Time to start thinking about your company holiday party! Are you ready to plan a bash your employees will be excited to attend. There are a ton of ways you can get creative and inject some real holiday spirit into the event. Your party is a great opportunity to get together with your team, enjoy each other's company, and let everyone know how much you appreciate their hard work over the last year. These ideas can help you make it a party to remember.
1. Pick a Theme
Want to turn a ho-hum get-together into a memorable one? Give it a theme. Even a standard drinks-and-catering party becomes a lot more fun when everyone is wearing masquerade masks or Hawaiian leis. You can pick about anything as your theme (just make sure it won't raise any eyebrows in HR). Here are some ideas:
Door prizes make a welcome addition to any company party. Who doesn't love winning something? Think about what kind of prizes fit your budget and what your employees will appreciate most. A few tried-and-true ideas include:
Plan some fun games to help your employees loosen up and get to know each other. Activities that require working together are especially great for building a sense of team spirit. Here are some ideas you can try:
Encourage your employees to make their own unforgettable moments by setting up a photo booth for your party. Many Photographers will set up a professional photo booth but if that is not in your budget, improvise by making your own. Create a festive backdrop by decorating a piece of butcher paper or a white sheet. A string of lights makes a nice touch, too. Have plenty of fun props on hand (Santa hats and tinsel are mandatory), and get ready to strike a pose!
5. Giving Back to the Community
You can hold a food or toy drive with your employees and even include your clients. Volunteer as a group at a food bank, soup kitchen or toy drive. Take the group out for a casual dinner and drinks and get into the true holiday spirit of helping the less fortunate in your community. This will go a lot farther than an employee secret santa exchange.
6. Have a Potluck
If you would like to keep your party casual this year, consider having a potluck so your crew can show off their cooking or baking skills. Potlucks are budget-friendly, and there are always a wide variety of delicious foods for everyone to sample. Having a sign up sheet with categories makes sure that they will be a variety of dishes and your employees can show off their cooking skills.
Have your main meal catered, and ask your employees to bring in their favorite sweet treats and hold a “Best Dessert” contest.
7. Bring in Some Entertainment
Talent is always looking for places to perform and why not at your Holiday Party? Musicians, magicians, or jugglers? Entertainment can take your event to the next level, especially if you hire a performer or band that lines up with the theme of your party. If you're planning to book any entertainment, do it well ahead of time, so you don't have to scramble to find someone a week before the event.
8. Switch Up Your Gift Exchange
Having a Secret Santa gift exchange can be fun, but let's be honest - it gets a little worn-out year after year. Try changing things up with a white elephant gift exchange, where everyone brings a gift that's strange, funny, or unusable. Other fresh ideas:
Your employees will appreciate a great office party, they'll may also enjoy a day out of the office even more. Getting a change of scenery and doing something enjoyable together is often the best way to build camaraderie, so take the afternoon off and go somewhere with your team. Active outings, like hiking or ice-skating, or a trip to a local attraction are usually a fun way to spend the day. If you're planning to include alcohol in the day, consider following up your outing with a visit to a bar. That way, anyone who doesn't want to drink will be able to opt out of the second part without feeling excluded from the main event.
Are You Inspired to Throw a Great Holiday Party This Year?
Whatever your budget, company culture, and employees are like, there's a holiday party idea out there that's perfect for your team. Use this as a starting point to spark your creativity.
Still not sure what kind of party you should throw? Poll your employees! They'll appreciate that you care about their opinions, and they'll enjoy the party more if they get to have some say in what happens.
Don't forget, the best gift of the season is spending quality time with others. Foster a sense of goodwill and friendship at your party, and it will be sure to be a memorable one.
No matter the industry or size of a company, events should play an integral role in all of your marketing and internal communications strategies. People do business with people and therefore, the ability to build lasting relationships both internally and externally is the key to success. It could be anything from a small meeting or annual conference to a national roadshow, either way, face to face communications are important.
THEY GENERATE BRAND AWARENESSHow can people do business with you if they don’t know you exist? The simple answer is that they can’t. By bringing people together and giving them the opportunity to see your products and/or services as well as speak to the experts, you will help them better understand what you have to offer. Once people understand what it is that you’re trying to say, they will not only be aware of your brand but they are more likely to share your message.
THEY HELP YOU ENGAGE, MOTIVATE AND EDUCATE YOUR EMPLOYEESWhen it comes to internal communications, events are a powerful tool. At The Caroline Affect we say that a story is best told through an experience and in order for people to act differently, they need to think differently. Events give you the perfect opportunity to provide your teams with what they need to succeed, whether that’s physical tools or mental motivation. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Engage employees in activities to help them understand a new product or service, design programs to build relationships with peers or even bring in engaging speakers that motivate your employees and increase productivity – your opportunities are endless.
THEY ENSURE YOUR MESSAGE IS COMMUNICATED EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY
We know time is precious and realistically sending an email is a quick way of distributing a message but it’s not necessarily the most effective. The issue is that emails get missed, messages get lost in translation and ultimately you don’t really know if anyone’s read it! Although not initially quicker, delivering a message in person is far more efficient in the long run. You can share your message with a targeted audience, gauge their reactions and encourage questions all the time knowing that your message has been delivered to the right people and in the right way.
