How to Throw an Epic Office Party
(on a budget)
Here's what to do when the budget for your office party is limited (or non-existent).
Office parties are beneficial to both the business and your employees: “Office socials can do wonders for internal business. Employees that get a chance to unwind on the company’s watch will feel appreciated and work harder,” says Alyson Krueger, Business Insider contributor. She continues, “Sadly, despite their advantages, internal parties are way too often the victims of budget cutting.”
So what do you do when the budget for your office party is limited (or non-existent)? Use the following ideas, from looking for online deals to having employees chip in, we’ve found the best ways to throw an epic office party on a budget.
Do a Side Dish Potluck
Did you know that an estimated 60% of party hosts spend the bulk of their budget on food? Asking guests to contribute is a great way to alleviate the costs of catering, without making employees feel like they’re responsible for the party themselves. Not to mention, side dishes are usually low-effort, so it’s not asking too much. In the end, it’s a surefire way to get employees and their spouses talking while learning more about one another.
Buy in Bulk
Stock up on al your non-perishable items by buying in bulk and you’ll be sure to get a better price. This applies to alcohol (beer and wine are both cheaper when sold by the case), napkins, cutlery, and other party essentials—including food: think nuts, pretzels, granola, etc. This tactic yielded up to 40 percent savings for one CBN investigative reporter.
Buying food in bulk is also a good idea if you don’t know how many guests are coming; you can be sure you’ll have enough for everyone, and can put the rest out for free snacks and lunch for employees in the weeks to follow.
If you don’t want to buy in bulk and deal with the extras, head online for savings instead. From groceries to decorations, everything can be delivered right to your door for a fraction of the price. Use this list from Lifewire to find the best online grocery stores or use the Amazon Fresh service to enjoy the same convenience and savings. Just remember to order in advance so everything arrives with plenty of time to set up and cook, if necessary.
Host a Brunch
Hosting your office party during the day is not only exciting for employees, but brunch tends to be cheaper than most other meals. Items like toast, juice, nut butter and granola are always inexpensive and easy to acquire at your local grocery store. If you want to serve adult beverages—mimosas, bloody Mary’s, Irish coffee—ask employees to pitch in with alcohol to stay on budget.
Note: Because your brunch party would be held in the late morning, during working hours, you’ll need to reserve a conference room for the event. If your company doesn’t have a good system for booking space, you can create a free YArooms trial. Here's how it works.
Stream Your Entertainment
If you’re planning an evening party, entertainment can be a big cost. Skip the DJ and curate a playlist instead. A good set of speakers and a list of feel-good songs can get the party started at no cost to you. Stumped for songs? Use a streaming service like Spotify to use pre-made playlists, or ask employees to add their favorite songs to a group playlist. Everyone will love hearing their pick throughout the night and you’ll spend little to no money on entertainment.
Don’t miss out on the benefits of hosting an office party your employees will love and appreciate. Use these ideas to streamline the costs while making the party as epic as your employees hoped it would be.