Thank you to everyone who participated in last month’s newsletter survey. The lucky winner of the green gift basket is Corrinne Kessel from Greenscape Décor. Congratulations Corrinne you have won a beautiful Green Gift Basket from Green & Green who help businesses and individuals create unique gifts baskets that leave a great impression – greenngreen.com
Everyone’s feedback was useful and we look forward to incorporating your suggestions and continuing to provide a newsletter that delivers useful tips and suggestions for successful corporate events.
The Christmas Conundrum
The company Christmas party has a long tradition. But the old standby of dinner, drinks, and dancing is falling in popularity. Cost is one factor. Current economic conditions have many companies tightening their belts. Time is another. Many people have so many social events to attend during the holidays that the company party can feel more like an obligation than a celebration.
Perception is yet another reason. In the Internet age, individuals and organizations are recognizing that a party-time indiscretion that might have made for a minor scandal around the water cooler for a few days and then died out, has a much longer shelf-life thanks to camera phones and Facebook, and the potential to impact reputations and the bottom line.
But this doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea of a holiday season event at your company. There’s a wide range of options that capture the Christmas spirit, yet avoid the pitfalls of the traditional party.
One popular trend is to substitute a full-blown Christmas staff party for a smaller event held close to the holidays. By the time Christmas is upon us, it’s pretty common that business slows down anyway. If a few hours of fun on a Friday afternoon won’t have a big impact on your company’s operations, schedule an event with some seasonal activities or entertainment, add some catering and a jolly visit from Saint Nick… and your employees will still have a chance to celebrate, without having to cut into their personal time.
If management and/or staff want to stick with the office Christmas party, recognize that nowadays it needs a ‘hook’ to be successful. A theme (it doesn’t have to be a ‘holiday’ theme), activity, or prize giveaways are effective ways to build interest and attendance. If cost is a limiting factor, consider a brunch event. The food and beverage budget will be smaller and the absence of alcohol at the event means you don’t necessarily have to provide taxi vouchers or other transportation options.
At Bright Ideas, we can produce a full-scale holiday party that transports guests to a Winter Wonderland, or assist clients with something as simple and easy as a gift program for employees’ children; sourcing, purchasing, and gift-wrapping sensible, durable gifts such as educational toys. Whatever direction you decide to take in updating your company’s holiday season tradition, Bright Ideas can give you the gift of a successful event!
The Global Holiday
One of the challenges of the holiday season is satisfying demand for a holiday party, without alienating employees who may not have had ‘Christmas’ as part of their life growing up. At Bright Ideas we think there’s a way to honour the traditions of all your staff. Why not hold an event that showcases the various celebrations that occur around the world at this time. Events such as the Lunar New Year, Hannukah, Eid, and Yalda are probably familiar to at least some of your employees.
Giving them an opportunity to share those traditions with their co-workers is a great way to build mutual respect, team spirit, and foster understanding in your organization. And the best part for those who get tired of turkey, cranberries and stuffing… an opportunity to enjoy a culinary trip around the world! Why limit your celebration to just one type of tradition? Let Bright Ideas make your holiday event a multi-cultural celebration.
Bright Ideas Xmas Buzz
|Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min
Ready In: 30 Min
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts whole milk
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
4 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup whipped cream, garnish
In a large saucepan, stir together sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Ladle a small amount of the hot milk into the yolks and quickly whisk in. Pour the tempered yolk mixture back into the hot milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a medium glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 4 teaspoons sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. fold whites into eggnog and refrigerate until chilled. Serve garnished with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg.
Staff Pic of the Month – Aileen Fricke
Of course this event was my favourite! Not only because of the great Dirndl costumes but it also made me feel like home being from Germany.
Having all those neat details like the miniature beer mugs or the blue and white ribbon ring hanging from the ceiling added a real German flavour to this amazing Event.
We transformed the venue into a fun Oktoberfest place with a huge Festhalle with dozens of authentic wooden benches and a stage as well as a Platzl for the Beer Tasting.
The different food stations presented a great choice of traditional German Food like Schnitzel and Spaetzle or Apple Strudel. Other Highlights were the German band, the Edelweiss dancers and of course the wood chipping contest, great times for everyone.
Guests had the chance to take a piece of this remarkable Event home by getting their picture taken at the Photo Op or from the Caricaturist.
To me it was one of the most memorable events ever!
Ask An Event Planner
How has holiday event planning changed in the past ten years?
One of the big shifts has been the change in attitude around alcohol at corporate events. Companies are making it a point to ensure their employees have options such as taxi or transit vouchers to ensure everybody gets home safely. It is money well spent in my opinion and a great way to demonstrate corporate responsibility to employees and the community.
How do you build team spirit when your employees work from home offices?
Changing times means that not everybody is at ‘the office’ these days. We lead up to an event with tantalizing clues, mini-contests, and announcements highlighting the fun people can expect. During the event we utilize our proven ice-breaker games and activities to get people mingling and talking.
What’s the hottest trend with holiday parties?
There’s no doubt themes are hot right now! No longer is a Christmas theme the only option for a holiday season event. Our clients are choosing a wide variety of themes – from Tropical to the Roaring Twenties Speakeasy. Their guests are responding positively, enjoying this entertaining break with tradition.
Have a question for Sharon?
Find the answer before your next event. If you have specific questions, or want to know more about event planning best practices, email Sharon with the subject line ‘Ask an Event Planner’ and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming edition of our newsletter.
Top Three Holiday Party Trends
Ditch the Dancing
Plenty of folks feel uncomfortable showing off their dance moves in front of the boss. Instead, consider entertainment such as fire spinners, Cirque-style acrobats, caricaturists, or simply keep the background music quiet enough that your guests can mingle and enjoy an opportunity to chat with colleagues, without having to compete with the sound system.
Research shows that scents are very effective at invoking memories and positive impressions. At Bright Ideas we often recommend our clients take advantage of the aromas of cloves, cinnamon, and pine – to make their holiday party a feast for all the senses.
Pictures are Perfect
We find that guests always like a souvenir of the event. Photo booths are becoming a very popular activity for this reason. The latest technology allows for instant printing and even the ability to email or post the pics to social media networks.
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