Photo Credit: Jen Chanyi Photography

Summer is a great time to hold an office party – the weather is beautiful, spirits are high, and you’ve made it halfway through the year. An office party is also a great way to keep your employees and clients feeling connected. There are so many things to keep in mind when planning an event like this that it can be easy to get overwhelmed, so we’ve come up with our top five tips of what to do – and what not to do – when putting your party together.

  1. DO: Plan an Icebreaker or Other Activity

    A party is more than just providing some appetizers and a DJ. You want to create an atmosphere where guests can connect, but without making it strictly about business. Icebreakers help party attendees to connect, while also relaxing at what is technically a work-related event. Icebreakers can be any type of structured activity that gets people connecting. They might include a speed-networking type activity, word games or scavenger hunts, or a fun learning activity - we like mixology lessons, where guests can create their own cocktail.

  2. DON’T: Blow the Budget

    Sometimes it really is the thought that counts, and an office party doesn’t have to cost a lot to have maximum impact. Simply providing a place and time for your guests and clients to enjoy themselves is enough to strengthen relationships and morales. That said, you will want to invest some money in keeping your guests entertained. There are plenty of options for low-cost catering and other ways to save money on event planning. Have a detailed plan and decide where you want to allocate your money, whether it’s on venue, security, entertainment or any other factor.

  3. DO: Keep Professionalism in Mind

    Even though this is a chance for everyone to kick back and relax, it’s still a business-related event. Allow time for a balance of activities, like fun-filled games and team building activities as well the opportunity for clients to “talk shop”. Consider including a dress code in the event invitation to remind guests of the purpose of the occasion. If you’re serving alcohol at the event, provide transportation home for your guests, and ensure that event security is on hand in case of any emergencies that arise.

  4. DON’T: Turn It Into a Board Meeting

    Talking business is natural at a work event, but remember to keep the evening light. A short speech from the CEO that gives thanks to employees is fine; a 45-minute presentation outlining your yearly sales target is not. Allow the party guests to take the lead on how much they want to talk about work, and don’t be surprised if they don’t bring it up at all. After all, this is their time to unwind, and that makes for happier employees.

  5. DO: Be as Inclusive as Possible

    An office party should be planned in a way that includes everyone on your team, and it’s really quite simple to do. First, ensure that the venue space is accessible for those with physical needs. Discuss your menu with caterers to make sure that there is something for people with any kind of dietary requirement (vegetarian, gluten-free, allergies, etc.) Also, remember to invite all of your staff including part-time workers, interns and remote workers – an office party might be the only time they get to spend with your full-time staff and will go a long way in showing appreciation for their work.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to plan a great summer office party that will have your team feeling energized and appreciated. If you’re planning a party in the New York City area, contact the team at Tribeca Rooftop NYC, one of NYC’s premier event management companies.