When it's time to throw an unforgettable office party, you need more than fancy decorations and fine wine. How you organise your party matters as much as the food and entertainment you provide.
Here are three big tips to make your next office party unforgettable for all the right reasons:1. Hire a professional DJ
A professional DJ will make or break a good party. The difference between a professional and an amateur is huge, but if you’ve never hired a professional, you may not know why you need one.
Amateur DJs enjoy what they do and know how to work a crowd, but they don’t have enough experience with sound to create a proper experience for your guests.
You may have noticed that bands travel with sound technicians who “wring out the room” before every performance. This isn’t just something nitpicky bands do – it’s a necessity for good sound. Ringing out a room
eliminates the sound frequencies that will create feedback in the room.
Sound techs spend a good amount of time testing the acoustics of the room, so they know where to place the band, the speakers, and if they need to bring in any extra equipment to augment the quality of sound.
A professional DJ may not have their own sound crew, but they will know enough to do much of the work themselves.
If you want people to remember your office party as amazing, don’t hire someone who DJs for a hobby, hire a professional.2. Use a checklist for organising everything
It’s impossible to seamlessly organise a party without creating a written plan. If you’ve ever taken a weekend trip and forgotten your toothbrush, you know the importance of using a checklist for even the most basic and obvious items.
Your checklist should correspond with the way you plan your party. Your first checklist might simply be a list of ideas to explore or people to call. Your checklists will evolve as you plan, and you’ll probably need to use several individual lists, like these
, to stay on track.
To get the most out of your checklists, use a pen and paper rather than a computer. Studies have shown that physically writing things down (not typing them on a computer) helps you remember them better. In fact, many people who take notes never need to read their notes because the act of writing the information down commits it to their memory.
While you don’t need to write things down to remember general concepts, it does help you remember more details. In one psychological test
, two groups of students watched a lecture on psychology and only one group took notes. While both groups remembered about 40% of the information covered in the lecture, “the students who had taken notes remembered a higher proportion of key facts, while those who did not take notes remembered a more or less random assortment of points covered in the lecture.”3. Serve alcohol professionally
Most people will expect alcohol at an office party, but that doesn’t mean you should have an open bar. Not everyone will drink responsibly, and if anything bad happens, you might get part of the blame.
Hire a couple of professional bartenders to serve the alcohol, and keep it limited to beer and wine. If you absolutely must have cocktails, instruct the bartenders to mix them lightly, no matter what people request. Give your servers the right to refuse alcohol to anyone who appears to be intoxicated.Intoxicated people won’t remember the party
The reason people can’t remember what they do while intoxicated is explained well in this paper
published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Alcohol disrupts activity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a part in forming new memories. If the hippocampus is suppressed, new memories can’t be formed.
According to the research, “Alcohol primarily interferes with the ability to form new long–term memories, leaving intact previously established long–term memories and the ability to keep new information active in memory for brief periods. As the amount of alcohol consumed increases, so does the magnitude of the memory impairments. Large amounts of alcohol, particularly if consumed rapidly, can produce partial (i.e., fragmentary) or complete (i.e., en bloc) blackouts, which are periods of memory loss for events that transpired while a person was drinking.”
You’ll know your office party was a success when your co-workers come into work the next day with enthusiasm, rather than a hangover.