10 Tips for Throwing an Epic Office Party


Jeff Gapinski

5 people standing in small groups in a party setting talking and drinking

Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, company events are a great way to remind employees that you care. Sure, you can provide a 6 pack on a Friday afternoon, but the promise of free beer only goes so far when there’s the freedom of the weekend on the line. Take your office events to the next level with one of the following tips:

1. Pick a theme…

Why host a normal in-office happy hour when you can throw a luau in February or Christmas in July? Just don’t stick a Pumpkin Spice Party where it doesn’t belong.

2. …or celebrate an obscure holiday.

Forget a New Year’s kickoff — go nuts with a National Squirrel Day party instead. Throw a few Groundhog Day parties in a row just to freak people out. Depending on how wild the first party was, you might have people believing they’re in their own movies.

3. Escape the office…

Once 5 o’clock hits, everyone’s itching to get out of the office anyway. Host a bowling party, a w(h)ine and cheese night, a dive bar happy hour, you name it. If there’s food, drink, or an out-of-the-box activity involved, you’ll have a higher attendance rate than the last interdepartmental meeting.

4. …or work with what you’ve got.

Turn your everyday office supplies into the sporting equipment for your in-office Olympics. From roller-chair races, to highlighter art competitions, to rubber band archery, your options are endless (and free).

5. Bribe people with food…

In college, you could fill an event with the magic words “free food.” The sad corporate worker is no different from the poor college student. Send out an email with the subject line FREE PIZZA, then sit back and watch the starving masses roll in.

6. …or make them provide it.

Potluck” is a euphemism for “my budget is low and I’m lazy,” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. It’s always a good idea to know which of your coworkers makes the best brownies.

7. Have people dress up…

What’s more fun than requiring your employees to pop on a costume before they’re allowed to partake in libations? Keep a tiara handy to bestow on anyone who thinks they can get away with skipping the costume.

8. …or embarrass them in other ways.

Throw a karaoke party or a dance contest. Nothing helps coworkers bond faster than awkwardly crooning or swaying to Livin’ on a Prayer.

9. Embrace your city…

Pick the worst, most touristy thing to do in your city, and make all your coworkers do it with you. Not only will it be a brand new activity for most everyone (how many New Yorkers have actually been up the Empire State Building?), but all the herding around will force people to bond.

10. …or give back to it.

Apparently, there are people out there who run for fun. If your office is filled with these weirdos, sign everyone up for a charity 5k and bribe the rest of us with food.


Jeff Gapinski

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