Tis the season, as they say, to host your corporate holiday celebration… Holiday parties can be surprisingly complex & overwhelming to plan. Whether they’re for your staff, for your clients, or a mix of both. No matter who the guests are, careful planning and execution is paramount to getting the most for your money.
In the case of a staff event, the ultimate goal is typically staff appreciation. As such, we have seen our share of events that include some sort of appreciation gifts. And while these gifts are certainly a nice gesture, they can also have unintended negative affects. Extremely large gifts aren’t always easy for the “winner” to take with them. And in many cases, the gift is either somewhat unwanted by the receiver or it is something that they already own. We have also witnessed events that include some sort of extended raffle – where every few minutes another gift is given away. When this happens in the midst of music being played (even worse, when folks are up and dancing), it can really stymie the flow of the event. Our recommendation is that the money spent on these items is pooled together and a smaller gift that can be distributed to all the staff would have a nicer impact for all.
When the event is for clients, or a hybrid of clients & staff, it may be time to curate the bar a bit in order to ensure there are no embarrassing moments for guests who might overindulge. An example of this is beer & wine and a low alcohol content cocktail like mulled wine or sangria. Something that is festive, but doesn’t have guests on the floor if they have a few too many. When clients are included in a holiday celebration, they typically are the priority guest (as they should be), and as such, the event should really be designed with your clients in mind.
And because not everyone belongs to the same faith – holiday celebrations should really focus more on the end of the year celebration as opposed to a specific holiday celebration. Giving out custom Christmas tree ornaments may seem like a really thoughtful gesture, but keep in mind, not all of your staff or your clients may have a Christmas tree in their house.
The best corporate holiday celebrations that we’ve worked on are the ones that focus on great food, great drinks, great entertainment, and a core leadership team that is dedicated & focused on appreciating everyone in attendance. There is no need to over script the event; the act of hosting your guests and actively engaging with them in a meaningful way is really all that you need.