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So you’re throwing a Halloween party, but having some trouble getting everything together. Don’t worry! We can figure this out together.

What Is a Company Halloween Party?

A company Halloween party is exactly what it sounds like: a party thrown by a company in honor of Halloween. This most often includes food, drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic depending on the time of day), and decorations. There can also be costumes, activities, and/or games involved. There isn’t a right or wrong way to host the party. It just depends on your resources, how much time you have and what everybody will enjoy the most. Trust yourself to make the decisions here. You’ve got this!

Why Is Hosting a Company Halloween Party Important?

If you are responsible for planning and coordinating the company Halloween party, I understand the task is daunting. Keep in mind why you are doing this: it’s important to have fun at work and to show employees some appreciation as well. Throwing these parties really does make your staff feel better about the workplace, increasing morale and motivation and thus increasing productivity. Besides, the party isn’t just a break for them, it’s a break for you as well. Once everything is in place, kick back, relax and enjoy the party (and the credit for throwing it!).

Company Halloween Party Ideas

Looking for ways to make your Halloween party the most-looked-forward-to event of the year? Here are some ideas.

Idea 1:  Costume Contest and 3 Top Prizes

There are a few different ways to host a costume contest. One way is to have everyone wear their costumes and vote. If this seems too hectic, have everyone send in their costume photos a week before the party and post them to a company website page or Teams chat. Employees can vote ahead of time and the winner (or winners) can be announced at the party itself. Prizes can include gift cards or an extra paid day off. These prizes will be more budget-related and will depend on other factors.

Idea 2:  Set Up a Guess-the-Horror-Movie Contest

A guess-the-horror-movie contest can be done in a few different ways as well. First, you could make a PowerPoint presentation with clips from different horror movies on each page. Each contestant could write their answers on a piece of paper or a whiteboard and either hold it up or tally up how many were correct at the end. If adding clips of the movies is too difficult, you can add snapshots of the movie posters and crop out the title and any other information. The prize or prizes would again depend on your budget

Idea 3: Pumpkin Carving/Decoration

I know this idea sounds messy and complicated but bear with me. Agreed, carving pumpkins in the office might not be the best course of action. However, ask people to carve them at home and bring them in! On the day of the party, everyone can display their pumpkins and people can vote on them. Whoever gets the most votes wins a prize! If this is too challenging or unfeasible, you can buy plastic pumpkins and people can decorate them during the party. You do not have to turn this into a competition, but you can if you want to!

Idea 4:  Luncheon with Activities and Conversation

While all of the previous ideas include lunch, this idea is for the minimalist. Host a catered luncheon, set up some tables, ask people to bring in drinks (of the non-alcoholic variety) and/or snacks (chips, cookies, etc). Prior to the luncheon, decorate to give it a Halloween feel. Orange plates and napkins, spiderwebs, and some skulls and pumpkins scattered around the lunch area (or the whole office) would really spread the spooky vibe. This idea can incorporate the pumpkin decorating and costume contest. You could make this be a way for team members to get together and help decorate. The main point of the company Halloween party is to get everyone together for a non-work connection. So flex your creative muscles and do what feels right! This idea is simple, yet can be a lot of fun and a great break from the mundane work week.

Idea 5: Team Up to Perform Halloween Skits

HR professional Samantha Kiper shared this idea. She says, “A previous employer that I worked at would do little skits by department or groups on Halloween.  So everyone would come in and get dressed up, and then pile into our lobby while we took turns doing skits, and then we would eat lunch as a group.  We would record the skits every year, and then IT would put them on disks for everyone so everybody received a little keepsake.  It was all low budget but a ton of fun.”

Idea 6: Reverse Trick or Treating

If your company has multiple locations, consider doing site visits throughout the day. Dress up, buy a bunch of candy, and then go from location to location handing out candy. After all, even adults need a treat now and then!

Tips for Hosting a Company Halloween Party

Planning any type of workplace celebration can be a lot, so keep these tips in mind as you decide what to do for your Halloween party.

Tip 1: Don’t Stress

The best advice: don’t stress too much! That’s easier said than done, but if the plans become too stressful or overwhelming, change the plans. You are a part of the company and you deserve the break as well. If hosting a contest is going to be too much work, do not do it! Remember this is not your only job. If you cannot find the time to organize it, that’s okay! Remember, less is more. People tend to appreciate the simple things like a simple lunch as well, and honestly, who doesn’t love food?

Tip 2: Don’t Forget the Candy(corn)

In my research, I asked my nephews what they would want in a company Halloween party when they grew up. Number 1 answer: candy. So put out a bowl of candy and make it feel like Halloween! Yes, this is simple, but it can go a long way to spread Halloween cheer.

Tip 3: Ask for Help!

I cannot stress enough the importance of asking for help. You are one person and it is not fair to expect you to run the whole show yourself. While tied to the “don’t stress too much” tip, I find that I struggle to ask for help when I need it the most. If people are offering to help, this is even easier. Even if not, it doesn’t hurt to ask your coworkers, “Can you please help with decorations?” or “Can someone please bring in some sodas?” This will foster teamwork and collaboration while simultaneously taking some of the burdens off of you. You’ll get a chance to work together with people you would not normally work with.

Get Ready for the Next Celebration

Want to go above and beyond to show employees you care about them? Plan a company Thanksgiving party! Following up your Halloween party with a Thanksgiving-themed event will lead to a memorable autumn for everyone. It’s never too early to start planning, so start gathering ideas today.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Company Halloween Party

The answer to this is a little complicated. If people have a long commute from their homes to the office, I would say yes. Lunch could be during the workday or hosted at the end of the day. That way employees don’t have to go all the way home and then come later. However, if this will have a big impact on productivity and upper management will be unsatisfied, I would say no, host the party after work hours.
Definitely not. The Halloween party is supposed to be fun and a break from work. Nobody should be forced to attend because that takes the fun out of it. If people want to attend, they will, but if someone does not want to attend, that is their right. When people are required to be somewhere, they generally (in my experience) enjoy it less.

Shea is a Human Resources Business Partner for her family’s store. She has had this role for that past 4-5 years, but has been working for the business since she was a kid. After graduating college, she took on more responsibilities in the store and then went on to complete her master’s in Psychology. Now, she is hoping to lend her expertise to another organization’s HR department and pivot out of the family business.

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