Photo Credit: Curtis Moore Photography
Corporate Holiday Season is back! But it’s about more than fancy dinners and acknowledging the holiday season — corporate holiday parties are a great opportunity to boost employee morale, encourage stronger work relationships and to really show your employees they’re truly appreciated. After all, happy employees equates to happy customers, which can do nothing but good to your bottom line.
When planning your next corporate holiday party, keep in mind the event will be a reflection of your corporate brand and culture. So why not ‘WOW’ your employees and your closest partners by trying one or a few (or even all!) of these 2013 holiday event trends:
1. Custom Food Menus and Presentation
With the increase in reality TV shows like Master Chef and Chopped, viewers are more educated and exposed to fine-dining courses and presentation, which means it’s going to a take a lot more than a typical chicken and potato banquet main course to impress them. Buffet-style food stations with interactive elements such as a carving station, or a chef on-site working the stove are great options. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your vendor or caterer about a custom menu, you’ll be surprised!
Photo Credit: Jeremy Hiebert Photography
We’re seeing a lot less formal round tables of eight at our corporate events, and more of the high-style lounges. The lounges encourages guests to mix and mingle, rather than be confined to their assigned table for the evening. Lounge furniture such as couches, accent tables and high-tops can help create a luxurious scene that invite your employees to socialize and have fun.
Photo Credit: D. Singh Photography
3. Interactive Entertainment
Definite must-have for this holiday season? Live entertainment! Live bands performing covers of some classic hits is a perfect way to get your staff moving on the dance floor. However if dancing isn’t for everyone, try different interactive activities such as tarot card reader, casino tables, raffle prizes or a cookie-decorating station. One of our favourite trends for 2014 is slow motion video booths. Similar to the traditional photo booth, the video booths bring interactive to a new level and will definitely be a hit!
Photo Credit: Robert Lowdon Photography
4. Unique Drink Service
Signature cocktails is an easy and inexpensive addition to any event and can really add that personalize touch. Play around with the name, different glassware and signage for your signature drinks to fit your event concept and theme. Instead of passing the signature drink around, why not try a drinking fountain? The drinking fountain adds another interactive element in addition to gorgeous decor. If you do decide signature drinks are for you, don’t forget to include at least one virgin option for your guests.
Photo Credit: Curtis Moore Photography
Our favourite party favours are definitely the edible kind. After a successful night of socializing and dancing, a bite-size baked good during the ride home is always a sweet treat. For your next dessert station, you can simply include small white paper boxes or decorative goodie bags. This season, we’re seeing a lot of macaroons, pastries, shortbread cookies, and even ethnic desserts.
Photo Credit: Manuel F. Sousa Photography
When your guests walk into the room, the real ‘wow’ factor comes from the decor and scenery. Stunning centre pieces, textured linens, and breath-taking floral arrangements are all key to tie event decor together. Lighting is also HUGE when creating scenery and enhancing the mood for guests. A few LED up lighting, wall washes and candles can go a long way.
Photo Credit: Trevor Brucki
Corporate social responsibility is a growing expectation not only from employees but from the community at large. A corporate holiday event is an excellent opportunity to showcase your company’s dedication to local charities and causes. This initiative can be met by simply by hosting a collection drive at the door, for example each guests are asked to bring a new toy or a non-perishable food item. Other options are donating proceeds from the raffle prizes, poker tables or even the ticket sales.
(Originally Published in the October/November 2013 The Indo-Canadian Telegram)