It is just as important for companies to establish traditions as it is for families. Halloween is one of the best holiday traditions to establish at work.
Halloween now falls second to Christmas as the most popular holiday to celebrate; and it is extremely popular for employees as well. Typically, Halloween isn’t tied to any particular religion, so it is a good holiday to celebrate across a diverse workforce. If there are employees that oppose the Halloween holiday, you could follow the same guidelines and make it more of a fall celebration instead.
Because holiday celebrations are not part of the typical day-to-day work schedule, you should make participation voluntary. Employees should never feel pressured to celebrate any holiday that requires dressing up in a costume. If you have employees that select not to dress up, you should honor the diverse needs and values of every employee.
How to Prepare for your Halloween Party
Depending on the size of your workforce, you will want to form a small, cross-department committee to plan and carry out your Halloween activities; or you can use your employee events team if one already exists.
Rotate the responsibility of event and holiday planning between departments so that no single department feels burdened or excluded. This is also a good exercise in team building and leadership development company-wide. Rotating leadership allows for new ideas to be generated, which keeps the tradition of the celebration going with fresh activities from year to year. In addition, it lets you see who rises to the top of the leadership pool when employees are given a unique task.
Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
Costume Party or Parade – The first thing everyone will think of when it comes to a Halloween celebration is going to be costumes. It gives your employees a chance to break away from their normal routine and dress up for work. You can keep the event simple, and just encourage your employees to wear costumes for the day. Picking a new theme every year is also fun – like 1980’s, famous actors or book character. Let your staff vote for a new theme each year.
Prizes are always a good thing, but avoid popularity contests. Avoid having staff vote for their favorite costume. Instead, you could have various prize categories. For example, the funniest, most sophisticated, the one that took the most work to make, the most creative, etc. Give a list of the judging categories in advance and give small gifts to the winners.
Halloween Breakfast – This is a great option for companies that cannot utilize the costume concept, or have employees that will not participate in dressing up. Provide a breakfast of cider and doughnuts, or pumpkin or apple flavored breads, coffee cake or muffins. Also offer healthy options such as assorted fruit or granola. Require staff to gather together to enjoy the breakfast, rather than retreating with their plate back to their office or cubicle.
Halloween Luncheon – If you have more time to allow your staff away from their day-to-day routine, organize a company lunch. If necessary, hold it for a few hours so that your staff can stagger their time so everyone can attend. Play appropriate music, make an orange-colored punch and serve pizza, sandwich wraps or sub sandwiches on black plates. If you are serving hot food, make sure that employees that eat at a later time get. hot food as well — arrange more than one pizza delivery, if necessary.
Halloween/Fall Decorations Competition – Use prizes to encourage your employees to decorate their work area. You can also create a team building exercise by encouraging groups of people (or departments) to work together to decorate their shared work space. You can also have team pick specific areas to decorate – for example, the lobby, company conference room, break room, etc.
You can tie this idea in with the luncheon. Everyone decorates in the morning, followed by a luncheon to announce the winners.
Pumpkin Carving Contest – Start late in the day and allow employees to bring in their significant others and children. Allow older children to participate and have younger children watch and cheer on their team.
Trick or Treating (no tricking allowed) – Encourage all employees to bring treats to share and have all employees go cubicle to cubicle or office to office trick or treating. Provide each person with a company branded bag for extra fun! Have each employee come up with their favorite joke to tell (office-appropriate) and give a prize for the best joke.
Schedule a Work-Day Volunteer Event – Reach out to your community and lend your assistance to a local need or facility. Have employees visit senior care centers, homeless shelters or hospitals in full costume and pass out treats. Participate in clothing or food collection drives. Do research in advance, get approval and provide a list to your employees. Then, allow them time during the normal work-day to volunteer.
Add a Photo Booth to the Fun – If you have your employees all dressed up and gathered together, create a hashtag for the day and add a photo booth to your luncheon or family event. PhotoMe Photo Booth will create photo keepsakes both for your employees and for the company photo album. We will brand the photo overlay and your employees can share their images on social media with your hashtag. It is fun for your employees and you add social sharing for more brand awareness – a win for all involved!
If your place of business is available to the public, open the booth to the public as well. Invite the public, place the booth in a well-traveled location, give out candy to the kids (and parents) and send them home with a branded photo from your business. If your employees are dressed as well-known characters, take photos with the kids!
PhotoMe Photo Booth would love to be part of your Halloween Celebration. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a discussion on how we can add to the fun of your celebration.