Picture this: it’s the last day before the quarter closes. Everybody has been working themselves to exhaustion to meet that previously unattainable sales goal, to push that crazy product, to launch the latest app. Just hours before the deadline closes, the last team members spring up from their chairs. It’s finished! High fives all around! Maybe a VP busts out a secret bottle of champagne. People are delirious with joy and exhaustion. Everybody agrees that the team deserves something special, to keep morale up and to show them that they are appreciated.
As the community manager, that job falls to you. A week’s time is decided. The team has earned a party, and they look to you with giddy anticipation. The week rolls around, and… through the door come a couple of pizzas and sodas. Maybe you got a few party hats. Everybody gets a few hours to gossip about who keeps eating the yogurts in the fridge, and by the next week, this little mini-party, this puny fiesta, has already been forgotten about.
Wait a second, this doesn’t sound like you! You’re a master party-planner. Why else would they hire you as the community manager? If you have a budget to throw a party, you are going to throw something that blows people’s mind. So when you throw your next office party, what is the theme going to be? Let us make a humble suggestion: Mardi Gras. What better way to celebrate a weight being lifted off your team’s shoulders than a party themed after Fat Tuesday? Summon the spirit of New Orleans to your office with these three Mardi Gras office party ideas. By implementing a little bit of light-up LED magic, we can guarantee that your party will be… lit.
Hold a Mardi Gras Float and Costume Contest
Mardi Gras is famous for its masks and costumes, a tradition that is linked to the ancient Venetian commedia dell’arte carnival masks, and dates back to the early 1800s in the United States. The colors associated with Mardi Gras, purple, green, and gold, are associated with the “Krewe of the Rex.” The krewes are the social clubs that organize Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and those three colors are associated with that particular krewe, with purple symbolizing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power.
To re-create this in your office, you can have your team members organize themselves into krewes, and each pick a theme, color scheme, and a krewe name. You then provide base costume and construction materials (like funky flashing eyeglasses), and let their imaginations run wild. They can pre-plan, come in with costumes, and then spend an afternoon building floats in accordance with their themes. During Mardi Gras, everybody is a winner (obviously!), but, in accordance with Mardi Gras tradition, you can then have everybody in your office vote on a carnival king or queen. If you’re really ambitious, you can hold a Mardi Gras parade — they can even toss out glow necklaces! It’s a party nobody will forget.
Fatten Up on Fat Tuesday
Mardi Gras is the day before Lent, which means the day before religious folk traditionally give up a food that they otherwise enjoyed. Hence the reason for the party: After Mardi Gras, it’s 40 days of austerity. That idea may not be too popular in the workplace, but Mardi Gras is now a bona-fide hallmark of American culture, and hey, the point here is that your team has already put in a couple months worth of hard work and delayed gratification. One of the best ways to reward yourself is with a good old-fashioned feast, and Mardi Gras, springing as it does from the succulent melting pot of Louisiana creole culture, offers a plethora of delicious dishes with which to bedeck your table.
Lots of easy-peasy recipes associated with Mardi Gras in general, and Louisiana creole culture in particular. Etouffe, beignets, King Cake (of baby-hiding fame)can be prepared in a kitchen, or, perhaps better for you and your officemates, in a small-group cooking class. Culinary-focused team-building activities have become especially popular in recent years. You get a meal at the end of it, you don’t have to do the dishes, and the setting gives you a low-stakes familial atmosphere in which to sit back and enjoy each other’s company. What’s not to like? If you want to go from being a good community manager to a great one, you can even design a custom cocktail, poured in a branded, light-up glass, to remind you of your cooking class. If you have worked hard together, you should kick back and indulge yourselves. Just be sure you find the baby hidden in the King Cake — it’s bad luck if you don’t!
Get Your Game On
Mardi Gras is traditionally when you let the good times roll. To implement this, we suggest an in-office, light-up golf game. No, really! These funky golf balls are tremendous fun, especially when you clear a section of floor, turn off the lights, and inflate some interactive targets. The very best parties, no matter how witty the host, how delicious the food, or how elaborate the costumes, have an interactive element. Combined with America’s favorite holiday, and in your able hands, this golf game could be tremendous fun. Alternatively, you can hold a “baby hunt,” where the King Cake baby has been hidden somewhere in the office, and somebody has to find it. This twist on the classic scavenger hunt is sure to get your team in the Mardi Gras mood and let them be human again, after their hard work, for one sure-to-be-memorable afternoon.