Step-by-Step Guide To Planning A Corporate Party

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One-third of our life is spent at work – that’s approximately 90,000 hours in a lifetime. Imagine this, you’re an employee working a nine-to-five daily. You might feel a little burnt out, and unappreciated, or you might even start to think, “Is there more to this?” As an employer or event planner, you can address this by organizing fun corporate events for your employees.

We created this article as a guide to corporate event planning for event planners who are seeking to get ideas and information about corporate party planning.

The Importance of Organizing Corporate Parties

Employees look forward to a time for some break and fun. Aside from this, corporate events in the workplace help build company culture and teamwork. 

According to studies, intentionally making space and events for employees can boost their morale. Employees who feel safe and heard can perform better at their tasks and responsibilities. 

Studies have shown that employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company are likely to stay loyal and committed in the long run. This is why it’s important to invest in your employees’ well-being by organizing events or parties they can enjoy. 

Types of Corporate Parties

corporate staff having fun during their company party

Holiday Parties

Celebrate special occasions together with corporate colleagues. This gives employees something to look forward to. Examples are Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas parties, Halloween, Independence Day, Easter, etc. Make it a yearly tradition with fun games and good food for a memorable holiday celebration. 

Employee Appreciation Parties

Boost employee morale by recognizing their strengths and contributions to the team. Employee Appreciation can be a yearly tradition with incentives to encourage employees with their efforts.

Some ideas for corporate parties centered on employee appreciation are monthly employee highlights, wellness week, gratitude day, family fun events, etc.

Team Building Activities

Strengthen team dynamics and relationships with interactive leadership activities. Encourage teamwork and camaraderie with simulated activities they can use in their tasks.

Anniversary Parties

Recognize your employee’s hard work and loyalty with anniversary parties for key members. Compile some of their notable contributions to the company and celebrate them during the anniversary celebration. 

Product Launches

New products are a milestone for the company. Celebrate it with the team, no matter what the results may be, by hosting a party. Look back at the process of getting to the launch and recognize key people who contributed to the launch. 

Milestone Celebrations

Hitting a sales target, meeting a quota, and maintaining a KPI for a project – these are just some examples of milestones worth celebrating together as a team. Make team members feel fulfilled and appreciated in a celebration like this.

Networking Events

The joys of working together are the relationships formed with one another. Corporate parties are a great way to get to know each other outside the usual daily work tasks. A successful corporate event creates networking opportunities that can lead to new opportunities.

Mental Health Wellness Event

Sometimes, employees need a “just because” event to breathe and unwind. Setting up events like this may seem like an investment but it will reap benefits as you see mentally healthy employees increase their productivity. 

Training Events

Create events where employees feel like they are growing professionally and learning new skills. Training events like corporate workshops can be an avenue for employees to enhance their skills and contribute more to the team.

Year End Party

Surviving a whole year is something worth celebrating. Give a festive send-off for the year with a year-end party. It’s the perfect time to evaluate the team’s wins throughout the year and plan for the upcoming year ahead. 

Steps in Planning a Corporate Party

Step 1: Setting Clear Purposes and Objectives

The goal and event objectives of your corporate event set the direction for your corporate party planning. What are your expectations after your corporate party? Is it a boost in employee morale? How do you define a successful event?

When goals are set from the beginning of your corporate party planning, the team will have a solid foundation to work on. Your objectives should be in the form of an event KPI that you can measure and come back to post-event.

Step 2: Understanding Company Culture

An important part of planning a memorable corporate party is understanding your company culture. Understanding what your team will enjoy can help create thoughtful programs, decorations, and food for maximum enjoyment.

To make participants enjoy your event, it’s essential to ensure that the environment is welcoming and inclusive for all attendees. Consider factors such as accessibility, dietary restrictions, and cultural sensitivities when planning the event.

Step 3: Identify Budget / Resource Allocation

Whether planning a small team gathering or a large-scale company event, having a clear and realistic event budget ensures that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively. By establishing a budget early in the planning process, the event planning team can prioritize expenditures, negotiate favorable terms with vendors, and avoid overspending. 

Step 4: Choosing Date, Time, Venue

Choose a date, time, and venue that is convenient for your target audience. Be strategic with these event details as they will determine the attendance turnout for your event.

Whether it’s a weekday evening after work, a weekend brunch, or a midday luncheon, choose a time that accommodates the needs and preferences of your audience. Similarly, select a venue that not only fits the size and scope of your event but also reflects the desired atmosphere and ambiance. 

Double-check these important details before sending them to your pre-event communications.

Step 5: Take Note of Details During the Planning Stage

Corporate party table set up

Avoid panics or unexpected stress when you plan. Check for food allergies, know where to put your decors, prepare for refreshments, etc. When you work ahead of time, you can simply enjoy and be in the moment of your corporate party. 

One helpful tip is to walk through the entire day so you don’t miss out on the details. If possible, you can also assign a point person in charge to ensure that the event runs smoothly, so you don’t feel overwhelmed on the day of the party. 

