Corporate Holiday Parties

Keeping the mood cheery and the costs down!

December 2011 by Courtney

When it comes to corporate holiday parties, there are a few different approaches to take. The important thing to remember is why you're having the party in the first place. It's a time to show your employees your appreciation for all the hard work they have put in throughout the year and remind them how much they mean to your company. Some people might do this with an elaborate dinner party at a local restaurant with spouses and families, and others might decorate a conference room as the party venue. The location isn't as important as the atmosphere that is created. The holiday party is one of the few times a year that people from all parts of a company can gather together in a non-work environment.

With the current state of the economy, scaling back on things like holiday parties isn't uncommon but it doesn't mean that you can't celebrate! If you're going to plan a party at the office, try to keep it away from the usual work areas or use decorations to create a festive environment. Food and drinks can be anything from a bartender and catering to a company potluck. Try to create some sort of activity to break the ice - for example, set up a photo booth with a tablecloth, camera and a few props. You will end up with some hilarious and only slightly embarrassing photos. You could also hang up photos from previous years of parties. It's always fun for veteran employees to look back on old hair dos and holiday sweaters.

Another important factor to consider is that the holidays are a time for everyone to be thankful for what they have and to give back. Employers are thankful for loyal and hardworking employees, employees are thankful for a job and everyone is thankful for family and loved ones - regardless of what the year has brought your way. Why not turn a holiday party into an evening of giving? It could be as little as asking everyone to bring canned food to donate to a local food pantry. Consider creating a game by having all the employees draw names. Then tell them they have to buy a toy that somehow represents that other person and have everyone at the party guess which employee goes with each toy. In the end, they would all be donated to Toys for Tots and you've successfully turned a hilarious game into a way to give back!

Don't want to plan a party at all? Show a classic holiday movie in the office one morning and serve hot chocolate. One thing you must do, is send out real invitations - not just an office wide e-mail inviting everyone. Corporate party invitations lighten the mood and clearly differentiate to employees that this is not a meeting - but a celebration!

The holiday office party can be just about anything these days. The only aspect that is goes unchanged is the theme of appreciation - that goes for employers and employees. Keeping that theme in mind, create an environment where everyone can forget they're at work for a minute and just be together and enjoy some holiday cheer! And I'm telling you, the photo booth is genius!