10 Tips for Planning – and Surviving – the Office Party

There are so many terrific things to which we look forward at this time of year – seeing family and friends, the joy of a perfectly chosen gift lighting up a loved one’s face, snow-covered landscapes, twinkling holiday lights, and more.

And then there are those things we dread in the last month of each year – that tangled string of lights that may or may not have worked when they were packed away last year, the inevitable fruitcake (or fruitcakes) that will haunt the fridge until St. Patrick’s Day, and – of course – the office holiday party.


Granted, the party itself can be a great time. After a year of hard work, it’s fun to celebrate your shared successes with the team of people with whom you’ve spent at least half of each weekday for the past 12 months. And who doesn’t like seeing how the boss pronounces “capital assets” and “fiscal responsibility” after the bar has been open a while?

But if you’re the one tasked with planning said party, you may be just as interested as in trading the “honor” for a month of jury duty, two root canals, and all of last year’s fruitcakes.

Phi Kappa Psi #2 - Cropped

Planning the office event – whether to mark the holidays, spell out the goals of the new year, spark some team building, or simply get away from the office for a change – can be a daunting task for the one the one to whom the boss gives the extra work. Don’t worry. After a lot of parties and events, we’ve developed some sure-fire tips to make the process easier on you and make the event a success no matter the time of year:

  1. Think about the type of atmosphere you are trying to create – do you want people mingling for a cocktail hour or seated for lunch or dinner? This helps to guide the creation and execution of the event.
  2. Don’t forget the festivities – decorations, games/activities, someone to help facilitate the event that day.
  3. Food requires more details than you think – everything from item selection to service time. Do you have any vegetarians? Vegans? Kids?
  4. Tailor the room to the size of your event – utilize all the space for large gatherings, or section areas off for more intimate settings.
  5. Make sure the situation flows – from entrance point, to buffet line, to dinner seats, to dancing, if that’s your fancy.
  6. Music sets the mood – even a little background music really makes a difference.
  7. All good things must come to an end, including the adult drinks. PA state law requires an end time for public events so the bar can stop service 30 minutes prior to that time.
  8. Audio and visuals brighten up the room – anything from a slide show to a group message or a PA announcer for the night can really encourage group comradery.
  9. Parking – a big event means a lot of cars! Make sure your guests have clear instructions on where they should and should not park.
  10. Focus on the fun – enjoy yourself! It’s your party too!

If you need more tips or help planning your event, give us a call at (717) 801-HITS or send an email to groups@yorkrevolution.com! In the meantime, have a great office holiday party season!

– Tylor Toll, Hospitality & Group Sales Coordinator

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