Here are some nitty-gritty details you may have missed:

  • Photos and Documentations
  • Diet Restrictions of Guest
  • Tech or Event Production to Avoid Glitches (Sound System, Projections)
  • Activities (Photo Booth, Props for Games, etc)
  • Food and Drinks Refill
  • Clean up Post-Event

Step 6: Planning for the Event Program and Theme

Make a thoughtful event program with your participants in mind. Your event program will list the schedule of what is expected to happen in the event. Activities are also indicated in detail on your event program. Your hosts, stakeholders, and vendors will need a copy of the event program for everyone’s alignment. 

In choosing a theme, select a theme that is inclusive and accessible to all your attendees, regardless of their background or preferences. Avoid themes that may be culturally insensitive or exclusionary and strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.

Step 7: Organizing Logistics

Logistics are tedious but they can make or break your event. Imagine running out of food or not being able to enter the venue during a supposedly festive party. That will be a nightmare for event planners. 

Check with your venue vendor regarding specific event permits they require. Coordinate with your catering to choose a menu with allergy considerations. If your party is in a different destination, you also need to consider transportation options. 

corporate party decorations

Step 8: Boosting Engagement and Participation

It’s time to party! All your preparations have led you to the event. Be present and have a good time because this is the fruit of your hard work and preparation. Make it an enjoyable experience for your guests by being inclusive and boosting engagement and participation. 

One helpful tip to note is not to expect your guests to warm up on their own. Set up your environment that helps them break the ice. Check out these fun ideas for corporate parties. 

Sample Corporate Event Games and Ideas

Movie-Inspired Games

Get inspiration from popular movies like Hunger Games or Squid Games for your activities and games. Incorporate your company’s references into the game for the full experience. 

Pitch your Business Idea

Create a fun challenge among your team by creating a game wherein each participant will select a random object in the office or provided by the organizer. Inspired by the series Shark Tank, participants have to create a business pitch selling that product. They can be creative with the product, pricing, features, and placement of their chosen product.

Murder Mystery

Hook your participants in a thrilling murder mystery game. Murder Mystery games are interactive experiences where participants take on the roles of characters in a fictional murder investigation.

As the plot unfolds, guests must use their detective skills to piece together clues, interrogate suspects, and ultimately solve the mystery of the story. To make it more interactive, you can use settings or plots that have a reference to your company culture or business. 

Blindfold Leader Game

Unlock the potential for teamwork and trust-building with the Blindfold Leader Game. This interactive activity challenges participants to rely on communication and collaboration as they navigate obstacles without sight.

An example of a blindfold game is one team member is blindfolded and tasked with following the verbal instructions of their teammates to navigate a maze, complete a puzzle, or accomplish a task. The catch? The blindfolded participant must trust their teammates to guide them safely through the course, relying solely on verbal cues and communication.

Truth or Dare

The classic party game with low-maintenance planning and preparation. Just spin the bottle and whoever the bottle points to should choose between Truth or Dare. Whether it’s sharing embarrassing secrets, performing hilarious stunts, or engaging in playful challenges, this game encourages laughter, spontaneity, and good-natured competition among participants. 

Word Drop

Prepare pieces of paper with a word written on it. Drop everything in a bowl or container. Divide the group into pairs and one team will pick a word that they have to describe without saying the actual word. The pair with the most points wins. 

Alternatively, there are other word games you can do like charades, bingo, or word association games. 

Blind Artist

Spark some laughter and light-hearted fun with this artistic game. Whisper a word or item to select participants in front. Ask them to draw that specific word or phrase without looking at their canvas or paper. Then, their group or partner can start guessing the drawing.

Complete the Alphabet Challenge

Make use of the alphabet by using it in your games. Challenge players to collect items that start with each letter of the alphabet. Alternatively, instead of completing the whole alphabet, you can pick a word that they must spell with items. 

Don’t Do It Game

Craft a storyline or series of tasks but with some trick lines on what not to do. Examples of challenges are below:

  • Build a structure using only barbeque sticks and marshmallows, but avoid using the words “structure” or “tall.”
  • Create a piece of artwork using only recycled materials, but avoid using the color green or mentioning trees.
  • Write a short story as a team, but avoid using the letter “e” or referencing the weather.
Relay Games

Enjoy an active relay game with your colleagues. Be creative like using office supplies, doing balloon pops, transporting a small item using a spoon in your mouth, or setting up a mini obstacle course for that added challenge. 

Step 9: Ensuring Safety

Conduct a thorough risk assessment of your venue and activities to avoid potential hazards. Set signages for emergency exits, coordinate crowd control, prepare first aid kits and medics, and address safety regulations of the venue.

Step 10: Post-event evaluation

Once the party is over, it’s time to discuss what can be improved to make your next event better. Send out a thank you email with a post-event survey. To make a bigger impact, include a post-event thank-you gift or a discount coupon for the next corporate event. 

Sample Corporate Event Planning Checklist

Plan a Successful Corporate Event with Event Espresso

Host corporate parties your employees will keep talking about for years. In setting up your event registration, choose reliable platforms that won’t cost a lot of money. Event Espresso is a WordPress plug-in that can easily integrate with your site. Accept registrations, collect payments, and set up a designated event website for your corporate party. 

If you don’t use WordPress on your website, you can choose Event Smart. It is a similar platform that also offers the same features without having to start your event site from scratch. 

Check out our live demo now or our 14-day free trial

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