Office parties are unavoidable.
You have little choice but to attend, so spare yourself the drama and make sure your get-together is memorable for all the right reasons.
If you’ve been tasked with arranging the end-of-year function there is an extra layer of stress because you’re responsible to organise a perfect event. Not with these tips
Set your intentions
Office parties serve many purposes, so at the outset make sure you’re clear about what kind of party this is.
Claire Allen, celebrity chef and food entertainer, has run her events agency for 13 years and orchestrated multiple end-of-year functions.
“This could be an opportunity for team building, or just getting together and having fun. But you must know exactly what kind of party it is you’re organising,” she says.
As a guest, knowing what you’re walking into is just as important – speak to the organiser before the time so that you know if you’re stepping into a booze-up, or just another staff meeting but with better snacks and alcohol.
Open bars are a thing of the past, for many reasons. Few companies have the budget and your boss knows that not everyone will be able to curb their enthusiasm.
Consider a limited bar that closes at a definite time and make sure everyone is aware of the rules.
There will be people who will overindulge – save some of the party budget for e-hailing vouchers for staff so no one needs to drive home.
Consider creating a few signature company cocktails (maybe name each one something fun – possibly an office joke everyone can relate to); these are way better than shots of pure spirits, which get everyone drunk very quickly.
There’s a good variety of nonalcoholic beverage on the market – make sure you stock up on those because the teetotallers won’t be impressed having to drink soft drinks the entire evening.
Your food must be the one element that makes everyone happy.
You need to have vegan, vegetarian, halaal and kosher options.
Keep the food simple and appropriate to the time of day when the party is happening.
Chef Allen says: “Buffets aren’t ideal, but harvest tables are great because you can put out a spread that has something for everyone.”
Never go to the office party hungry.
The food might not be plated and you cannot survive on snacks – and when you add in alcohol, an empty stomach is a bad idea.
Follow Claire Allen on Facebook and @ClaireAllen_sa on Instagram.
Check out her website at www.signatureproductions.co.za