Throwing a ‘bon voyage’ party at the office is a lovely sentiment for a coworker who is either going on a long trip/vacation, moving relatively far away, or leaving their position for another opportunity. This post will cover a situation where you are wishing a coworker a safe and fun trip abroad, and offer some suggestions on how to plan the party.
When Should You Throw a Bon Voyage Party?
Wishing a coworker farewell on their trip is usually reserved for those who have been around for a while. There’s no hard and fast rule, of course, but typically people don’t have enough vacation time to take an extended vacation anyways until they’ve been at a company for a while.
Of course, if there’s someone who has made a big impact on the team and everyone wants to wish them well (no matter how long they’ve been around for) then there’s no reason not to.
Order Catering for the Event
An experienced corporate catering company is a great option for celebrating all kinds of occasions at the office. Instead of stressing about organizing a potluck and deciding what everyone will bring, why not just let a professional take care of it for you?
Catering companies can even help you come up with a menu that’s appropriate for the occasion, all within your set budget.
Consider asking them to create a buffet-style spread with light fare that allows everyone to mix and mingle. Food and drink options could include:
- Cheese and cracker plate with fruits and dips
- Veggie and meat skewers
- Pink lemonade (or champagne)
- A bon voyage cake or cupcakes
Are Gifts Necessary?
Not really – but definitely arrange for a card to be passed around the office and signed by their coworkers. Another neat idea is to have everyone write their own personalized letters that are meant to only be opened while the guest of honour is on their trip.
If you do want to get them a gift, ask for voluntary donations of cash, and use the total amount towards gift ideas like:
- Guide Book to the place they are visiting
- Some sort of travel bag or backpack
- A travel journal to record their journey
- Inexpensive digital camera
- Cute luggage tags
You could also go the more sentimental approach and create a photo album that includes pictures of them with their coworkers throughout the years. This gift is a little more situation-based and more suited for someone who is taking an extended leave.
Plan Ahead of Time
As with all office events, make sure you plan your bon voyage party in advance and set it on a day where everyone is available – especially your guest of honour! Surprise parties are great but you are going to have to use sneaky tactics to make sure the person going away is available as well. Consider blocking off the time with a fake “required” meeting that everyone has to attend – that way you know for sure they’ll be there.
No matter what kind of party you pull off, your coworker is sure to appreciate the effort, and will definitely miss everyone when they are gone.