Month: November 2009

Holiday and the Workplace

Party time with co-workers can be fun, and a great opportunity to network and talk in a relaxed atmosphere.

Even in tough times most companies will do something this time of year. We are here to help you spread good cheer and save some green. 
However limited your party budget, it will serve you well to show your appreciation for your workers’ year-long efforts in some tangible and merry-making manner; to celebrate together in a social rather than business atmosphere. This goes a long way toward making workers feel valued and helps them bond with one another, a good step toward teambuilding and improving morale.

At-the-office parties

Try to locate office parties away from workstations; you want to do what you can to create a “non-businesslike” atmosphere. Bring in a multi-disc player sound system and play some popular holiday CD’s, or tune your company radio to a local station that plays non-stop holiday music.

Some suggestions for economical food choices
1. A catered luncheon or after-work party at the office can be less expensive than a restaurant or banquet outing. Catered foods range in cost and many caterers themselves have a number of menus with a range of selections and prices.

2. If funds are really limited, have a “potluck” meal where each worker signs up to bring in a different dish (have a sign-up to avoid duplicate dishes). You can provide the decorations, paper goods, drinks, music and dessert.

3. Try something a little “out of the ordinary” like these suggestions from Cambria of a dessert party with cakes, pastries, cookies, and fruit (“Amp up the celebration factor,” and serve with coffee, tea, cocoa, and a couple of dessert wines or liqueurs); or “an ice cream social with several ice cream flavors, frozen yogurt and a sugar-free variety or two along with all of the toppings.”

Off premises parties

1. Invite your employees and their “significant others” to your home. At-home holidays parties have a “warm and cozy” feel to them, and can make socializing more comfortable and enjoyable. Holding a party at your home can also be a little easier on the wallet than a restaurant or banquet hall party. Whether you serve brunch, lunch, dinner or cocktails, be sure the quality and taste of the food and drink is superior; this will add considerably to the party experience.

2. Consider going to a restaurant rather than a banquet or catering hall. Luncheons are typically less expensive than dinners. Many restaurants offer a number of party menus to choose from; i.e., lower priced menus featuring less expensive foods such as chicken and pastas, or higher priced menus featuring entrees such as steak and shrimp. Those plans including unlimited wine and beer are also considerably more expensive.

3. If you do choose to go “whole hog,” and hold your party at a banquet hall, there are some ways to hold down costs. Parties held on any day but Saturday are generally less expensive. Consider having a “wintertime” party in January when rates may also be cheaper. Do your best to get an accurate head count rather than paying unnecessary additional monies for “no-shows.” Foodwise, buffets are usually cheaper than sit-down dinners, or you might want to consider skipping the dinner altogether and just stick to hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Speaking of drinks, think about having a cash bar or giving out a designated number of drink tickets to each guest. Once employees use up their tickets, they’ll need to pay for additional drinks themselves.

The holidays should be a festive and fun time, a time of good will and as much generosity as one can muster. With this in mind, reward your employees with a joyful holiday party as a tangible way to express your appreciation for their yearlong efforts.

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at