THEY HELP YOU LEARNBy making the decision to invest in events, you have given yourself an opportunity to learn from your delegates. There are a number of event engagement apps and digital event technologies that can help you gather valuable feedback in real-time. They allow you to communicate with your delegates through live polls and question and answer sessions; giving you the insight you need to understand how your stakeholders think, how they feel, and what’s important to them. Using this information you can evolve and adapt your business to meet expectations. If you don’t already, you will soon come to realise the power of live events. People react to experiences and communications that they can actively get involved in. It doesn’t matter how big or small an event is, the principles are the same and you need to make the most out of the opportunities they create.
Once you’ve made the decision to invest in events, it’s then a task to find out the best way of managing them. Call us to help you design your perfect event.
When you’re hosting your event and trying to keep within your budget, hiring an event planner might seem like an unnecessary expense. But it’s not. Here are seven surprising reasons to hire an event planner…and one of the reasons is the opposite of what you’d expect.
1. You’ll save time.Your event planner takes all the necessary meetings. Why? Because there are details I don’t have to be bothered with. The event planner knows the ins and outs of the event. Because you have an intense strategy meeting right at the beginning of the planning process, your event planner will know exactly what your needs are. That means the event planner goes to meetings with the venue and the photographer and the rental place and the A/V people and you can get more work done. Having an event planner will save you countless the hours.
2. You’ll save money.This is the reason I think might be the opposite of what you’d expect. You’d think because you have to pay the event planner, you’re spending more money, right? Not so. Once your planner knows what your budget is (and how strict you are about sticking to it), s/he can work with vendors to save you money on all kinds of things. Your event planner will have relationships with vendors that will work with you on price. And because they have relationships with vendors already from her past events, it’s easier for her to ask them for things than it would’ve been for you. In the long run, an event planner can actually save you the money you spent hiring him/her, and then some.
3. You’ll have a better looking event.Left to my own devices, you would probably have a fairly sparse event, sans decoration. To think in terms of technical and practical needs. But event planners know that part of what makes for a great event is that it looks and feels great. There are tons of details like this that you would never think of such as things like, did you know that if you angle your audience chairs a certain way, it makes them feel more involved and engaged? This was just one of a hundred details you may not know or think of for your event.
4. You’ll host your event at the right place.
Where you should host your event? In what city and where in the city will depend on the kind of event you’re hosting and what your goals are for your event. Your event planner will help you choose a venue that can actually help you meet your goals for your event. This is something that can affect attendance, sales, and the overall experience for those who attend.
5. You’ll have good people doing good work.Your event planner will know several great photographers, videographers, A/V companies and rental companies. And as a result you are able to obtain several quotes that you can then review and have confidence that whichever one you decide to hire for your event have already been vetted. Because of the number of events they have done with each of these companies, your event planner will know the pros and cons of each and can help you make the best choices and stay on-budget.
6. You’ll eat.You know what you forgot about? You forgot that during your event, you will have to eat. Your event planner will ensure you are taken care of and be sure that you not only eat but that your timeline will allow for you to have a break so you can fully enjoy the event. That is something you may not think of when you are planning an event yourself.
7. You can breathe.
When you’re planning an event, doing everything yourself is a very, very big job. And it gets stressful. As soon as you hire an event planner, you can breathe. You can step back, regroup, focus on the things you know the most about, and get a lot of work done. Because someone else is handling the details of the event itself, you can be more productive on the things you do best. Plus, when the event happens, you will know your event planner and their team will be monitoring the event itself, taking care of everyone and making sure the logistics are handled so that I can focus on making your guests feel welcome and comfortable and doing your own presentations.
When the next time comes for your next idea for an event, you will know you have a great team in your corner and you will be able to relax into a great event.
So you want to hold a Corporate Event and you don’t know where to start. There are many pitfalls that can cause your event to be less than what you hoped it would be and these are some of what you need to watch out for before you start.
Once you have identified all the details of your event you can then start to build your budget by going to different vendors for a Request for Proposal or RFP. If possible be sure to get at least 3 quotes for service (this may not always be possible in some smaller centres) so you have an idea of the average cost of what you would like to include in your event.
2. How can a change affect your event?
As with most real-life scenarios, most events will have changes in plans and scope before the big day. Failure to keep track of the smallest change can mean an out of control budget or an impossible timeline.
You can avoid this becoming a problem by ensuring communication with your event planner. Have a “ change tracking process” that will document any change and will keep the event under control. The individual requesting the change should explain the specific change (e.g. additional seating or catering menu) to the event manager and they will then determine the impact to the budget, timeline and communicate this to all the stakeholders of the event.
3. Don’t ignore Murphy’s Law…...don’t be caught off guard!
If something can go wrong, it probably will! Lots of things can happen at the last minute leaving everyone surprised. The event can then go off the rails and leave the event planner trying to put out fires that had not been anticipated.
The way you can avoid these unavoidable problems is to hold an event risk assessment early in the event planning process with the event team. Have an early brainstorming sessions to try and anticipate any issues that may arise the week and day of the event. This will help you identify early any potential issues and help you have a smooth event.
4. Ensure the event has a clear and agreed upon plan!
A lack of an agreed upon plan with all the stakeholders and the event planner increases the risk that tasks related to the event will fall through the cracks, that the event will have last minute issues, fall short on budget and ultimately miss the major objective.
A well defined and agreed upon event plan helps planners tackle every task efficiently and raises the appropriate level of awareness of all the activities involved in the execution of an event. Having a baseline of repeatable processes for scoping, scheduling, allocating resources and communicating with stakeholders removes a lot of the guesswork associated with events.