Office party planning

Office party planning

Listen to the conversation with an event planner to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Ayako: Hello, sales department. This is Ayako speaking. How can I help you?

Sam: Hi, Ayako, this is Sam from Events-4-U. I'm calling about the piano you want at your Christmas party next month.

Ayako: Oh, good. It would be a great surprise to have one there for our boss for the night. He can play and it would be a great addition for the party. Have you been able to source one?

Sam: Well, yes, I have, but …

Ayako: But what?

Sam: Well, we're going to either have an issue with the logistics or the budget, or possibly both.

Ayako: Oh dear.

Sam: Well, we've found a baby grand piano, as you requested, and it's available for the date you want.

Ayako: OK, great. So what's the issue? Is it too expensive?

Sam: No, it's within the budget you gave me, so everything there is OK. But it's too wide for the entrance doorway into the building.

Ayako: Oh, I see. So what are our options? Could we dismantle it outside and reassemble it inside?

Sam: Er, no. Unfortunately, you can't really do that with pianos. But don't worry, I'm sure we can find some inventive solution.

Ayako: Do you have any ideas?

Sam: Well, we could hoist it up to the first-floor balcony. The door there would be large enough to fit it through.

Ayako: Great. That sounds like a good plan.

Sam: That would work, though it would increase the cost considerably as we'd need a crane, an extension on the insurance policy and probably two to three additional people to manage getting it successfully into the building.

Ayako: Oh, I see. Well, we can definitely stretch the budget by about ten per cent, but we shouldn't go over that. If we exceed the budget by more than ten per cent, then other areas of the party budget will have to be cut. And we don't really want that.

Sam: OK, so this idea won't work then. Sorry if I wasn't being clear. The considerable budget increase I was referring to would add a further fifty per cent. You know, cranes are expensive.

Ayako: Oh … um … OK. So what other options do we have?

Sam: Well, how fixed are you on the piano being a baby grand? Would an upright piano be an option?

Ayako: Hmm. I don't know.

Sam: It would fit through the door on the ground floor and cause fewer problems. I've also got the option on a really nice white vintage upright piano, with black design work.

Ayako: OK. That sounds like it might work. Could you send me over some photos of it?

Sam: I'll do it now, together with the rental and delivery information and costs.

Ayako: Great. Thanks, Sam. Let me think about it and I'll call you back later today.

Sam: Sure, no problem. I'll wait for your call. 

Task 1

Task 2


Worksheet82.28 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (45 votes)
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 15:52

I think it was last month when I discussed a problem with my colleagues on a phone. Talking is quicker and easier than sending emails. ;)

Submitted by fahri on Sat, 15/08/2020 - 16:05

Dear team. From lesson Above. 'to source' means to find or locate something. The other: to source:to get something, especially products or materials, from a particular place: The question: Which one the true??? Thank you very much for your answer

Hi fahri,

Both of these definitions of source are correct. It can mean to get something, or to find out where you can get something. Also, the second definition is a bit more detailed than the first one. It's correct to say that it's usually products or materials that are sourced, in a business context.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kbravoz on Wed, 22/07/2020 - 02:15

In the last question is ambiguous: when you say "that sounds like it might work", it's like you agree with the idea.

Hello kbravoz,

'That sounds like' + a clause is a very common structure. As you have noticed, it doesn't refer to sounds -- it refers to an idea. 'That sounds like it might work' means something like 'I think it might work'.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by nona nasr on Sat, 13/06/2020 - 21:39

Last problem I discussed on phone was about my new earbuds I complained to customer service that as I can’t hear clearly with stuff, the Staff was really helpful and respectful so much and they solved my problem by promising to change it as soon as possible.

Submitted by hisar on Sun, 07/06/2020 - 10:43

I realized one argue over telephone speaking. My project team mate was not working as good as me and we had to catch up our schedule. I called him. And I said that if you didnt have any time, you had to quit this project.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 11/05/2020 - 16:32

Just of recent. I had to made discussion about a problem on phone.

Submitted by Wesley54 on Sun, 19/04/2020 - 01:38

It was a few weeks ago. A friend of mine wanted to study German again, since she started working full-time, as a matter of fact, she didn't have time and the enough money to continue her classes. Unfortunately my sister kept on her virtual classes from university because of the current pandemic and the quarantine as a preventive fact. My friend started practising German with me from 9 o'clock to 11, however, my sister must attend to virtual classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the same time, and the Internet connection is quite slower than usual at that time. I explained her that issue and she proposed me to practise earlier, at 5 o'clock. I agree with her and fron that instant on we practise in the afternoon. Hopefully my sister thanked my gesture!