There are three main things you need when throwing an office party: food, games, and organization. Food is critical because if you provide food, they will come. Try to offer a variety of choices to accommodate different tastes and diets – i.e. cheese and crackers, sliced fruit, and a tray of cookies. You don’t want to overload everyone with sugar or they will just want to nap afterward and won’t be motivated to go back to work.
Next, add a game. This can be challenging because you need to get creative and think of something that your co-workers will want to participate in (i.e. fun and interesting), but not too long or complicated. Try to think of games that either encourage teamwork, or that help everyone learn more about each other. For example, a team game could be a scavenger hunt around the office, and if you want a game that helps people learn more about each other, you could try Office Bingo. To play, fill out a bingo board with different criteria – i.e. someone who drives a red car, or someone who has more than two siblings, etc. – and give everyone a copy. Then have everyone go around and find a different co-worker who can sign off confirming that the particular criterion applies to them. It is a fun and engaging way to learn some new facts about your co-workers!
The final aspect to throwing a good office party is organization. Because office parties happen during the work day, you need to be sensitive to the value of people’s time and keep the party to a reasonable time length (in general not more than 30 minutes). Have everything set up and ready before you announce that the party is starting. Then, stay on top of keeping the program moving. In the end, you will find that your co-workers will appreciate the break and be more likely to come to the next party if everything is well organized.
Hope you found these tips helpful. Best of luck on your next office party!