So, by a twist of fate or the death of a Lannister, you’ve become the leader of your company’s social club. Or, you’ve been tasked with planning the next inter-office corporate showdown.
I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I was once in your shoes.
The fact is, company-mandated fun can be a massive drag. Firstly, you have all the red tape of making it broadly enjoyable enough to entertain people with diverse backgrounds and interests. Then you also have to ensure no one is going to get in harassment hot-water after going home with Kim from accounts.
Number one on the agenda is making sure that your corporate event doesn’t totally suck. But there’s no need to get out the GANT chart to plan your night. Here are five office party ideas to do in Perth that are the biz-ness. They're easy to implement and sure to wow your coworkers (plus prove to your boss you deserve a raise).
1 - Prepare to improvise it.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that failing to plan is as good as planning to… WAIT. The Big HOO-HAA don’t plan anything in their show, and that's what makes it awesome. A performance driven by your suggestions, they bring short game-based sketches to the stage. The talented actors rehearse and perform weekly, and their alumni work on stage and screen around the country.
Or check out Sense & Spontaneity, who bring the tropes of Jane Austen’s novels to life with an improvised, modern twist. See their video here; they're ideal if you’re looking to bring some high culture to the team before you fire up the office barbecue.
Perfect for: something different. A completely original and engaging show for your office.
2 - Murder someone.
If you’ve ever dreamed of killing your boss (who hasn’t?!) this one’s for you. Pick a themed Murder Mystery like a Caribbean cruise or Hollywood gala, with hosts to run the whole event. That means you can play along without already knowing the murderer, and join in the team-based puzzle solving games.
Your event can be as high- or low-key as you like, with hosts providing the format, contests and music.
Perfect for: team building without the awkward ‘fall back and catch them’ junk.
3 - Rock out with comedy bingo.
It’s bingo, but not as you know it. Since 2004, Bogan Bingo has performed in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, London and Rockingham, to name a few. They regularly go regional to keep the FIFOs happy, and while it’s usually an 18+ show when they’re kicking goals at footy fundraisers, they can tone it down for the office party.
Perfect for: letting loose, companies with a high volume of high-viz workers.
4 - Test their smarts.
In my experience, self-run quiz night are a boring slog. But in the hands of an experienced host, with stupid games and hilarious audio visual segments, they’re the answer you’ve been looking for. Quizmeisters Trivia have brought the funny to quiz nights since 2004, with weekly free pub shows across the country. Questions are general knowledge so everyone has a chance. Even that dense coworker who eats tuna at their desk...
Perfect for: big competitive events, small companies with a tight budget.
5 - Eat, get fat, then walk it off.
Break outside the break room. Take a walk around some of the city’s best eateries with a guide to find hidden spots and exclusive experiences. Depending on the package, you might choose to include a pasta-making contest, or cap off the gustatory experience with some fancy cocktails in one of Perth’s small bars. Check out Foodloose Tours.
Perfect for: desk-jockeys needing to stretch their legs, a shakeup to the sundowner.
Free Perth venue hire.
Pick your place, some charge nothing or just a minimum spend on food and beverages. This resource offers a breakdown of some neat places near you. Choose somewhere near the office, near public transport, or book a party bus to keep the night going and get people home safe.
Some other points to remember
Set the tone and theme of your event, then let go. It’s not your job to make people have fun and they can’t be forced into it.
Give plenty of notice. Most entertainment options will recommend two months at least to save the date for a major event.
Your aim is to help people relax and socialise; a down-to-the-minute schedule is for work hours. Go with the flow, man.
Designate a photographer or set up a photobooth. For the over-30s these events are where memories are made (and lost).
Letting people choose when to get involved (or not) gives everyone what they want. Especially if they’re not being paid to be there.
If you’re expecting people to dress differently to their office attire, consider a best dressed award/prize. Set up a secret ballot or ask your host/bar staff to be the final decider.
If there’s booze at your event, set a ‘pace-car’. That means watching one work friend across the night and always have one less drink than them. Who’s the 'incompetent idiot' now, Sam?
*A note about the author: As an actor, comedian and life of the party, Joe Mooney has worked with or for a number of the listed organisations. No payment was made for inclusion in this article. He’s also available for weddings, hen’s nights and funeral receptions.