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Great Ideas for your Year-End Function


The best way to make your year-end function memorable is to couple it with a theme. Use that theme from the moment you announce your function in teasers and invitations, all the way through to the event itself in decorations, name tags, table gifts, welcome area and entertainment.

Make it fun! Couple it with a game (e.g. a treasure hunt) that leads to a grand finale at the event itself! Make your staff dress to the theme – when people dress up they step out of their shells, and just have more fun.

Here are some great themes with suggestions for costumes, music, food and decorations.

Year-end Party Ideas - Themes from the Decades

  • 1920's Theme - Champagne, silent movies, Charleston, conga line, charades, jazz club atmosphere, flappers, chandeliers, classic white tablecloths, “Big City” backdrop. Check out "All that Jazz" movie track for more ideas.
  • 1950's Theme - Poodle skirts, letter sweaters, “Sock Hop,” rock ‘n’ roll, soda fountain, stand-up panels of cars, drive-in atmosphere, 1950s stars (Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Roy Rogers, Bette Boop, Elvis, Lucy and Ricky), “car hops” on roller skates, giant record replicas, jukeboxes, Harley Roadster motorcycle. Check out some "Happy Days" television series reruns for more ideas.
  • 1960s Theme - Flower children, bell-bottom pants, peace symbols, tie dye. Dress as political figures of the era and there were a few!

Other Year End Party Ideas and Themes

  • Arabian Nights - Arabian attire, “bazaar” tent with market items (baskets, lamps, urns, rugs, feather fans), oasis, Nile barge or camel caravan, lattice arch, dome building, lighted dish fountains, urns with pampas grass, Sahara desert scene, oasis with palm trees, tables with gold, palm trees, ostrich plume tops, overhead gold stars and crescent moons, genies.
  • Army Base - Olive-colored t-shirts with “Boot Camp” on front and company logo on back, Army food (meat and mashed potatoes, rolls, etc.), have caterers interact, pretend boot camp (obstacle course, push-ups, sit-ups, marching drills), paintball, laser tag, bungee jump, MD of the company addresses the troops and awards medals to the winners, fireworks after dark.
  • Beach Party – beach attire, sunglasses, beach volleyball, swimming, clowns, fire-eaters, jugglers, fortune tellers, beach balls, towels, umbrellas, blankets. hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, food carts and a great punch.
  • Casino Party - Formal attire, mouse races, bingo, casino games, craps, black jack, poker and roulette tables, cigarette girls. Buy prizes with house tokens or give trophies for winners.
  • Carnival - Sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips and dip, cotton candy, popcorn, roasted peanuts, ringmaster, acrobats, clowns, clown-card invitations, Karaoke machine.
  • A Night at the Derby - Formal attire, large hats, bourbon, cake moulds (horseshoes, hot air balloons), candy moulds (roses, horses), hot air balloon rides, races, sterling silver, red roses, baskets of flowers, jockey colours, ice sculpture (horse)  with roses around neck.
  • Disco Night - Leisure suits, disco attire, platform shoes, dance music (KC & The Sunshine Band, Donna Summer, etc.), disco ball, “Staying Alive” signs, bouncer, velvet-roped entrance, DJ stage, nauseating color scheme, rope lights, mirror balls, character cut-outs (1970s Elvis, Beatles, Star Wars characters, John Travolta, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo), giant silver stars, shimmer curtain, smiley faces, Rolling Stones “lips,” lava lamps, giant flowers.
  • Academy Awards - dress as old Hollywood characters, awards ceremony, Oscars, red carpet, film reels, movie posters, walkway lined with palm trees, 3D stars, director’s chair and megaphone, movie star stand-ups (Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Katherine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, Client Eastwood, Charlie Chaplin), giant “ HOLLYWOOD “ letters.
  • Game Show - Create your own version of  “Minute to Win It”, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and others. Questions could be geared toward your company or organization’s interests.
  • Murder Mystery - Guests are assigned a character when they arrive complete with their character profile. All the guests are suspects as well as detectives. As clues are announced periodically during the party and the dinner everyone must get around and interview the other guests. Only the murderer knows who she is and of course the organizer. Everyone turns in their "who done it" form at the end of the party along with other key elements like where and with what weapon.
  • Pirate Party - Pirate attire, eye patches, bandanas, grubby clothes, pirate hats, seafood, games, ships, hook, fishing net, pirate ship flag (skull and crossbones), gold doubloons. Caribbean fare, Jerk pork, fresh fruit and a good rum punch help spice up this party, treasure hunt in run-up to event.

Reference: http://www.ruidoso.net/convention/theme_party_ideas.htm

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