Ahhh...the beloved, or dreaded, company holiday party games are being planned. Either way one looks at it, every holiday season, you are bound to be caught up in the festivities and play or plan one of these games... whether you like it or not!
Relax, Strategic Event Design is on your side. Not only do we offer a free guide to planning company holiday parties, we have provided a list of some of the best games to have in a corporate environment. Each game can be “tweaked” according to the level of silliness and frivolity that you feel comfortable with.
Name that Holiday Song
This holiday game is as simple as it sounds, and you can make up whatever rules you like. Research old and lesser known holiday songs on-line (Amazon.com is a great place to find some). Download a few “stand-by's” as well. By taking the time to organize the music first, it will actually save time at the party, as there is no rummaging through a pile of music to find songs to play. Do try to choose a few songs that have music only (no vocals), making it harder for people to guess, or to be used as a tie-breaker. Play a clip of each song and have people guess the song and artist. You can play a song and let the entire group chime in, or, with a bit more planning, put people into two teams, have two bells ready, and set up the game “Family Feud” style. Idea for the prize? A box-set of holiday music is perfect for this game!
Employee Holiday Trivia
Ask via email or in person for employees to send you 2 holiday trivia facts about themselves that others might not know (remind them not to tell others what they are sending to you!). Ask that the trivia be related to the season. An example of a response might be, “I always have all of my holiday shopping done by October 1st”. Create a form with each employee's name listed down the left and one chosen piece of trivia from each employee on the right, but not in the correct order, labeled with a corresponding letter. At the party, hand out the trivia forms and ask each employee to put their own name at the top, then guess “Who's Who” on the game form. The person with the most answers correct, wins a prize. If your group is really large, this can be a fun game to get people more excited about the party. Simply hand out the contest form the day before or the day of the party, and request submissions be handed in prior. Then, AT the party, go over each question and announce the winner, offering them a prize.
The Santa Hat Game/Rudolph Antlers Game
This requires enlisting the help of a good-spirited senior member in the group, even a CEO. Have a personalized Santa hat or Rudolph antlers for every member to wear during the party. The chosen “leader” can, at any time during the party, take off the headpiece. Make sure there is a spotter who can “spot” the first person to remove their hat or antler. Keep it all silent and eventually, there will be laughs and nudges and snickers as people realize it's time to take off the headpiece. There will inevitably be one person left with their hat on who never realized the game was going on, and will there will be much laughter. It's fun to have the laugh, then surprise them with a small trinket of appreciation for being the last!
Pass the Present
Have a prize well-wrapped for this game, as it will be handled often. In “Pass the Present”, everyone gathers around, and the gift is handed out randomly to one person. They hold onto it and will be the first contestant. The announcer will ask a question about the holiday or the company. A correct answer and they continue to hold onto the present. At the first wrong answer, the gift must be given to another. The game ends when all questions have been answered within a time frame and the last person holding the gift wins it.
Find a Reindeer
This company holiday party game works well for a large group. Visit the dollar store and purchase several small stuffed holiday animals. Wrap a gift card around each one's neck. Let party-goers know that it's “finders keepers” - whomever finds the prize, keeps the prize. Make sure the prizes are hidden WELL...consider taping one up under one of the buffet tables, for example. You can use any item...if your party has many ornaments in the decorating, use one style and randomly place those around.
Company holiday party games can be as crazy and fun as you want them to be...just use your imagination, but as always, keep it professional!