There are lots of occasions for office parties. There are birthdays, retirement, farewell , wedding showers, baby showers and sometimes promotion parties. It’s not that planning a party is hard, but it takes some organization skills since you have to do your job as well. Planning parties for the office can be fun but exhausting if you are not organized. Try to recruit some co-workers or rotate those who plan.
First send out an email and ask for everyone invited to contribute some funds for a nice gift or gift card and a cake. You may not need to have everyone contribute every single time. It all depends on how often you plan these occasions at your job and how many people attend. In this email, also mention some dates that people can choose from or one particular date to see if everyone (or most people) can attend. Make a signup sheet for everyone to bring something, listing items from snacks to main course meals.
I once worked at a job where we planned once a month themed parties. We all bought main dishes and/ or snack and decorated the department according to the theme.
Make an assessment of what you already have in supplies from previous parties. Using some excess supplies from the last one will save some money for the next party. Shop according to your funds, but its always cheaper to go to any dollar store for paper products.
Send a greeting card for the occasion around in a file folder for everyone to sign, even if they aren’t attending. Make a sheet with everyone’s name on it. As each person signs the card, they check off their name so the each person who signs it knows who to give it to next. This way you can secretly have the card signed without the person who is given the party knowing about it.
Tips: If it’s a farewell or retirement occasion, and you work in a department with many other departments, just purchase or make a big cake for everyone. This way all their friends from other departments can say good-bye as well.
Sometimes it makes more sense to plan monthly birthday office parties to include all co-workers with birthdays in that month. You will cut down expenses tremendously especially if there are several birthdays in one month. Just use one cake with all names on it. Let’s face it planning several birthdays in the same month will become tiresome and expensive for everyone.