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How to run a smooth office party

The art of organising the office party is a tricky one.

How do you throw a bash that everybody enjoys but that also complies with Health & Safety regulations, office security in a safe and appropriate manner? Office parties are commonplace around seasonal times, but can arise for any occasion. Be it a birthday, a leaving do or a celebration for a new starter. This means that your next office party could be just around the corner.

If you’ve been granted the job of party-planning, then these tips are for you.

The art of the office party

There’s something about an office party that’s just that bit more different from your regular get-together. Be it the number of guests to invite and cater for, the need to impress or the air of professionalism that must underlie during the event – it can be tricky business.

What you want, is a celebration that’s enjoyable, but that still upholds your company values and in doing requires a certain standard of behaviour from all who attends. Sounds complex, right? Wrong.

Box-it North West may not claim to be party-planning experts, but they have a few handy tips to share about how best to do it without a hitch, and above all how to keep your office documents secure.

But first, let’s talk about what any prospective party planner would want to avoid: what can go wrong. Before you ace your preparations and host a stellar bash for your office, you’ll want to know what not to do. Here are some common office party mishaps and consequently: the things you shouldn’t do.

What not to do at your office party

Go overboard on the alcohol 

Whilst you want all of your guests to enjoy themselves, the repercussions of them consuming ‘one too many’ are probably going to want to be avoided. So, by all means, arrange a bar for your guests, but just be mindful that it is out of working hours, away from danger, and ensure that nobody overdoes it. You may want to issue some guidelines about this in advance, such as warning people not to drink and drive, and be clear about what behaviour will not be tolerated.

Listen to your guests 

If you have recommendations from your colleagues then it’s always best to heed them. They could be anything music requests to venue recommendations. But, the point is, if your guests have an input in to the event then they’re much more likely to enjoy it. (Just be careful you don’t take on any completely wacky and questionable suggestions).

Poor planning

Poor planning, be it timings, venue, catering etc. Can result in… You guessed it, a poor office party. To avoid any embarrassing mistakes or mishaps, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to plan, check and check again.

“This looks familiar…”

Lastly, something you’ll surely want to avoid at your office party is a repeat of previous affairs. If you’ve accepted the job of office party planning, don’t cut corners by copying what’s been a success before. Chances are, you’ll bore your guests with the ‘same old’. Taking risks and being original is likely to be much more of a hit.

But of course, whilst there are mistakes to be made, there are also successes to be had. So, let’s not focus on the negativities and more the immense possibilities. Here’s Box-it North West’s top tops on how to host an A-class office party.

 How to throw a smooth (yet smashing) office party

So, herein lies the question: how do you avoid all the above mistakes and throw an office party that runs smoothly, but that’s also super enjoyable?

Nail the venue

When it comes to your office party, the venue can make or break it. But, if you’re on a budget this can become a conundrum. If your allowance doesn’t stretch to hiring out some space, then how about ‘doing up’ the office and celebrating there instead? You can get creative with the decorations using the money you save. Plus, hosting it somewhere so familiar means there’s no excuses for guests getting lost or being late.

However, throwing your office party within the office could end up being a recipe for disaster. With plus ones and plenty of guests, any sensitive information lying around could become vulnerable. To avoid any disastrous cases of security breaches or information theft, you should ensure your office safety and document security is well and truly up to date. You can do this simply by:

  • Shredding any old papers and documents you have lying around the office. You never know what sensitive information they may encase.
  • Using paper document management means to keep your sensitive files safe and secure.
  • Ensuring all computers are password protected and also turned off ahead of the party.
  • Creating a guest list so you know exactly who you’re hosting for.

Cater for everyone 

A sure-fire way for office party success is to ensure that everybody is considered and catered for. This can cover anything from dietary requirements to entertainment. The best way to go around this, and what we would recommend, is to ask everybody in advance for suggestions. You could ask for music requests, ideas for entertainment and also ask for any dietary requirements or allergies. If everybody’s catered for you’re one step closer to throwing a smooth office party, littered with happy guests.

Choose a suitable date

Send out RSVPs in advance! If there’s one thing that office parties are famed for, it’s the inability to pick a date for them that suits every schedule. Though you all work for the same company, chances are your lives out of the 9-5’s are going to be very different. Therefore, you’ll need to find a date that works best for most and also ensure that everybody is given plenty of notice. We would suggest a Friday after work, as there’s a whole weekend to recover from the celebration!

Snap back to reality

Last but not least, when the fun is over (until the next time). It’s time for nobody’s favourite, but ever essential job: the clean up. You may want to enlist a few people to help you clean up the venue – especially if its the office – before Monday rolls around again.

Be mindful to shred any old invitations that are left around (as these can contain personal details that should be destroyed) or any other papers that may have emerged for that matter. The golden rule is you should always shred, even if you think it’s not worth it. To find out why, read here.

You may want to create mementos for your guests by printing out a photo and framing it for each of your colleagues as a permanent reminder of the brilliant bash you threw (and a reminder of who to leave in charge of party planning next time!)


For more tips and tricks, head over to our blog. Or, to learn more about paper shredding or paper document management, contact us today.

Posted on: July 6th, 2018