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Pro Guide 101: Hosting a Memorable Office Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties have been a popular choice for social gatherings for many years. It's a little more low-key and relaxing than hosting a meal, and there's much less to think about. It can have a much more relaxed mood than a dinner party, but it can still be just as fun as any other type of social gathering (especially if the cocktails are done correctly).

There are, however, a few tips and methods that will help you ensure that your cocktail party goes off without a hitch, as they are a terrific opportunity to host and entertain friends and even work colleagues.

A cocktail party typically lasts two hours, though this can change depending on the situation. Knowing the purpose of your party can help you gauge its duration. Notably, it may be a fairly simple event to plan because there isn't a sit-down dinner provided; only a few nibbles are served.

Consider the following if you plan to host a memorable corporate cocktail party soon.

1. Make Your Cocktails Centre Stage

Hosting a Memorable Office Cocktail Party

The main objective of your cocktail party may be to build new relationships or to share your company's great news, but the cocktails themselves are what your event is built around. A smart menu ensures that your guests have a good time all night.

These two main suggestions can help ensure that the beverages are ready to serve on the day of your event:

  • Hire a Professional Bartender

A few of your co-workers may have bartender experience, or you know how to make fancy drinks. However, there are some significant advantages to employing a professional bartender to manage this for you. They can handle more customers simultaneously, leaving you and your co-workers free to focus on your clients.

Significantly, choosing the appropriate glassware is more crucial than you might believe when bartending. First, consider that wide-rimmed glasses are preferable for aromatic drinks. Narrow-rimmed glasses are ideal for storing fizzy drinks.

A bullet whiskey glass has a broad rim and is best used for drinking whiskey on the rocks or simple cocktails at a party. Wine glasses are simple to recall. While the rim of a white wine glass is thin to keep out delicate fragrances, the rim of a red wine glass is wider to allow odours to reach the nose.

  • When In Doubt, Overstock the Bar

Allow more room in your cocktail party budget for more beverages than you need. The last thing you want is for the cocktails to run out before the celebration begins.

2. With Easy and Clear Directions, Welcome Guests

How you intend to plan your party may demonstrate to clients how much you care from beginning to end—including the moment they walk in the door. Follow these actions to assist them in finding their way:

  • Include Branded Décor

Hosting a Memorable Office Cocktail Party

Branded signs and banners can assist attendees in knowing they've arrived at the appropriate place, especially if your cocktail party is at a different location. Napkins and tablecloths, for example, can make the party room feel uniform and professional.

  • Help Them Get Acquainted

Providing a few icebreakers would be appreciated if you'll welcome new clients who don't know each other. Name tags can help start talks, but you can also create icebreakers for small group meet-and-greets.

  • Provide a Table for Check-in

Guests can sign in here, get a name badge, and find their way to the bar for their first cocktail.

  • Offer a Grand Entrance

People will remember the event more if you provide a photo booth or a step-and-repeat with your logo and branding.

3. Create an Atmospheric Playlist

Hosting a Memorable Office Cocktail Party

A cocktail party can be held anywhere, but the music that plays through the speakers has the power to transport your guests all over the world. A rendition of "Funiculi Funicula" can transport them to an Italian pizzeria, while a Van Halen fan favorite can transport them to the '70s and '80s classic rock era.

That said, selecting a playlist that acts as an ear-pleasing backdrop to your event is critical rather than distracting from the engaging interactions and relationship-building you hope to host. If you want the conversations to flow as freely as the cocktails, use a more subdued playlist and test the volume to ensure it doesn't overrun the room.

4. Send Off Your Guests with Plenty of Giveaways

To add to the excitement, provide some branded gifts your guests may take home at the night's end. If planning a smaller event, keep the gifts simple, such as a pen, tote bag, or notepad with your company's logo.

However, prepare some bigger freebies if you're holding a big cocktail party. You can distribute raffle tickets to visitors at the start of the celebration and announce winners throughout the night, increasing anticipation as you go.

5. Find the Perfect Cocktail Party Theme

Hosting a Memorable Office Cocktail Party

A theme isn't always required for a spectacular soirée, but it can make your special occasion unique. It demonstrates to your clients that your cocktail hour involves more than a drink of sangria and a handful of crab rangoons. Your cocktail party is an experience with a well-planned theme reflected in your choice of decor, snacks, and cocktail-shaker-prepared drinks.

6. Coordinate With the Next Big Holiday

Consider a cocktail party with a matching theme if you arrange your festivities around an impending holiday. From St. Patrick's Day to the first day of fall, you can make colorful libations for any yearly celebrated day, purchase decor to liven up your venue, and add some festive pizazz at most merchants (including the Paperless Post Party Shop!).

A live jazz band, for example, could perform seasonal melodies at a year-end Christmas gathering. You can decorate tables with tinsel and holly, serve a holiday-themed beverage, and give out your company gifts as well-wrapped Christmas gifts. Whatever you decide to do to decorate the area, your clients will appreciate the extra chance to feel the Christmas spirit.


A large budget or many showy décors aren't necessary for a successful corporate party. Instead, it takes forethought and meticulous planning. You can ensure attendees have a wonderful time and remember the event for years to come by considering things such as theme, food and drink, timing, and activities.

Remember to use the guidelines above as you move forward with your party planning activities to streamline the process from start to finish. Your efforts will contribute to your employees having a fantastic time at your office party. When your employees have a good time, you can be sure their loyalty and morale will also rise.

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