[guest post] 8 awesome theme ideas for your next corporate event

theme party ideas

Parties are always more fun when there’s a theme. It creates more opportunity for engagement and mingling. The last thing you want at a social event is the sound of crickets or guests chattering on their phones instead of with each other. Contrary to what naysayers say, themed events are not just for junior high school dances or a 10-year-old’s birthday bash. Themes are used all the time for college, corporate, and charity marathon events.

 If you’re short on ideas, the following considerations make for a great themed corporate event.

1. Who Am I? 

Red name badge with the words Hellow my name is with a clipping path ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizes

This is a fun game that makes good use of those “Hello, my name is…” stickers. As the guests arrive, give each one a sticker with the name of a well-known figure. This could be a celebrity, athlete, or fictional character. Put the sticker on the person’s forehead or back so they can’t see it.

The guest will then have to guess who they are by asking a series of “yes” and “no” questions to the other guests. This encourages cross discussions and mingling across staffers from different departments that may not normally interact during work hours.

2. Tailgating Party

Tailgating Party

Tailgating parties are typically associated with American sporting events. However, it can also be held indoors as a themed corporate event. While this may seem a bit informal for a business event, it’s actually helpful for getting guests to loosen their ties and talk about sports or anything not related to work. You can include barbecue-type foods and even allow guests to prepare their own steak or kabobs.

Such an event can also be held on the day of a highly anticipated sporting event that involves a local team. Consider renting a venue with a theatre-style room with a large high-definition screen.

3. Tea Party 

tea party

A traditional English style tea party makes a lovely theme for an event where you want to keep affairs on the formal side without encouraging too much raunchiness from the guests. For an even more creative touch, you can give it a Downtown Abbey theme and even hire “servants” to serve guests tea and biscotti. An outdoor location would make a pleasing venue for such an event.

Incorporate a variety of teas with flavour enhancers like sugar granules and honey on the side. You can even include coffee, pink lemonade, and bottled water for non-tea drinkers. Light finger foods and desserts like cupcakes, club sandwiches, veggie platters, sliced fruit, and rum cake can be served as well.

4. Karaoke Party 

karaoke party

This theme is pretty self-explanatory. All it requires is a karaoke machine, a mic, and a few alcoholic cocktails to get guests getting up on stage. This is one of the best corporate event ideas for getting everyone together – from the newest recruit to the manager – and singing a song together. When you’re singing in unison as a group, everyone works together, and for that brief moment, everyone is equal with no superiors or subordinates. Here is a list of 25 top karaoke songs for your corporate party.

You can also turn the singing into a contest with a “don’t forget the lyrics” type of competition. There can also be non-singing games related to music and songs, such as trivia questions like “Who sang it first?” or fill in the lyrics.

5. Hawaiian Luau

hawaian party

Have everyone arrive in Hawaiian shirts, board shorts, and sandals. You can also have a greeter at the front door welcome everyone with a lei. The evening’s events can include hula dance lessons, grass-skirt making, and a barbecue featuring Hawaiian dishes, such as lau lau and kalua pork.

Once the guests have had a few cocktails, break out the bamboo stick and have everyone do the limbo. Obviously, some people will fall on their butts, which will incite laughter and elevate the festive mood. Any venue with an outdoor setting, such as Hyde Park’s Look Out, would make for a great venue for a Hawaiian-themed event.

If you’re considering adding multiple games, then incorporate themed competitions like coconut bowling, hot potato with a pineapple, or a contest seeing who can keep a hula hoop going the longest.

6. Masquerade Ball 

Masquerade Ball

This is a good corporate party if the invitation extends to staff members’ spouses. Since this type of event is more on the formal end, be sure to specify a dress code. Masquerade balls obviously include masks, so be sure everyone brings one, though you should have a few spares since there’s always going to be those one or two individuals who neglect to bring one.

Light refreshments, such as cocktails, horderves, and finger foods should be served by hired hands dressed in a tailcoat and bowtie. For a more lavish feel, in place of pre-recorded music, hire a live string quartet or orchestra and have them play their own rendition of classic masterpieces like the Phantom.

7. Santa’s Workshop 

Santa Claus

This is obviously a themed party idea before everyone retreats for their well-earned Christmas break. It’s also a family-friendly event where staffers can bring their spouses and little ones. You can also have a faculty member dress as Santa and have a sack of toys ready for the children in attendance.

This is also a party that can be doubled as a charity event. Give the event a specific theme that combines the holidays with a “giving back” theme. Perhaps you can have each guest bring an unwrapped toy for donation or cohost the event with a participating charity group. 

8. Lotto Party 

Background of yellow balls with bingo numbers used to randomly select lucky numbers during a bingo game ** Note: Shallow depth of field

It is common practice for coworkers to contribute to a lottery pool in the hopes of increasing their winning odds. Why not turn this concept into a party? Encourage everyone to contribute (contribution should be voluntary) to a pool prior to the party and schedule the event at a time that coincides with the winning numbers being drawn. If a large prize is won, then that gives you even more reason to celebrate. If not, still celebrate because it’s all for fun anyways. This type of event can make up a part of a bigger casino night theme.

There are no shortages of corporate event ideas to give your hard working crew members a deserved break from the strain of meetings and deadlines. By incorporating a theme, the party has a direction and doesn’t become one of those generic office parties where your staffers just come for the free food or because they have to.

This is a guest contribution by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at VenueSeeker, a comprehensive online venue guide based in the UK.

 

6 comments

  1. Valerie@Occasionally Crafty says:

    These are fun! I will have to pass them on to the event lady at work- she’s always looking for new ideas!

  2. Tee says:

    I love all the themes featured here. A company I used to work for had annual galas. I always appreciated company corporate parties. They can be so much fun. Like the ones featured here :).

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