So you’ve decided to throw a barbecue gathering for your company, but you’ve never hosted a party before, let alone even operated a grill. The task ahead of you may seem daunting, but the reward will certainly be worth it. Before the panic sets in, and employees start finding out, it’s best to arm yourself with the necessary skills to be an excellent host, one that your employees and coworkers will speak about for years to come.

First things first, decide what kind of party you want to have. In the same way that any novel starts with an idea, a car is built into a frame, and a home is built over a foundation, so too a party should should have a guiding principle, or raison d’être. This is the point at which you ask the most important questions: Will there be food, and who’ll be doing the cooking? Will it be a big, companywide gathering, or instead will you host only the members of your immediate team? Will you be personally providing the funding, or will the company be covering it?

By hashing out these concerns early on in the process, you can prevent serious problems down the line.

Now you’re ready to start inviting team members and coworkers to the party, and the best way to do this is through invitations. The rule of thumb for inviting someone, is assume that they’ll be coming. There’s absolutely nothing worse than inviting hundreds of guests with the assumption that a certain amount won’t show up. You’re always better off over preparing than underpreparing. If you’re really set on being specific, ask your guests for an RSVP in the invitation. That still won’t stop last-minute decisions and unexpected arrivals, but it may give you a better feel for who exactly will be attending. It’s also a great idea to specify whether it’s okay to bring family members. Given that many of your co-workers will have families and small children, this is the time to decide whether the party will or won’t be family friendly.


All of these are details that should be included in the invitation, along with what to bring, what to wear, and perhaps a little bit of what to expect. If you plan on having an intense water balloon fight, your guests should know about this beforehand. The last thing you want is your boss’s suit being ruined.

One important detail that the invitations will feature is the location of your party, specifically mentioning the venue. For a barbecue, the best venue is usually an open field, or for smaller events, even a backyard may be sufficient. No matter where you decide to host, one thing is certain: The area should be clean and tidy, with anything room for all your guests and activities, and all the necessary products neatly laid out. If your backyard doesn’t have any grass, it might be a bad choice for a water balloon fight. If the park that you intend to host at is a children’s park, you shouldn’t be encouraging drinking. All of these considerations should be made before the venue is selected.

With your guests invited and your venue selected, all you have left to do is to take care of any necessary rentals and catering. Tent rentals can be helpful for a variety of reasons, such as shelter from rain, a place to relax in the shade, or even as a storage area for the food. Even if it’s just there to have as an option, rentals should be handled well before the party, and should be set up by the time your guests get there. Even by way of decoration, having a small tent to cover your food can give a simple backyard party a much more professional feel. And when it comes to food, the rule of “better more than less” also applies. If some your guests are being fed, then all of your guests should be fed, even if that results in you having leftovers. To make sure food doesn’t go bad, don’t put it all out at once. Simply refill bowls when they empty out, and be sure to have options for anyone with dietary restrictions. For example, if you’re throwing a barbecue, keep in mind that some people might not eat meat!