office partySo, you’re in charge of this year’s office party? If you’ve never planned a party in a professional setting before, this job can seem a bit intimidating. What you need to remember is that even though this is for work, planning the party is still largely the same as planning a casual social gathering for your friends, just with a few tweaks. Every great office party starts with a few fundamentals. Here are a few of the most important ones.

  1. Food
    There’s a good reason that the American event catering industry employs 261,189 people. You can’t have a decent party without something good to eat. Whether you go with comfort food like BBQ ribs or wings, or you opt for something else, you need to feed your guests to keep them happy.
  2. Music
    For an office party it might make sense to forego the low budget DJ and drop a little extra cash on a professional jazz band or string quartet. Choose the music based on budget and characteristics of your workplace.
  3. Decoration
    Everything from flatware to lighting is fair game when it comes to creating the ambiance that will be optimal for your office. Keeping color schemes and textures relatively consistent is the top priority. Base your decorations on the venue at which you plan on hosting the party.
  4. Social Lubrication
    People tend to drink more responsibly around their coworkers than their friends, but that doesn’t mean having a supply of alcohol is a bad idea. Having a cocktail bar is a great way to loosen up the mood and get people talking. It’s also great for company culture.
  5. Good Company
    This is the most important part. Invite everyone in the office and make it worth their time. The more people that come, the more people there are to talk to. This matters for building relationships and bonding as friends that also work together.

Planning an office party might seem daunting at first, but once you realize that the small parts involved are the same as any other party, it becomes much easier. Food, drinks, a venue, decorations, and some good tunes are all you need to turn co-workers into friends.