Planning the summer party? These are the 10 questions you should ask first

Ask these important questions before you start planning your amazing summer office party.

The days are getting lighter, longer and warmer. This can only mean one thing - summer is on its way, and that puts everybody in an altogether happier mood.

There’s really no better way to bring everyone together and say a massive thank you for all their hard work. The annual Christmas bash can sometimes feel like something of a duty - an obligation added to that already hectic time of year – but a summer office party is different. A summer office party is all about fun.

And when it comes to London summer office parties, you certainly won't be short of options. The saying goes that 'the proof is in the pudding', but when you organise a summer office party the proof is in the planning. So here are 10 questions you should answer as soon as you've decided to plan the summer office party to get you on your way to an amazing event.

1. What are your must-haves?

Brainstorm a list of ideas for your summer office party. Start with a wish list - the things you'd really like to see; any things you definitely want to avoid; and a list of 'must-haves'. Categorising your ideas in this way will give you a great starting point, and a clearer vision for your budget.

2. Speaking of which, what's your budget?

Summer office parties come with any price tag imaginable (especially in London), but before you go any further you need to get confirmation on yours as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than putting together a stellar plan only to have your dreams dashed by the finance department. To help steer upper management in the right direction, create a budget proposal of your own. This way you’re not only helping your line manager by preparing it for them, but you can make sure your must-haves are included.

3. Where's your perfect venue?

You'll probably want to hold your event outside the actual office - a welcome change of scenery for the team to let their hair down. Summertime opens up more possibilities: rooftop terraces, alfresco dining, a picnic in the park, or a boat on the river. A cool cafe or bar might be more your thing. The venue should comfortably accommodate your guests and give you the option of moving inside or out depending on the weather (it is London, after all!).

4. Who's on your power party planning team?

Planning a party on your own is a big responsibility. It's also a burden on your time. Don't be afraid to enlist help from within the office (or externally) - in fact, encourage it. Having a 'party planning committee' will take some of the pressure off your shoulders and it will also give people a say in the event's details. Plus, it's a great way to bring people together for a little team building and social time. 

5. When should you set a date?

Like, now! 2-3 months in advance if you possibly can. Although the summer office party season isn't quite as manic as the Christmas season, it can still be a whirlwind. You will find some caterers, entertainers and venues at short notice, but if you want your first choice, it's always best to plan well ahead. You also need to plump for a date that suits the majority of your team (and work around all those summer holiday plans). The more notice you can give, the better.

6. What's your party theme?

Having a theme for your office party isn't everyone's bag, but it can be a great way to bring the best out of your team. Like the sweet buttercream frosting in a layer cake, it can hold everything together. Plus, a themed-event is a great way to include the small but fabulous touches that live long in our memories. Take a look at some of our favourite themed events of the past.

7. Any plans for entertainment?

In city teaming with talent, there’s a lot more to it than DJ vs. band.  Live entertainment ensures that a party stays alive. Music choices can be tied to the theme of your event, but there are plenty of other options available. From fiddlers to fire-eaters, there’s no shortage of fun ideas. We even wrangled a mariachi band for a past City Pantry event!

8. Will there be any activities? 

Some people feel awkward at social events and not everyone enjoys making small talk. A few games and activities help keep people engaged, and are a great way to bring people together in those early stages of the evening. 

9. Are plus ones invited? (Please say yes!)

You want to bring the team together, but you all know each other already. If everybody brings their ‘plus one’, the party grows – new people bring new experiences and more interest. On another note, showing your employees that you care about their friends and family goes a long way in establishing a positive company culture. After all, good work-life-balance is all about getting to enjoy life with those you care most about. 

10. And the best part - what's to eat?

Canapes or a sit down dinner? Cocktails or wine? There's lots to consider when it comes to planning the best part of the whole evening. Everyone loves a good spread, so you should get creative with the menu (and the drinks), while being mindful of any allergies or special dietary requirements. 

Ready to start planning?

Get in touch with our food gurus to help turn your vision into a reality! We deliver 100% bespoke events, down to the last detail!