect for your one-on-one quality time guests.

Virtual Graffiti Wall rental

Virtual Graffiti Wall – The creatives in your office will have a blast taking photos, then spraying them with digital spray paint, and printing the final masterpieces.

Plinko Deluxe – If you have door prizes to give away, this game show staple is a must-have.

The Tricking Task of Timing

“Come and go” parties and those will set times have starkly contrasting benefits and drawbacks. For a company party, a “come and go” reception allows people to fit the event into their schedule more easily. But it also means that the first people to arrive could be idly standing around without a single familiar face to talk with. And that’s no fun. Alternatively, a party with a set time could potentially be more cost-effective, as less of a window is required to show everyone a good time, and staffing and rental costs can be reduced.

Evaluate your plan with a single question.

Once you have your plan in place, ask yourself: “Is this a party I would be excited about, regardless of if it was an office party or not?” If your answer is yes, well-done event planning ninja.

There’s more to a successful company party than just activities. Read more about planning an event with purpose, entertaining for all ages, and choosing vendors on our other blog posts.