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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 19:00

The dos and don’ts of the office holiday party

Written by  Tricia Woolfenden
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Ready to bring back the office fete after a recession-induced hiatus? Below, four West Michigan event planning experts weigh in on office party best practices.

[RELATED: Companies again embracing holiday parties as the economy improves]

  • Do be open to negotiation: April Butler of Celebration! Cinema and Celebration! Events said “just because you see a price point, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. There are times when things can be negotiated and negotiable.” She said this approach may help a planner to better work within a specified budget.

  • Don’t forget to relax and socialize: Annemarie Smartz of Frederik Meijer Gardens said company employees who have played a role in planning the party should take time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. “The administrative assistants get so tied up in the stress, they forget to have a good time,” Smartz said. Derrick Ricca, senior sales manager for Greenleaf Hospitality Group/Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, recommends forming an interoffice planning committee to help spread the pre-party workload.

  • Do plan to spend most of the budget on food: Katie Vogelheim, event coordinator for CityFlats Hotel, recommends cost-conscious customers scale back on entertainment and décor to put more money toward food and drinks. “It’s fun to do karaoke and photo booths, but focus more on feeding guests,” she said.

  • Don’t cut corners: Budgets are crucial, but cutting corners may be worse than offering no party at all. “(It) can send the wrong message,” Ricca said. Instead, think of creative ways to save costs that will leave employees with a good impression of the company. For instance, scale back to an hors d’oeuvres luncheon, but partner with a local charitable organization to collect canned goods for a food bank or toys for a children’s hospital. “Use smaller resources, but attach an opportunity for employees to do something good,” Ricca said.

  • Do be responsible: Reduce the chances of drinking and driving by offering drink tickets instead of an open bar. Ricca said more companies are taking even more proactive steps to reduce liability, by offering cab services or other safe rides. Working only with TIPS-trained servers may also lessen the odds of over-served guests.
Read 4168 times Last modified on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 20:57

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