You’ve broached the subject with a few colleagues. You’ve found some kindred spirits. Someone overheard you and was intrigued. It’s time. It’s office board game night. The best way to really get to know the peeps you work with and have an excuse to play more games.
If you really want it to be da bomb here’s what we recommend.
1. Who’s in?
There’s nothing worse than getting all excited and prepped, setting up that game of Colt Express only for only one person to show.
First things first, you should really make sure you pick a time people can come.
Doodle is great for giving people options of different times and checking for who said they would come (I’d still probably expect some drop outs).
Also be kind, invite everyone, especially new colleagues.
They will appreciate the opportunity to bond and you might even make some new friends.
2. Where we playing?
Make sure you pick the right place for the job. If you keep it in the office more people will show and it’s easier to organise. Don’t pick the meeting room with the huge board room table just for the four of you, you’ll be too far away.
Don’t play in the middle of the office if people are still working either, that’s just mean. That said, it’s great to play where people can see and just spontaneously join or get excited watching.
3. Pick the right games
You no doubt are going to have a mix of people who have played lots of games and some that have never touched a board game. You are going to have varying numbers of people so bring a suitable range of games.
Ideally, you want a selection of games that cover your bases no matter how many people turn up. Unless you have a small, patient group it’s probably best to avoid anything too heavy as well.
Also if your group is too big or if it’s an awkward number make sure you have multiple games. This way, it’s easy to break into two teams if need be.
You are in luck we have a recommended start kit of board games for your office and it will cost you under $100.
4. Don’t starve!
If you’re playing after work, at some point people are going to be hungry. Don’t leave them hungry. I get grumpy when my tummy rumbles. Make sure you have a good range of snacks and some drinks or, even better, go wild and get some beers for your homies.
I fully recommend requesting a BYOB and snack policy and then you don’t even have to organise it (just bring some back ups to make sure).
If people want to eat, a good idea might be to order your pizza or whatever straight away.
Pro tip: if people are eating lots of crisps, make sure you have some tissues about and sleeves on your cards. You don’t want them all greasy now.
5. Keep it simple
There will always be someone who has never played the game you are about to play.
Some of the group are going to want to jump right in or overly excitedly explain all the rules and strategy.
Take control. Send around one of our Gists beforehand or maybe even show one before you start. They won’t teach them all the rules but will give everyone a good starting point.
Only one person should explain the game. I know it might be tempting to jump in with that point you think was missed but don’t, it will just confuse them more. Be patient and keep it simple. When you’re playing try to get everyone to help that new player, even if it will hurt you.
Once that first game is done though, all bets are off. They’re ready.
Pro tip: Please, please don’t bring a game you still have in the shrink wrap. No one wants to sit there as you try and make sense of the rules. Learn a game before that day to make a smoother start.
6. People management
I know. I know. You’ve just done a day of work and you want to unwind. You don’t want to manage people.
Unfortunately, as the host it’s on you to make sure people have a good time.
Stop people bullying or being sore winners and losers. Look after the new players, and be sure to keep the beer and snacks coming.
7. Same time next week?
It was fucking great, right?
Everyone had fun, you got to know people a little more.
Well then, keep it regular: weekly, fortnightly, monthly whatever you like.
People will appreciate it.
Pro tip: if you start playing a lot, perhaps speak to your HR or people team. Board games and snacks are a relatively cheap social activity for a large group so they may give you some budget (If you can get $100 we have a ready made start kit to recommend here).
Your office is going to love you.