The SECRET to great office parties.

Great office parties need not necessarily be BIG office parties. Some of the best office parties I’ve had with staff have been smaller intimate affairs.

The problem with attending a large party night at a hotel is that your staff have to mix with other firm’s staff. Sometimes this works well, but it very much depends on your staff group and also the other staff groups attending the same night as you!

I’m sure we’ve all been there… trying to get a drink from the bar having to fight your way through a group of drunk loud raucous women who think it’s hilarious to hit on your husband, only to leave the party and have to fight your way through them again as they take it in turns to spew over the hotel steps while you try to get a taxi.

But if you don’t attend a large hotel party night what options are available to you as a staff group?

Firstly – your own venue.

Many hotels have smaller rooms which you can book for your smaller office party and keep it more intimate. Some hotels are so small you can simply take over the hotel which is even more ideal!

Secondly – entertainment.

When it comes to entertainment, you can have your own private disco or, as we’ve found these last few years, murder mystery entertainment works really well on a small intimate scale.

Running one of our participative murder mystery evenings is a really great way to break the ice with spouses present and get to know members of staff you might not otherwise mix with. With our participative nights, there are only 2 actors, which makes them much less of an intrusion. Instead of trained actors, it’s the guests themselves who become the suspects and everyone gets involved asking questions and reviewing the evidence. You’ll often find there are some budding actors within your organisation, and even if your suspects deliver their lines entirely dead pan, the party soon develops it’s own momentum and the hilarity which ensues will provide a real team bonding experience. Our cast are there throughout to keep things flowing along nicely, but unobtrusively. In short these are ideal for office parties for numbers 20 – 80 staff.

If you have less than 20 staff you also have the option to run a game yourself. We have a range of murder mysteries which go up to 20 players and we can often adjust the ratio of male to female to suit your organisation.

Running a game yourself means you have no “interlopers” and also keeps your overhead costs down, which means you have more money available to staff members a small bonus, or make the drinks free on the night (a sure hit with your staff!)

Other ideas for office parties include bowling nights, climbing walls, sumo suits, casino nights, rodeo evenings and other traditional team building ideas, all of which make for a relaxed entertaining evening without the drunken madness that Christmas seems to promote.

Thirdly – off season.

Consider running your Christmas Party in January. This generally gets most of the Christmas silliness out of the way and makes for a more relaxed and less expensive party atmosphere as hotels are prone to hike up their prices for Christmas, but take them back down again in January when holiday traffic is lower.

Fourthly – Relax

There is nothing worse than being the one responsible for organising the office party.  The old saying “You can’t please everyone all of the time” certainly holds true for office parties!

If you contact us to help with your office party, not only will we find the right murder mystery to fit your group, but we can also help with sourcing a hotel, and find other entertainment partners to work with us to help you get even more of the right atmosphere.  We regularly work with DJs, singers, dance groups, magicians, caricaturists, comedians, casino hire and other event specialists to really give you a party with the widest appeal possible.

Just speak to Emma at Red Herring Games on 01472 83021 to start your party planning today.

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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  

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