When throwing an office party it’s always important to make sure you’re sensitive to everyone likes and dislikes. Fortunately, one thing everyone at Elum can rally behind is ice-cream. So, for our last office-wide birthday celebration we threw a killer potluck style office ice cream social, and it was a total hit! If you want to be an office hero gather up a few of your favorite co-workers and follow these 5 easy steps to throwing your very own potluck office ice cream social!
Step 1: Prep & Plan
The first order of business is getting everyone to sign up for the potluck. Elum picked up the tab for all of the basics: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and dairy free ice cream, plus all the bowls, spoons, cups, straws and cones. We asked everyone else in the office to bring in their favorite ice cream topping to share. We used this adorable sign-up sheet to make sure we didn’t get duplicates. We do birthday celebrations in our office on the first Friday of every month, if you don’t have a set celebration date, pick one and send a quick “Save the Date” email to everyone in your office with a note about where the sign-up sheet is located. It’s usually a good idea to give everyone a deadline to sign up so you can make sure that nothing important is missing from your line-up (because let’s face it, an ice cream sundae without rainbow sprinkles basically wouldn’t even taste good.) We sent ours two weeks in advance of the party to give everyone plenty of time to swoop up their toppings and not leave any room for short notice excuses.
If you need some inspiration for good ice cream toppings here’s a list of all of ours:
- trail mix
- coconut flakes
- gummy bears
- Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
- Hershey Cookies & Cream Drops
- Hard Root beer
- Stout Beer
- Chocolate Magic Shell
- hot fudge
- hot caramel
- M & M’s
- banana chips
- graham crackers
Step 2: Assign Extra Tasks
We always tend to go a bit overboard with the party details, you can do as much or a little as you’d like as far as extras. We had several people on our team volunteer to help out with the party so we went all out. We had a little pow-wow about the extra special things we wanted to do and assigned out those tasks so that no one got stuck doing all the heavy lifting. In our case we put up a photo booth wall using rolled gift wrap as the backdrop and made photo booth props. If you don’t have anyone crafty on your team or just don’t have the time you can also buy props on etsy. The Elum crew also made a bunch of party decorations like ice cream cone garland, mini party hats and ingredient markers for the toppings table. We met up about the party extras about a week before the party date to give everyone plenty of time to get crafty.
Step 3: Decorate
We decorated our space the day before the actual party, if that’s not an option for you, make sure everyone drops off their decor contributions the day before the party so you don’t have to hunt people down before the party starts.
Step 4: Setup Ingredients
When the date of your party finally arrives and it’s time to start setting up the topping bar, have a location in mind where everyone can drop off their toppings. We bought little plastic bowls and jars for each topping, asked everyone to fill up a jar or bowl with their contribution. As a cute way to label each treat, we asked everyone to write the name of what they brought on a plastic spoon and to stick it in the bowl or jar containing their topping. This was really helpful, since the spoons did double duty as serving utensils and decorative labels for our toppings! About 10 minutes before our start time we set up an ice bucket for items we wanted to keep chilled– like whipped cream and soda & beer for floats– and a bowl of hot water to keep hot fudge and other warm toppings at a good temperature. The ice cream came out of the freezer just a few minutes before the party started.
Step 5: YUM!
Perhaps the most important part of all of this is watching the joy on everyone’s face as they craft their very own sundae masterpieces.
Looking for more office party inspiration? Stay tuned to the Elum blog as we share more tips, tricks and DIYs for throwing the best office parties ever!
What’s the best office party you’ve ever been to? Share you stories in the comments below.