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Secrets to Whip Up an Affordable Last Minute Office Party

Guess who gets to plan a last minute office holiday party? YOU DO. Maybe the boss suddenly decided to pitch in with some last minute holiday funding, or maybe the company wants to upgrade the simple luncheon or happy hour into a full celebration. Either way, you’ve been tasked to find amazing food, activities, decor, and music within a few short weeks, all while staying within budget.

Don’t panic. You’re not alone. Last minute party planning can fall on anyone’s lap and this year the brave soul happens to be you. We’ve teamed up with Seamless Corporate Accounts and collected some resources to help you rise to the occasion. They conducted their 2014 “Holidays in the Workplace” survey to find out what employees REALLY want for their holiday party, and we’re giving you the inside scoop on some of those results. You’re welcome.

One Website to Feed Them All


The internet connects you to some of the most amazing friends, and your catering bestie for the holidays and beyond is going to be Seamless. This one resource gives you access to your city’s best local caterers from sandwich places to fine dining, and everything in between. And for last minute holiday planning, you’ll be able to find the perfect caterer to fit your needs.

The previously mentioned holiday office party survey also gives you additional insights and suggestions to make your holiday catering plans even easier. For example, your office party can feature what we’ll call “Potluck 2.0.” Seamless’s survey found that potlucks in the office are officially “in” again, especially when the office is sponsoring the main course, allowing employees to bring in sides. With Potluck 2.0, no one goes home hungry.

Little Details, Big Impact

Chalkboard Runner

Details matter because your teammates matter. Decor can be easy, even affordable, with just a little bit of creativity. Instead of a reindeer tablecloth, get a reusable chalkboard table runner at your local Target. Go chalk-crazy: label the food on the table, write words of congratulations, draw smiley faces, and write whatever it takes to bring a smile to your teammates’ faces. You can also brighten the table (and the Earth) with festive and eco-friendly tableware from Susty Party. These disposable plates, cups, napkins, and more are compostable, non-toxic, and made entirely from recycled materials.

DJ’ing… Without the DJ


One of the simplest ways to turn an office meal into an office party is to turn up the music. The Party Monster – Queueing DJ app from iTunes lets you load songs into a queue, and the app will crossfade into each subsequent track to eliminate awkward between-track silence. You also need to get your hands on speakers that look as good as they sound, like the Logitech Boom, Beats Pill or JAMBOX. Both of these portable speakers are Bluetooth-enabled for your convenience and produce hi-fi sound that can fill any room with music. Dancing on the conference room table is not an option unless getting fired is your end game.

The Ultimate Last Minute Activity

Piñata Fun at Chegg

…that doubles as an employee Christmas gift. Even if you don’t have the budget, or time, to procure last minute gifts, it’s still not a good excuse for not providing entertainment! Gather together some affordable goodies ($5.00 gift cards, mandarin oranges, candy, etc.), and pop them into a piñata. It’s a retro way to get your party guests laughing, plus it’s such an easy (and fun) way to distribute holiday cheer.

Pics Or It Didn’t Happen!


Featuring the office in the background doesn’t result in the most flattering or festive of photos, but what’s an inexpensive way to capture your holiday party without a professional photographer or a photobooth? Minted’s Personalizable Photo Backdrop has the answer in the form of an eye-popping canvas backdrop with customizable text to reflect your company culture. It’s easy to mount, impossible to ignore, and employees will have a blast taking turns posing in front of it.

Don’t Worry: You’ve Got This

Last minute office party planning is definitely stressful, but never before have you had so many tools at your disposal to be able to produce some ninja magic. After all, there’s nothing like a tight budget and last minute jitters to kick your creative genius into overdrive. Good luck!

There’s a fellow Office Ninja out there, right now, hustlin to plan a last minute holiday party. What tips can you share to help him / her out?

This post was created in collaboration with Seamless.



  1. For our office event, I haphazardly started planning it from the bottom to the top. If you are in the same situation as me, with OFFSITE NYC I feel more at ease knowing the burder of searching for a location won’t be on my shoulders.

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