There are already a million and one articles on office party ideas, but many of them just repeat the same things. Maybe you’ve tried a few, or maybe you like to stick to a tradition. Either way, we’ve gone through a huge list of office holiday parties and classified them based on theme. You’ll probably recognize your office’s shindig here – but what else is out there?
The Classic: Dinner at a nice restaurant. This is the one McQuaig has done for a number of years. It’s fun, a mix of classy and casual, and it’s a great way to spend some time getting to know your colleagues better.
The Low Key: Potluck or catered-in meal. Really great if you’ve got the space – nobody has to travel anywhere, and it can be fun to create a more relaxed atmosphere in a place that’s typically reserved for working.
The Wild Style: Straight-up bar crawl. Probably best to do this on a Friday.
The Trendsetter: Whatever the new thing is – virtual reality, escape rooms, axe throwing etc. Of course, there’s always the risk that the new thing isn’t actually all that fun, but hey – that’s a fun story in itself.
The Fancy Pants: Big holiday formal. Rent an event space, dress up, and indulge in some high-class dining. This is a great option if there are some formal items to cover – maybe your CEO gives a speech, or you celebrate long-term employees – because people will be anticipating some scheduled proceedings.
The Giver: Charitable activity or event. A feel-good activity that encourages more casual interaction with your colleagues, but also benefits your community. Plus, it’s great fodder for a few social media posts – or an addition to your newsletter.
The Gifter: Secret Santa or gift exchange. Depending on the rules, this can be a low-key event – or it can be high-stakes, unrestrained chaos. The details are up to you.
The Gamer: A series of organized games. There’s a reason why board game cafes are booming in popularity – people love to play games! Set up a few stations with different kinds of games, and consider bringing in a TV and a console as well. Employees can donate some games to the event, which keeps costs low.
The Theme Lover: Ugly Christmas sweater, 80’s, Game of Thrones – any kind of theme party. Consider some prizes to encourage everyone to participate. A theme might also help you decide what kind of food the party needs as well.
The Sports Fan: Go to a local sporting event. If your office is full of sports lovers, then this is a no-brainer! Provided there are no big rivalries, everyone can get into the excitement of cheering for the favourite team. Even those who don’t follow sports regularly usually can get into it when they are in that atmosphere.
The Music Aficionado: Hit up a concert or music show. Perhaps your office always has music playing or dance parties are a regular occurrence. If that’s the case, then catching a local band or even a big show may be the best way for the team to bond!
The Foodie: Host multiple food trucks or food stations. If your company is full of foodies, then there are always conversations about what recipes people are trying or what the trendiest new restaurant is. So why not bring the food to them? Hosting multiple food trucks or stations will have them talking for the next few months.
The Artsy Fartsy: Paint night, pottery class or other crafting workshop. Don’t write off pottery or art classes as just for kids, adults enjoy the opportunity to be creative as well! There are even paint lounges that exist which serve alcoholic beverages and food!
The Marathoner: A combination of multiple events. Love all of these ideas and don’t want to just pick one? You don’t have to! If budget allows, you can jam pack a day full of all kinds of fun, but good luck beating it next year!
The Embarrassment: Karaoke. I tried to think of something potentially more embarrassing but couldn’t, unless you can somehow pull of an office-appropriate version of truth or dare. Either way, this party will be sure to include lots of laughs. But don’t worry – we’re laughing with you, not at you.
The Hipster: Too cool for any kind of office party, everybody just goes home early. Some may see this as no-fun or a bit cold, but if everyone in your office spends enough time together and already feels the holiday cheer, they may just appreciate some extra time off. Unless they really do think that they are too cool – then that’s not cool.
The Vacationer: I’m not sure if any company does this, but if your company takes you on a holiday getaway then you should stay with them forever. This is for the companies with the large expense accounts.
Got any more themes? Send ‘em over!