Plenty of people are familiar with a housewarming party, but have you ever thought about a similar celebration for your work life? A business relocation or expansion is certainly a worthy cause for celebration. Your office warming party can be as upscale or informal as you like. You can even incorporate fun themes and prizes. Most importantly, an office warming party is a great way to bring in business, thank your employees, and show off your new professional space.
Are you considering hosting an office warming party? If so, you should keep in mind that many factors go into throwing the perfect event. To ensure a successful party, pay close attention to visual detail, food, and other special touches. All of these different aspects directly reflect on your company, so put in the necessary time and make it count.
Ready to get started? Read on and check out the infographic for some great ideas to make your office warming a smashing sensation.
Stage 1: Planning Your Office Warming Event
As soon as you have an opening date for your new location, set a budget and a tentative party date. Both of these factors determine how intricate you can get as you plan. Try to get a feel for your new space as you plan your event. What works well in an intimate setting, for example, will fall flat in a spacious lobby.
Planning an office warming party or event can be a massive undertaking, especially on top of your normal duties. Therefore, don’t hesitate to assign specific responsibilities to your team. Think about where they shine and explain their tasks in detail. Give them guidelines and completion dates. Also be sure to check in on progress on a regular basis.
Consider Your Company — And Your Clients
What is your company culture like? Is it:
- Traditional? Are you part of a 9-to-5 business with different departments and a structured hierarchy?
- Formal? Does your organization follow specific goals, have traditional values, and implement rules like conservative dress?
- Creative? Does your company emphasize values like inspiration, innovation, flexibility, and diversity?
- Casual? Do your team members often show up in jeans, take long lunches as a department, and radiate a general laid-back vibe?
Company culture can make all the difference when it comes to party planning. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to throw a fancy cocktail party for your construction management company. Similarly, a “Back To the Future”-themed bash might not go over well at a formal corporation. It all comes down to knowing your office.
In addition, carefully consider your clientele, as well. You’re not required to invite clients, but it’s a good opportunity to further invest in those relationships. If you do plan to invite clients, what will they expect? Some customers want to be wined and dined in high style, while others are happy to casually mingle with light snacks. It all comes down to company culture and how you like to present your brand.
Once you have a good read on your company and clients, you’re ready to plan your party.
Some fun party ideas include:
- Cocktail event with an open bar
- Buffet-style meal to mix and mingle
- Spa-type pampering with masseuse
- Laid-back vibe featuring barbecue, potluck, or other casual meal
- Crawfish boil, carnival setup, or another outdoor event
- Themed event, such as a masquerade, costume party, or even movie theme
Stage 2: Prep Work
Now that you’ve brainstormed and planned your office warming event, you can dive into preparations. Make plans, book vendors, and send invitations well in advance. Efficient time management is key to a successful office warming party.
Mail Nice Invitations
A well-done office warming invitation should emphasize the theme of your event and entice guests to attend. Consider mailer invitations as opposed to electronic invites. They’re more personal and are fun to stick on the fridge. But if you go this route, make sure they look stylish and professional. And don’t forget to stay consistent with your company branding, or clients might miss the connection.
Make Attendance Worthwhile
Guests love interesting party features that are both surprising and fun. Nowadays, with so many over-the-top celebrations, you’ll have to work a little harder to impress. Consider door prizes and fun activities. Have a photo backdrop and props, and ask guests to use a specific hashtag if they post on social media. If budget allows, arrange an attraction that will have people talking long after the party ends, such as a silhouette artist, a Cirque-style act, or a band. Finally, swag bags, party favors, and other take-home goodies are always a hit.
Plan For Music
While music can make or break an event, your options here are fairly straightforward — professional band, DJ, or piped-in music. If you hire musicians or a DJ, make sure to do plenty of research, ask around, and check references.
On the other hand, choosing your own music requires a different kind of time investment. If you don’t have much of an ear for music, pay attention to popular Top 40 hits. In addition, try to include a little something for everyone. Songs from past decades are fun for party goers of all ages. You could also consider buying a party playlist.
It’s All About the Food
If there’s one thing party guests will remember, it’s the quality of the food you serve, so make sure it’s a cut above the rest. Also, a word to the wise — nothing too messy or difficult to eat. No one wants to lick sauce off their fingers in front of coworkers. Self-serve meals are wildly popular, all the way down to fun ideas like baked potato bars and candy buffets.
While we’re on the subject of refreshments, decide whether or not you will serve alcohol. If so, will you offer a full bar or just a few wine and beer options? Check proper licensing and hire a bartender if your budget allows.
Stage 3: Pulling It Off
Attention to party prep means you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the festivities. However, it’s still important to take care of all the final touches. In addition, you should anticipate some common issues that may arise. For example, here are a few things to keep in mind on office warming day:
Before Party Goers Arrive
First, make sure your office space is clean! Restrooms especially should sparkle, and make sure you fully stock the essentials. Add welcoming touches such as candles and fresh flowers. Finally, turn on some welcoming music, dim the lights, and perform any other last-minute tasks before your guests begin dropping in.
Make Guests Feel At Home
Be welcoming — treat your office as you would your home. Greet guests at the door with a warm hello and directions to the bar or appetizers. Keep the conversation light — don’t talk too much about work, even though it’s sure to come up from time to time. No doubt your guests will want to look around a little bit. To avoid repeat performances, give your guests “the grand tour” at the right time, and preferably in one group.
Easily Preventable Issues
A few minor annoyances are commonplace with big parties. But you can take care of them in advance with some attention to detail. First, arrange for extras of everything — especially extra seating and extra food. RSVPs are more of a guideline, not a number set in stone. Also, make sure someone keeps an eye on guests who may need assistance getting home. In those cases, Uber is a great resource. Last but not least, have a contingency plan in place. This is critical, just in case something doesn’t work out with your venue or the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Throwing a successful office warming party isn’t difficult. It just requires time, commitment, and attention to detail. Remember, happy guests translate to happy clients and employees!
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