How to Organize the Best Corporate Farewell Party

team applauding departing employee
Morgane Lança
October 11 2023

While organizing welcome parties for new hires seems like a given for most employers, they rarely do the same for departing employees. However, offboarding statistics show that a formal offboarding process is essential, notably to attract new hires and maintain healthy relationships with former coworkers. As you can see, you need to make sure that your farewell party is memorable and highlights your company culture. Read on to learn how to organize the best corporate farewell party!

1) Choose the theme depending on the employee’s situation

First and foremost, it is essential to understand the reason behind the farewell party. Is the employee leaving the company, retiring, or changing departments? The purpose will influence the tone and theme of the party and guide your communication regarding the event.

You can choose a theme or color scheme that suits the occasion and the employee’s personality and preferences. Afterwards, decorate the venue accordingly with banners, balloons, flowers, pictures taken during previous team-building activities. Of course, your decorating endeavors should align with your predetermined budget.

2) Set a budget

Next, determine the resources you can allocate for the party. Consider expenses for food, decorations, gifts and activities, and remember that a memorable farewell party doesn’t need to be expensive. What matters most is that it aligns with the departing employee’s personality and conveys your appreciation for their work.

3) Pick the date and time

You will then have to pick a date and time that works for everyone – most notably, the departing employee and their key team members. After work hours, lunch breaks or weekend brunches are popular options that attract the most participants.

4) Select a venue and a caterer

It is time to decide whether the party will be held in the office, a restaurant, or a park, depending on your plans for the party. Your final choice should consider the number of attendees and the atmosphere you want to create.

You might want to invest in catering services or pay for a restaurant that can accommodate the number of guests and their dietary restrictions. Buffets or light snacks and beverages are often popular options depending on the time of day. For a more laid-back atmosphere, if the party is held at the office, everyone can bring something they have prepared.

5) Communicate ahead of the event

The guest list needs to be planned in advance and include colleagues, supervisors, and any coworker who has worked closely with the departing employee. You can then design invitations that match the theme and tone of the farewell party and choose between physical, email, or online invitations.

Remember to communicate early and often! Sending multiple reminders will help attract more participants and create excitement for the event.

6) Plan activities for the party

Activities planned during a farewell event can include:

  • Appreciation speeches to underline the employee’s contributions and personality;
  • Fun games such as trivia games, board games and scavenger hunts;
  • Photo booths to create happy memories;
  • A slideshow highlighting the departing employee’s career and time with their coworkers.

Ask colleagues and supervisors if they would be willing to prepare short speeches to express appreciation for the departing employee’s contributions, and designate someone who will take photos and videos during the event.

7) Prepare gifts and farewell messages

Encourage everyone to participate by contributing to a group gift, a group card, or a memory book filled with farewell messages and well-wishes. A corporate gift needs to be personalized to make your employee feel special. The gifts will be given during the party – remember to take pictures to create fond memories! 

8) Share photos from the party

Every corporate event should be followed by a thank-you note to attendees and contributors, accompanied by photos and videos from the party. On top of creating long-lasting memories, this will encourage employees to participate in future corporate events. 

Virtual Farewell Party Ideas

The expansion of remote working means that we have to organize virtual events, notably for departing employees who are not able to attend a farewell party in person. Here are a few ideas to create a memorable virtual party: 

  • Host a surprise party: Plan a video meeting during which the remote team will be invited to surprise your departing employee. A good number of participants should be available for a duration of at least one or two hours to make a real event out of the call. 
  • Create a video tribute: The employee’s colleagues will have recorded short appreciation messages in video format prior to the party. The video can be shared live to express recognition for the departing employee’s contributions!
  • Share memories: Each attendee can share their favorite memory with the departing employee and send pictures. 
  • Give toasts: Just like an in-person farewell party, coworkers can give toasts and speeches highlighting the departing employee’s personality and good times at the company.
  • Plan virtual activities: Use virtual games to make sure that everyone has fun. Virtual bingos and online drawing games will be enjoyed by most participants. 
  • Send gifts in the mail: Gather money and send a farewell gift in the mail so that the departing employee can open it during the event! You can also send snacks to eat and party hats to wear during the event. 

Your farewell party needs to convey a warm and friendly atmosphere and create lasting memories that the departing employee will take with them throughout the rest of their professional journey. 

Remember to send a farewell email to the departing employee to ensure that their offboarding process is effective and memorable: last impressions are as important as first impressions when it comes to employee experience!

Do you need examples of employee departure emails?

Cover administrative aspects and express recognition with our templates:


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