Whether or not you’re a big sports buff, it’s easy to see why even the most casual of basketball followers get excited about March Madness. From the tournament setup to the ease of filling out a bracket, throwing a March Madness party is a great way to boost office morale and get your colleagues participating in a company-wide activity.
While that sounds great in theory, it’s no secret that throwing an office party comes with its own unique set of stresses, challenges, and special considerations. If you’re ready to liven up your workplace this spring, here’s how to throw a March Madness party that all of your coworkers will enjoy.
Filling out your brackets
March Madness wouldn’t be nearly as fun if nobody filled out a bracket. After all, it’s a relatively stress-free way to boost office engagement without asking too much of employees. Even if you’re not a dedicated sports fan, it’s simple enough to fill in random team names throughout a bracket. Chances are, you’ll still get a few of your selections right and even if you don’t, there’s likely to be no hurt feelings. If you’re unsure whether or not your office would participate, you could always pick out a prize for the top winners or set up a company pool.
If you decide to go the route of a pool, make sure that it’s completely optional. Nobody wants to feel obligated to contribute any of their pocket change. Also, it’s a great idea to make sure that your company is willing to pitch in a bit to sweeten the pot. It shows that you’re willing to reward employees for participating, even if the final pool total isn’t an extravagant number. Naturally, announce the winners during your party so everyone gets a chance to celebrate! And while you might not need a confetti cannon, who says it wouldn’t be a blast to fire after you read out who won?
Going the gift route? There are plenty of options for a final prize that don’t require your company to spend hundreds of dollars. From gift cards to local eateries to sillier gifts like light up golf balls, basketballs, and other sporting goods, you shouldn’t feel like your ultimate prize package needs to be something as luxurious as a fancy vacation to the Bahamas. Sometimes, it’s the smaller, goofier gifts that really leave a lasting impression on your employees and bring a smile to their faces. As long as you’re choosing prizes that you think the winners will truly enjoy, you’re doing the right thing.
Decor and party favors
If you’re looking to really liven the atmosphere of the office, you’ll want to think about decor early on. Even something as simple as plastic basketball banners tacked up throughout the office is an inexpensive way to get people in the March Madness spirit. Don’t feel as though you need to go all out and cover everyone’s desks in basketball paraphernalia, but also don’t let it look like you didn’t put in any effort. Employees will certainly notice and it won’t put anyone in much of a celebratory mood.
It’s also important to consider party favors and activities for the attendees. Especially if you’re throwing your party after traditional office hours, it’s a good idea to reward employees for choosing to spend extra time in their workplace. Again, you don’t need to go overboard to help everyone have fun. Consider setting up a small photo background and purchasing light up eyeglasses and some goofy hats so people can capture the perfect social media memories during the party. Encourage people to tag the business and use a March Madness hashtag to really spread the joy to all of their followers.
Set up a stream
While livestreaming every single game of the March Madness tournament would take a crazy amount of coordination and advance planning, streaming important games (or even simply the championship game) will help remind everyone what you’re celebrating and might even get your less athletically inclined employees invested in basketball. If you have a way to cast the stream onto a TV, that’s great, but even turning on a radio station to hear commentary is effective as well.
If you don’t have a streaming setup at the ready, encourage a couple employees to broadcast the game through their work computers during the party. Keep in mind that if you’re setting up a party playlist, you’ll need to adjust the volume so you’re not drowning out the action. Having activities on hand for commercial breaks and in-game pauses is another way to keep the party lively, though you might find that a livestream is all that your employees require to stay invested throughout the event.
The party experts
If you’re thinking of throwing a March Madness party for your office and you’re a little overwhelmed during the planning stages, reach out to the party experts at Premier Glow to see what decorations and party favors will make your office event a major hit amongst your staff. Whether you’re looking for something as simple as glow sticks or as extravagant as a confetti cannon, there’s a way to turn any party from drab to exciting in a snap.
Party planning should be exciting, not stressful, so don’t let the finer details get in the way of your office having an amazing time during March Madness.