How to Plan a Surprise Office Party

“At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely”–William Somerset Maugham

Occasions will arise where a surprise office party is appropriate. The purpose of this guide is to explain how to play a surprise office party.

It looks at the thought process and the planning process involved in successfully pulling off a surprise part in an office. It includes do’s and don’ts.

Before putting a lot of effort into planning an office surprise party, check with the boss to make sure it’s okay.

If the boss is the surprisee, then you might skip this step, because the boss clearly won’t be surprised if you get permission first.

In that case, you should be careful to only throw a surprise office party for the boss if you know your boss really well, and you’re sure the boss won’t get upset.

Plan appropriate food and drink.

It’s not a party without refreshments. These don’t have to be expensive, but there should be food and drink of some kind there, even if it’s only pizza, soda pop, and cake. Try to avoid food with peanuts, as a lot of people in offices are allergic to peanuts. You should also avoid shellfish. Alcohol is inappropriate in a lot of offices, so figure out what’s appropriate where you work before buying that bottle of champagne to serve.

Plan decorations.

Nothing adds festivity to a party better than decorations. But be sure you get office-appropriate decorations. Don’t use any kind of party decorations that might offend someone in the office. If your decorations cause a human resources complaint, then you might not have any more parties at your office again. Ever.

Plan activities.

Parties should include activities. There are many party games which are appropriate for an office setting, but there are plenty that aren’t appropriate too. Try to include activities and games that everyone can participate in, and again, don’t choose any activities which risk offending your officemates.

Tell the people who aren’t the “surprisee” about the party.

If someone is a blabbermouth, it’s okay to keep him in the dark. But otherwise, it’s a good idea to let people know about the party ahead of time. The guest of honor (whoever you’re hoping to surprise) shouldn’t know about the surprise office party until it starts.

Have fun.

The whole point of having a party, even a surprise office party, is to have fun. So talk to the other people there, smile a lot, and participate in the merrymaking. You can have fun at a surprise office party even if you’re being careful to avoid offending the people attending.

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