How to Organize a Stellar Office Halloween Party

How to Organize a Stellar Office Halloween Party

By: Alice Liang | October 19, 2018

Halloween has become one of the top holidays of the year, excitedly anticipated by kids and adults alike. Use this opportunity to build morale and cohesion among your staff through teamwork and fun.

Consider scheduling the party near the end of the workday. If the party is during lunch break, just call it a day afterward. Productivity may not be at a high on Halloween, but don’t miss this chance to build community in the office for months to come.

Try a small party-planning committee

If possible, select a few party-crazed employees to help organize the details. Planning takes a lot of work, and it’s nice to have a few extra hands to pick up supplies, prepare refreshments, and put up decorations. If others express interest, try a rotating Halloween party committee so that anyone who wants an opportunity to help plan will get a chance every couple of years. Mixing it up also cultivates more creativity and team building.

Costumes and a contest – a must!

First, set a couple simple parameters: no offensive cultural stereotypes and attire must be office appropriate. But within reason, let everyone dress up to the extent they desire, whether that is not at all or in a full getup, complete with makeup.

Hold a costume competition with various categories: most realistic, funniest, best couple, best group, most creative, scariest, or cutest. Small, cheap Halloween trophies with the category engraved on the front can be ordered to present to the winners. Small gift cards also make a great prize!

Take a brief survey to find out if employees would prefer a costume theme. Some ideas include characters from a favorite scary book or movie, (then make a game by guessing each other’s characters), a pirate theme, business-related themes, or murder mystery characters, such as Clue characters. There are plenty of costume options perfect for theme parties in the office.

Fun food and some tunes

Store-bought Halloween goodies are okay, but homemade Halloween appetizers can be prepared in a jiffy and are much tastier. For those with a sweet tooth, plenty of Halloween dessert ideas are out there. Use printable labels to spruce up candy and drinks with Halloween themes.

If you or the committee members don’t want to be in charge of preparing all the refreshments, hang sign-up sheets for food and drinks at least a week before the party. Make categories for everyone to choose from to yield a nice balance: drinks, sweets, snack food (nuts, chips, cheese, and crackers), and appetizers (bean dips, mummy dogs, pumpkin soup, etc.).

Select music to set the desired mood for the party. Scary sounds are good for a haunted house but may get tiresome after a bit. Create an upbeat playlist with Billboard’s top 25 Halloween songs.

Don’t forget festive decorations

Pumpkins and varieties of fall squash are cheaply purchased this time of year. Group them together nicely and set some fake cobwebs, plastic skeletons, spiders or other cheap Halloween trinkets in between. String some Halloween themed lights, balloons, and black and orange streamers to complete the look. To involve the whole office, hold a competition for the best-decorated desk. Whether simple or elaborate, everyone will enjoy decorations in the office.

If you decide on a theme party, add decorations to go along with the theme. For example, treasure boxes, anchors, and sea paraphernalia for a pirate theme.

Set up a photo booth with Halloween props for taking pictures with mobile phones. Colleagues who don’t enjoy dressing up may like a photo booth, and it provides a chance to capture some fun memories together. Halloween photo booth props come ready-made and are available through many online retailers.

Games and activities

Bob for apples, stuff a spider piñata (if space allows), hold a pumpkin carving contest or toilet paper mummy wrap contest in groups. Have a Halloween treasure hunt: hide old coins in various locations with hints to the location of other coins. Whoever finds the most gets a gift card or small gift. Invite a magician to perform at the conclusion of the office party games.

Do you have a good storyteller in the office? Invite them to prepare a couple of scary stories to share for some chills and fun while everyone enjoys refreshments.

Evaluate the party’s success

Afterward, get feedback to use for next year’s party. Send out a small email survey asking everyone what they liked best, what they didn’t care for, ideas to add for next year, etc. Even if the party was a great success, comments should be welcome to show you value your team and so they can look forward to another good time next year!

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