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    Planning the Office Party
    Featured Editorial about Team Building
    from the Power Search Executive Management Portal

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    Office parties can have a bad reputation; you picture either a drunken embarrassing affair which everyone wants to forget immediately, or a snooze-fest which everyone already has forgotten. You want to plan something that everyone will enjoy, which can be done whatever your budget.

    First, I would suggest you get some participation from the employees. What would people like to do? You could get a list of ideas and send it round, and see what is the most popular. Do people want a sit down meal? A finger buffet? A themed event? Do they want dancing?

    If you are planning a formal sit down dinner, get quotes from a few catering companies, also see if you can find anyone who has used them before. You want to use a company that has good reviews, so as not to end up with soggy sausage rolls or, as a friend of mine experienced, both burnt and frozen soup (?).

    Hosting your office soiree at a hotel has the added benefit of people being able to book rooms, so you don't have to worry about getting home early, or not being able to enjoy a glass of Champers with your meal.

    I think themed parties are a lot of fun, and they get people involved, which is a good ice-breaker. How about a Mexican Fiesta theme with sombreros and lively music? Or a fancy dress party? It gets people out of themselves and enjoying the party. How about a 70's theme? Or 007? You could incorporate that into a casino style setting.

    Whatever you decide, make sure you plan ahead, get quotes from reputable caterers, check on dietary requirements or allergies, as well as having a vegetarian, halal or kosher option if needed.

    Decide on whether it's employees only or bring a spouse/date. Do you want a DJ or a live band? Ask for a sample of the music they play. Do you want to use recorded music? Make a list of suitable music, and make sure you have an adequate sound system.

    Send out invitations with an RSVP, this way you can plan your seating arrangements if having a dinner, or know how much to order food or drink wise so nothing goes to waste.

    Remember, the key is in the details. You want people to look back on your office party as a great success. Office parties can be good for team building, as well as a way of rewarding everyone for a job well done.

    Guest article contributed by London Office Space