Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Executive Leadership / General Management

Throwing a Company Party on a Budget


Making sure your employees feel appreciated is an integral part of being an excellent supervisor, and what better way to show your appreciation for a job well done than a company-wide office party? If you’d like to host a shindig for all of your loyal employees but you’re stuck with a less-than-stacked budget, use these money saving tips to make sure you can host an awesome event without breaking the bank.

Consider Your Timing

Most offices have a Christmas or end of the year party, but this means exorbitant prices and just another thing to add to the season’s list for your busy employees. Instead, host “off-season” company parties during the year. If you’re planning on hosting your shindig offsite, booking during the non-peak months will mean cheaper venue prices, less spent on caterers and entertainment, and a nice break during the boring hustle and bustle of an otherwise ordinary work month.


A Movie Screening

Instead of a party, plan a shindig around silver screen entertainment. Buy movie tickets for all of your employees to head out and take in a film that’s been the talk of the water cooler for weeks now. If that’s too much of a splurge, you can easily bring the theater to work. Rent a projector for an afternoon and use a blank wall to show a classic comedy, or maybe an office themed movie like Office Space. Do this during office hours for an extra treat (your employees may not be inclined to spend their valuable free time staying at work for even longer).


Bring the Party to You

It’s astronomically more expensive to host your party outside of the office, as venue fees can quickly rack up. Bring the party to your office by repurposing the space for your party needs. Move office furniture out of the conference room, set up decorations, and use different lighting to make the space feel like a completely different place.


Easy Food Options

If you can swing it, cater the food and bring it to the office as a midday surprise your employees will more than appreciate. Ordering food can get very expensive, and if the budget is almost bursting at the seams, a potluck is your best bet. Have your employees bring sides that everyone can enjoy, and as a company, provide the main meal—it could be ribs from a local barbecue joint or the fodder for tacos. The company can also easily provide dessert; whether it’s chocolate covered strawberries or homemade cupcakes, you can’t go wrong with a bit of scrumptious sugar.


The Question of Drinks

One of the most expensive costs for an office party comes in the purchase of alcohol, but many associate office parties are free-flowing affairs. Instead of doing away with alcohol altogether, offer two or three types of drinks instead of offering an open bar. This way, you can buy in bulk at a wholesaler like Costco and save tons. If you are serving alcohol, you also need to consider the transportation situation after the party has come to an end. While your employees should be responsible and have a plan for driving in place, it’s easy to set up ways for them to enact this responsibility. Finagle a deal with a taxi company, offer to cover the charges of their Uber ride home, or rent a bus that can take them easily to their destination. This will also protect you and the company from liability issues while keeping your employees safe and sound.


The Question of Significant Others

If you’re opening the party to significant others, you’re opening your wallet to some much larger expenses. It’s all about timing. If you’ll be hosting the party on a weekend evening, the proper decorum will see you inviting spouse and significant others. If you’re looking to avoid the added number of people and exorbitant cost, plan to have your office party during business hours or immediately following the work day. 


A company party can contribute to more camaraderie and an overall improved sense of team spirit. Show your employees that their hard work is appreciated by throwing an office party without breaking the bank.


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