An End of Year celebration is an important calendar event for healthy businesses. Office parties are a time to recognise everyone's contribution to the team and a chance to enjoy time together. Suppose your company has flexible hours, hot desking and hybrid models of working like over 50% of businesses in the post covid era. In that case, you'll understand the importance of social connections and creating opportunities for workers to get together.
If you are organising an end-of-year celebration for a small to mid-size business situated in one location, then hosting your office party IRL is a must. If this is the case, you have likely already decided on your location and have selected a hotel conference room, restaurant or meeting space. Get creative! Think how you can elevate the space into somewhere relaxed and inviting, and get in touch with the venue's function manager to assist.
Things become a little more complicated, as they now often are when people work remotely or from different cities and often with different time zones! Don't despair; there are various formats your office party could take. Some companies adopt an IRL party in each business location to ensure people can catch up. In the first and last moments of the get-together, connect the parties via video conference on a huge screen.
If needs must, and you have to run an online party, separate yourself from Zoom fatigue and consider a video-calling space that lets multiple people simultaneously hold separate conversations. Applications such as Gather and Element are free and Open Source; they aren't the same as a real-life gathering, but they certainly offer a better experience.
Just like a traditional party, you can theme the space, have a relaxed start time and, on arrival, allow people to explore the space, then chat with someone of their choosing without entering into an embarrassing wall of faces. This style of gathering is also applicable to Hybrid end-of-year gatherings. Although people should be encouraged to attend face-to-face if possible, sending custom party boxes from companies such as SnackNation to remote workers that reflect what is on offer at the live venue is a great way of involving people who can't attend.
Planning and structure are the keys to a successful End of Year gathering that is raved about by all. Start thinking about the start of the event. It's a good idea to kick off a face-to-face end-of-year gathering informally, giving people time to chat, laugh and mingle. You can adopt this with a hybrid or online office party too.
It's popular for in-house meeting planners of Fortune 500 companies to profile party attendees. They consider how they will feel in the first 5-10 minutes of entering the gathering, ensure they plan the experience and give pre-party information to reduce anxiety and increase a sense of inclusion. This may seem a little over the top, but simply putting yourself in the shoes of someone entering a gathering for the first time will help you design your IRL or online party in a way that decreases feelings of awkwardness.
All successful End of Year Celebrations have a main, structured component, usually a team-building activity, either one or more activities in sequence or parallel. The possibilities are endless. Again, considering the people attending the event is important, as are your objectives.
Collaborative team-building activities are trending in bookings for office parties in 2022.
Collaborative team-building activities are trending in bookings for office parties in 2022. Beat the Box Rescue Santa is a keen favourite in countries where Christmas is celebrated. Teams work together, puzzling their way to open a series of locked boxes in a quest to rescue Santa. The Big Picture, in which teams collaborate and communicate to create an enormous interconnected multi-canvas artwork, is an eternal favourite. Consult with your local Catalyst Provider to design an appropriately themed artwork for your event.
Create shared memories with a GPS treasure hunt, exploring the venue or getting out and about. Your Catalyst representative will be able to design a unique experience for your group. Just ask!
Constructing a larger-than-life Santa sleigh from a flat-pack and racing it around the venue will have everyone laughing and cheering!
For an online end-of-year get-together, check out Race Around the World Festive, Swipe Face – House Party! Or E Choir Festive.
A festive quiz can be run at live, online or hybrid office parties. Ask your Catalyst provider about the range of possibilities with Quickfire Festive.
It is also important to plan how your gathering will end. You want people to leave the party with positive memories. Having formalised activities with a communicated schedule creates an opportunity for people to leave, whether live or online. Above all, ensure guests leave feeling relaxed, appreciated and acknowledged.
Get in touch to learn more about how Catalyst's end-of-year celebration team building activities can assist you in planning a fun shared experience to recognise everyone's contribution and enjoy time together!
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