Your Post-Pandemic Office Events Shopping List.

A checklist for all occasions

This post is part of a series aimed to help Office Managers/Facilities, EAs, Workplace Experience, Admins and anyone whose job it is to focus on employee experience at their virtual/hybrid office.

It has been over a year of work from home (give or take) and the liquor cabinet has been left sticky, the bitters are EXTRA bitter and let’s not lie, the ice in the freezer has absorbed all the flavors of the fridge. It is time to toss what you must, save what you can, and place a few orders to get your office event ready.

From casual office hangs to onsite happy hours and team get togethers, having your supplies prepped for the inevitable uptick in roaring 20s induced happiness, will be key to the sanity of your workload.

So let’s help you create a foundational back stock of party food, drinks and supplies. That way, even if you need to order specialty items for an event, you can feel confident that you have a foundation set of items that feel supportive and will help you when planning on the fly.

Let’s get started!

Your Dry Good Must Haves

  • Plastic Eco Utensils (forks, knives, spoons)
  • Paper plates (Dessert and Appetizer size vs. full meal sized)
  • Disposable napkins
  • Plastic cups (Solo cups or cocktail cups)
  • Paper cups (for hot beverages)
  • Tooth picks
  • Straws
  • Wooden stirrers

Snacks with a long shelf life

  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Twizzlers/Redvines
  • Chocolates
  • Chips
  • Blocked cheeses
  • Salamis
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts/trail mixes/bar mixes

Getting fresh food that would work on a charcuterie platter would be best to order within a couple days of an event. This means things like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, fruits and baguettes etc.

We totally understand being conscientious of germs. This might mean that your snack options come in individually wrapped items at this stage.

Drink and Food Accents

  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Cherries
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon

Drink Enhancing

  • Grenadine
  • Simple Syrup
  • Flavored syrups
  • Bitters
  • Condensed milk (Vietnamese Coffee bar people!)
  • Ice
  • Lemons/limes

Liquor Cabinet (if applicable)

  • Tonic
  • Seltzer
  • Coca Cola
  • Gingerale
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Canned pineapple juice
  • Beer
  • Wine (Red, white and rose)
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey/Bourbon
  • Tequila
  • Gin
  • Non-alcoholic mocktails (Lyre’s is yum!)
  • Coffee beans
  • Espresso beans

Pro tip

Make a mix that would taste great without alcohol and then leave the alcohol on the side. That way people can add the alcohol themselves while considering those that do not like to drink!

Event Serving Essentials

  • Serving Platters
  • Tongs
  • Punch bowl with ladle
  • Large serving spoons
  • Glass pitcher/s
  • Water dispenser
  • Cutting board
  • Large knife (cutting cake or bread)
  • Cheese knives (great for building charcuterie and cheese platters)

Food Preparation Nice-to-Haves

  • Cooler for outdoor events
  • Large Buckets for a casual ice and canned drink dump
  • Blender for making specialty drinks
  • Microwave for heating up food
  • Crockpot for hot drinks (great for fall and winter events)

Liquor Cabinet Tools (if applicable)

  • Jigger for measuring
  • Shaker
  • Hand held juicer
  • Skin peeler (great for lemon, lime and orange peels)

The Prop Closet

Time for a splash of color in your supply closet offerings! And remember, you won’t need all of these items, some of them are just fun to haves and listed to get your creative synapsis firing ❤

  • Balloons in many different colors- Foil balloons last multiple days while latex balloons last about 7 hours.
  • Helium Tank to fill your own balloons
  • Balloon String
  • Jam box/speakers to play music
  • Table cloths
  • Name tags
  • String lights
  • Electric candles
  • Confetti
  • Fog machine
  • Fog Juice

Seems unnecessary to buy a fog machine until you actually want one and the rental is totally over priced and just owning one would save the headache of pick up and drop off. It ain’t just a halloween thang!

Crafting

  • Sharpie markers in multiple colors
  • Index cards
  • Card stock or poster board
  • Tissue paper in many colors for gifts or decor
  • Gift bags
  • Blank note cards
  • Thank you cards
  • Colorful 8.5'’x11" paper for printing
  • Glue Stick
  • Scotch Tape
  • Packing Tape
  • Duct Tape
  • Multi-color tape
  • Glitter tape
  • Twine
  • Glitter (trust me, you never know!)

Employee Birthdays or Special Acknowledgement

  • Cake Candles
  • Lighters
  • Blank birthday cards
  • Happy Birthday Banner
  • Congratulations Banner
  • Flower vases

Have a go to item you love to have on hand for events? Share in the comments and we will add!

I like things that sparkle in an obnoxious kind of way. Life is short, make it fun. Book coming Q1 2022 www.meetingwithcake.com