I plan my husband's office party every year. Before the "recession," we held it in restaurants. To save money three years ago, we started having it at the office. I wanted it to be just as much fun as going out. Last year's theme was Gingerbread and Roadsters. I have purchased single flat sheets at IKEA in black as tableclothes. The stitching is identical for all sides. I use basic black ones for the office. Since it is an architecture firm, I used the brown paper they use for wrapping drawings.
I saw these paper mache houses (the roofs come off) at Hobby Lobby and the idea was born. There were battery operated candles in each house. We cut the roads from black posterboard. There are always games at these parties. This one involved the house. There are directions and scoring guidlines in the cards on each plate.
I purchased the plates, glasses, and silverware at the Dollar Tree three years ago. Now they have definitely payed for themselves. The party is a pot luck, so I don't have to worry about food. I just have to get it organized.
The game for right after dinner was a house decorating contest. But, it is a large office space. I hid the supplies all over the office. I had frosting cans and knives at one person's desk. I had different kinds of candy hid all over the office. I even had dead branches (for trees) at another station. Each table was allowed ONE runner to go and find supplies and bring them back. The event was timed, so strategy was important. The teams worked furiously to add items to their houses. BUT...they got major points for additions, such as front porches, sidewalks, swings, garages, chimneys, etc. Remember they are architects. They were so proud of their results that they left them up through the holidays for clients to see.
I made a foam core car that I painted for a photo op. There was a foot stool behind it for the driver to sit on.
This picture is dark, but you can see the rug we ran down the main hallway. I had remote control car contests. They were not allowed to touch the car in any way. The cars did stunts and turned over quite a bit. We give cash prizes for winners of these games.
I also have started hiring live bands. Last year it was a four piece jazz ensemble. I found an entertainment company in the area that is SO REASONABLE. I usually set up a Wii game (Mario's Race Car) in the conference room because they have a BIG TV to show presentations.
This year, I am turning the office lobby into a campsite. See my Wilderness Party blog for graphics. Each of the large windows will hold a cabin. The games. Why, ski races for one game. I have two sets of wooden planks with ropes that hold four people each. I made them for an All Night Grad Party and kept them. I'm also looking on Ebay for a used pair of snowshoes. I am going to put the top of a piece velcro on the bottom of them. The other half of the velcro will go on paper snowflakes on the floor. There will be money amounts on the bottom of the paper. if you snag the right one, you might get rich.
Happy Party Planning.