Rose Report: Issue 17

It’s Party Time!

issue17-pic-story4During the recession of recent years, many companies decided to either scale back or cancel their holiday parties. It seemed inappropriate to spend on extras in the wake of cut-backs and lay-offs. But that trend is reversing—happily, holiday parties are back.

According to a survey by executive search firm Battalia Winston, 96 percent of companies polled are planning to have holiday parties this year—up from 91 percent in 2012 and 74 percent in 2011.

Research shows that holiday parties improve office morale and reassure employees that their company is on solid financial footing. “We found that office parties are highly important to office culture,” wrote BizBash in a white paper. “They bolster workplace dynamic, better interdepartmental relationships, and increase productivity.”

BizBash surveyed caterers, event planners, and human relations professionals to find out the top holiday party trends for 2013. Here are a few fun ones any company can incorporate into their own celebration:

• Cocktail and dessert receptions are replacing sit-down dinners. They allow for more creative foods—small plates and passed appetizers—as well as the chance to mix and mingle with more co-workers.

• Companies are incorporating fun activities into their holiday parties. Some ideas include photo booths, psychics, and tarot card readers. If your party is a daytime event that involves families, consider a cookie-decorating station or visits with Santa Claus.

• Holiday parties may be back, but they are not as extravagant as they once were. To save money, many companies are hosting their parties on a weeknight. Brunches and lunches have also become a popular alternative to dinner parties.

• “Planners say it’s popular to add a philanthropic component to holiday events by donating leftover food or by hosting a volunteer drive,” writes BizBash. Another idea: have every guest bring a canned good to the holiday party, and then donate them to a local food bank.