Organizing a Successful White Elephant Party – Part 1: Know Your Audience


This is common sense, you might say. Indeed it is. But year after year, party after party I attended, this seems to be a common sense that is not so common after all.

It is often missed out or poorly thought of. Without properly defining your audience profile, you have no idea on what kind of white elephant gift party rules you want to adopt and what gifts to be exchanged.

The kind of gifts to be exchanged during a white elephant party could naturally add spices to your event or it could be the single most factor determining the participation level of your audience.

But without a clearly spelt out white elephant gift party rules, you are as good as being unprepared and lots of things could go wrong.

Useful Tips for Organizing Successful White Elephant Gift Exchange Party

So, if it is not the first time you are organizing the white elephant gift exchange party, then you need to brainstorm for some creative white elephant gift ideas.

This is unless you want the same set of funny white elephant gift ideas being exchanged in the previous occasion to be circulated again this time round.

If the majority of your participants are the same, they would probably have seen those gifts and they no longer make hillarious white elephant gift ideas now.

If you are part of the volunteer group or appointed committee to hold your company’s or organization’s upcoming white elephant holiday party, then your audience will be your colleagues who are mostly connected on professional level.

If you are organizing a Christmas party with a small group of your Church mates, then your audience will be Church goers who are connected by the same faith and beliefs.

If you are organizing a get-together year-end gathering among your social circles, then there is likely to be one common interest that connects your audience together.

If you are the first type, there are several variables that you might want to take note of. Every company and organization has unique set of practices and way of doing things. This is more commonly known as the office culture.

You have to mindful of your office culture when you are selecting white elephant gifts for co-workers.

This is in order to avoid scenarios that could potentially put rank holders or managers in awkward position. Again, this is dependent on the corporate culture of the rank holders.

If among your audience are C-level (CEO, CFO, COO, CIO or whatever) executives, then you need to understand how their personalities are.

Funny Office Stationary White Elephant Gift Ideas

If done right, a corporate white elephant holiday party can be a good corporate-bonding event. It is not uncommon for companies or organizations (usually small ones) to make use of such event as an opportunity for usually serious high level executives to showcase their other sides that are usually not seen due to professional commitments.

You might want to be cautious not to overrun their egos though. But if your party does not involve too large of an audience and your colleagues know each other well, then you do not have to worry too much about this fallout.

I know these factors are not something that you can dictate. The least you could do is to suggest some simple white elephant gag gift ideas so that your participants do not all come with the same type of easy (and usually boring) gifts.

Click here to see our curated list of funny white elephant gift ideas

When thinking about your audience, do not forget to count the number of expected attendance. While white elephant gift exchange party tends to be more fun when more people are involved, the law of diminishing return applies here.

Having more number of people is only good up to a certain point before it will reverse in effect. The minimum number required to make white elephant party work is 6 and the maximum is probably somewhere between 20 to 25.

Knowing your audience size will help you decide if you need to break them into smaller groups in order to ensure certain level of engagement and participation.

White elephant gift ideas for laughter

Remember this. Don’t get too carried away with all the organizing stuffs. After all, hunting cool gift ideas is where the fun is when it comes to white elephant gift exchange party.

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