Posted on: December 01, 2014
Posted by: Brigitte Diem-Guy, Vice President Sales & Marketing, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
It’s here again: Holiday office party time and once again you are in charge of planning the most epic company soiree ever. Expectations are high…. and you are out of ideas. Don’t drown your sorrows in that Eggnog: We have put together some last-minute ideas and hot trends that will help you put some fun in your event and make you look like a star:
- Double the Giving-Back Fun
Many companies include donations to charities as part of their event already but you can step up the giving efforts by purchasing gifts and prizes from those companies that give back, are involved in community programs or use catering companies or vendors that create jobs for people with barriers to traditional employment.
- Social Activities are In
Instead of one big entertainment act, companies choose to book multiple smaller acts or incorporate social activities and interactive games as part of the entertainment. How about putting together an office choir leading your guests into old-fashioned carolling, or putting on a miniature Christmas Tree speed decorating contest or a gingerbread house decorating event. You may be surprised what hidden talent your co-workers have!
- It’s an App!
Show how cool you are by using the Eversnap app. Engage everyone and have them use this app to not only collect all photos and video from the party in ONE real-time album but also project a live slideshow of everyone’s photos on a TV/projector screen as they are being taken! Check it out at http://eversnapapp.com.
- Food – Two Words: Customize and Interactive
Integrate eating into the event experience with make-your-own drinks, sundaes, desserts and even entrees. Guests will be able to mingle with each other instead of being stuck at the same table for hours. A great idea is a sparkling wine bar with different mixes available such as a variety of flavoured syrups. A ‘name that cocktail’ or a best-tasting cocktail contest adds to the fun.
Instead of simply observing a chef at a food station, encourage guests to join in by choosing ingredients, spices and other enhancements. Or have a chef-cook-off complete with a basket of secret ingredients and judges. Our SilverBirch hotel and restaurant executive chefs compete regularly in a variety of cooking challenges and championships and are always up for a challenge!
- An Employee-Client Affair
Why not open up your holiday party guest list to your top clients? This is a great way to network in a relaxed setting and to make them feel part of the company. If you consider this idea, it gives you a great reason to choose your food, entertainment and your location carefully and put on a high-quality event.
- Mix it Up!
Formal and fixed assigned seating is out; more fun and flexible seating styles are in. Mix some seating choices such as lounge or conversational sets, communal or long tables, high chairs and sofas or go all cool with adding some bean bags. Event furniture companies have some great choices that fit any budget or ask your venue contact what they can arrange for you.
- It doesn’t have to be Red and Green
Color can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions. It is a powerful communication tool and can be used to signal action. A hot trend this year is using hues of blue mixed with silver or white. The color blue signals trust, peace, order and loyalty. A very budget-friendly way is using up-lights to ‘wash’ a room in blue-tones – an A/V company can assist you with this very easily.
- Unexpected Venues
Why not surprise your guest by holding your event in a museum, art gallery, micro brewery, winery, a Christmas tree farm or rent out a cool lounge or restaurant. Just ensure that the venue is easy to get to or arrange to and from transportation. Many local hotels offer a special ‘Take the Elevator Home’ overnight rate during the Holiday party season – this will keep your guests safe after your best-ever, epic Holiday party!
Send us your tips and best-ever corporate Holiday party ideas or contact us if you need information on our ‘Take the Elevator Home’ Rates and venue information.