How do you come up with a nice theme for your staff party, group trip, or company party?

25 directions, one brainstorming technique, and a way to test your ideas.

Germain Miedema Germain Miedema 17 March 2022
How do you come up with a nice theme for your staff party, group trip, or company party?

Organizing a group trip, company party and event is one thing, coming up with a nice theme can just feel like the other half. But hey, you must have a theme. Because a good theme has an attraction like a magnet. Higher turnout, more involvement, greater energy. With the following tips we help you come up with a nice theme.

Brainstorming, inspiration, assessment
First, I'll take you through a smart brainstorming technique, so that everyone can express their creativity. Then I go into inspiration for your brain. And then to end with a way to assess the themes on the table. Scroll down to what you need most right now.

Smart brainstorming technique to come up with an event theme

Before you get started, some brainstorming tips. If you already have a good method, scroll on to the ideas. Oh, look. Still interested. Brainstorms, they often go like this: you are all in one cubicle. CEO, CFO, the communication officer, Office manager, and the Event manager. Together you work with your feet on the table on one big list of ideas. Result? That of the shouters and quick callers. Recognizable?

Then I recommend a brainstorm in which you alternate individual moments with group moments.

Here's how it works:
Start with everyone involved for 20 minutes individually. Of course you first explain what the purpose of the day is, and of that first brainstorm. For example: themes + activities.

Then have everyone pitch their ideas to the whole group. 
Brainstorm on that result together in two groups for 30 minutes. Then exchange insights with each group, and brainstorm for another 30 minutes. Finished? Select the top 5 directions. And then look in two groups again at how you can check whether the concept directions are rich. Use the checklist that I mention at the bottom of the blog for this.

Okay. Worked well. Time to decide which theme it will be. Alternating individual brainstorming with groupthink is a scientifically proven more effective method. And that's how you come up with the best themes.

Keep the group compact during your brainstorming.
Five people is easy to oversee. Do you need to involve more people - to hit social ticks, for example? Then set aside extra time for the brainstorm. You want to let everyone speak. A brainstorm is not only about output, everyone who contributes to the event wants to be heard. The better everyone is heard, the more the plan is adopted at the end. Time that you gain twice in organizing the event itself.

Ideas for an original theme for your staff party or group trip


What programs are popular on TV?
Grab the online guides!

Which series on Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Videoland are doing well?
Browse the apps. Or search for top lists.

Which Movies Are Doing Well At The Cinema?
Search the current year's Box Office.

Which Games are the most played on the XBOX, PS5, Nintendo Switch?
Search for the top-selling games of the current year, or games that are yet to be released.

Which board games are fun to play?
Search by the most played games, and the newest games.

What are the fun costumes for Carnival, or Halloween, or other holidays?
Check your personal photo albums in your phones for ideas.

Which books are currently popular?
View the top 100 of the various bookstores here.

Which movies are in the top 100 IMDB? And what is the theme of that?
Stories always do well. Especially if they are known, guests can also easily give their interpretation.

What are children aged 12-18 currently collecting?
Pokémon cards, NFTs, memes, all worth using as themes.

Which pop stars are famous? And why are they doing so well?
Or what is their theme?

Which hypes are there in free time?
This could be anything. Search for target audience studies of millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, Boomers. Are Sweat lodges popular, or in your group the arcade halls.

What kind of special hobbies do you know that you can thematise?
From winter sports to re-enactment, to cooking and baking.

Which toys are popular at the moment?
Check out toy trends. The Suitable for Work toys, of course.

Which technology is currently popular?
Is that still blockchain, crypto, AI and robots? And what can you do with that?

What you can always fall back on:
Completely at your wits' end? Base your themes on:

•         Country stereotypes (be careful here).
•         Current affairs in the news.
•         Movie genres.
•         Design and fashion styles from the past, such as the hippies from the 60s, colorful 80s and slick 90s, zeros or much earlier?
•         Themes from the history books. Such as the Golden Age, Industrialization. The Black Age.
•         Fairytales.
•         Festival themes.
•         Colors.
•         TV channels.
•         YouTube Channels.
•         Major sports programs such as a World Cup, Olympic Games or an F1.
•         Theme Parks

Checklist: good event theme

Okay, now you have a big list of ideas in front of you. How do you know that you have an original theme for your event? Let's start by saying that the originality price is not the most important thing. Guests must also recognize themselves in the theme, or be able to imagine what you mean by it.

Do guests recognize your theme? Then you want to know how deeply you can work it out. You can easily test the depth with the following questions:

Do you see with this theme… 

1. A typical design?
2. An original business invitation or save the date (secret tip)
3. Matching snacks and drinks?
4. Original activities?
5. Decoration of the event
6. Decorating the hosts?
7. Souvenir from your event, so afterwards as a gift?

Hit all seven? Then other things will certainly work too. Note: A rough idea is enough. You have a precise interpretation, that's what you have in the coming weeks / months. Are you unable to get a rough picture of a theme? delete. It is then too complex to 'get around'. No matter how nice the theme is. The last thing guests should think is that they don't get the theme. That will have an impact on the next edition.

We update this article regularly.
Useful blog, or are you still missing things for your brainstorm? Send us an email. Let's look at how we can help and strengthen this blog.

Prefer to outsource this process?
Not in the mood for that brainstorm? Spend it well. We have a large network of good event agencies and freelancers. Let us know if you are looking for someone, we will try to connect you. We would love it if you would recommend us for your fun invitation process.

About Hintle, a surprise event invitation
Hintle is a surprise invitation that connects and engages colleagues and guests before the event starts. You can announce your plans as a secret by physical mail. And then start to reveal hints online for weeks. This way you spread your investment in those few days, over weeks, because you add a mountain of anticipation and involvement. This can be done entirely in your own brand style. It is also possible to send it only digitally. Feel free to ask for more info, or a 15 minute demo.