corporate christmas party

Tips for Planning your Corporate Christmas Party

Planning that end-of-year party can be a pretty big job to tackle alone. Even if you have a team of people devoted to helping you choose the perfect food and design the decorations, there’s still a lot to think about before the big day. After all, the Christmas party is something that staff members look forward to all-year-round – so you can’t afford to get it wrong!

Fortunately, if you’re worried about pulling off your first festive event, we’ve got a few tips that could help you to avoid some last-minute disasters.

1.    Think Carefully About the Time and Date

There are two very crucial elements that go into choosing the right date and time for a corporate party. The first is the availability of your venue, your entertainment, and your catering service. The chances are that the last days before the winter holidays are going to be busy for party planners and event companies. The second factor to think about is the schedules of the employees that will be attending. You need to know when people are going to have time off work – because no-one wants to have to visit the office the day after a Christmas party.

2.    Choose a Venue that Everyone Can Get to

If you’re picking a venue that’s outside of your actual office, then you need to make sure that it’s easy to reach. Remember that the weather can be somewhat treacherous around the Christmas season, and people won’t want to drive for miles on icy roads just for a chance to enjoy Eggnog with some colleagues.

3.    Ask for Help

Finally, if you’re struggling to come up with ideas for the upcoming party, then you could always ask around for information about last year’s bash. For instance, ask people what their favorite part of last year’s Christmas party was, and find out what they would like to see again in the upcoming extravaganza.

If you can find out whether something went wrong at the last event – that could help too, as you’ll know exactly what to avoid.

Image Source: Flickr

 

santa-shot-cocktail-600x900

Best Cocktails for the Xmas Season

The chances are that you have your own unique idea of what makes up the perfect Christmas drink. However, there’s nothing wrong with getting creative at the festive season and enjoying a few new flavors. Over the years, new and exciting mixes have emerged, and you can always create your very own signature taste using something that’s never been tried before.

In the spirit of the Xmas celebrations that will be happening all around the world, we’ve put together a delicious list of sweet, spicy, and delicious cocktails for you to try – just in time for your holiday party.

1.    The Peppermint Stick

Combine a healthy serving of crème de cacao with peppermint schnapps for a drink that’s reminiscent of minty hot chocolate. This drink is easy to serve, and can be offered with a mini candy cane for mixing if you want to make a truly memorable impression.

2.    The Santa Shot

For this red and green festive treat, layer small amounts of grenadine, green crème liqueur, and peppermint schnapps into a beautiful little shot. Not only will the delightful colors help to embody the festive spirit, but you’ll also get a great candy-cane taste too!

3.    Red-Hot Santa

Try something completely different this year with a drink that’s far beyond your traditional festive fare. Use chili-pepper-infused vodka in a shot with a cocoa powdered rim for a sweet and spicy treat that’s’ impossible to forget.

4.    Snowball

If you’re tired of being a grown-up all the time, hit yourself with a snowball or two. A festive classic, snowballs are made by blending tequila, cream liqueur, cinnamon, and an ounce or so of Kahlua. Serve with a cinnamon stick for that extra finishing touch.

5.    Eggnog

It’s a classic for a reason. Served with alcohol, or without it, eggnog is the perfect drink for festive social gatherings and parties. Serve it however you like, with a sprinkle of nutmeg for that extra Christmassy taste.

Image Source: mixthatdrink.com

 

employee christmas party

Why Reward your Employees with A Christmas Party?

Regarded by most members of staff to be the biggest social event of the work calendar – the Christmas party is something that’s eagerly awaited by clients and employees alike. However, if your pockets are feeling a little pinched this festive season, you might be wondering whether you can afford the expense of an elaborate festive affair.

Here are some reasons why you should overlook the expense, and celebrate the Christmas season as a corporate family.

1.    Say Thank You

Your Christmas party is the perfect way to tell your staff that you appreciate the work that they did throughout the year – without having to send a million memos or emails around the office.

2.    Build Good Memories

Good memories will help to improve staff retention in the long run. After all, people are less inclined to leave places where they’ve generated a lot of fond experiences over the year. Taking the time to host one party a year is sure to be worth the investment.

3.    Avoid “Scrooge Syndrome”

The last thing that you want when it comes to the festive season – is for your clients and employees to find out that you care more about holding onto cash than celebrating Christmas. Show people that you care with a great party and you’ll boost morale, as well as improving your own image.

4.    Create New Opportunities

If you invite customers, clients, and staff members to a party at Christmas, then you increase your chances of finding new opportunities to sell and expand in the new year. What’s more, relationships will be built that can lead to better team dynamics in the months ahead.

5.    Have Fun

Finally, the last – but perhaps the only reason you should need to have an office party – is that it allows you to break free of the shackles of office expectations and have fun. What better time of year to simply let your hair down and enjoy interacting with friends and colleagues?

Image source: Flickr

 

shutterstock_350489882

Why a Corporate Year-End Bash is a Must

It’s that time of the year once again. Love it or hate it – the festive season is something that we all share – from the headache of running around and buying last minute gifts, to the fun and excitement of end-year parties and Christmas celebrations.

For many bosses and corporate managers, the idea of hosting a big bash for the end of the year can seem like a pain in the neck. Not only do you have to think about planning something exciting – with all the catering and entertainment to boot – but you also need to shell out some extra cash when you’d probably rather be spending time at home with your loved ones. However – a corporate party at the end of the year could end up giving you more benefits than you think.

Here are a few reasons to celebrate.

It Rewards your Employees

After a long year of working for you, the chances are your employees are looking forward to a chance to let their hair down and relax. Showing them that you’re willing to give them a little fun for all their efforts shows that you care about their wellbeing. Often, this means that your employees will feel more loyal to you by the time they head back into the office for the New Year.

It Builds Relationships

What better way to get your employees to interact with each other and develop stronger bonds than by inviting them all to the same party? A year-end bash gets people talking in a new format – potentially helping to create friendships and stronger teams that benefit the company throughout the year. After all, a staff that parties together – stays together.

It Shows Your Fun Side

Finally, a corporate bash is the perfect chance to show your employees that your company is about more than just numbers, spreadsheets, and selling a product to a customer. While all of those things are obviously important – we’ve come to the time of year when fun and festivities matter the most. Giving your staff the chance to see your fun side could mean that they’re more likely to stick with you in the future when other job opportunities come calling. At the end of the day, almost every employee prefers a fun boss to a stick in the mud!

Image Source: Flickr

networking event

The 5 Things You Should Never Do at a Networking Event

It might surprise you to learn that many people avoid networking events like the plague – even if they are a great way to meet people who could expand the success of their business. Some people stay away because they’re shy, while others claim they simply can’t find the time in their busy schedule to meet with other industry experts.

However, the truth is that proper networking can do incredible things for your company so long as you don’t go out of your way to irritate the other attendees. Following, we’ll cover some of the things you absolutely shouldn’t do at any networking event – if you want to earn good results.

networking event

1.    Drink Too Much

Alcohol might be the way you loosen up your tongue for a night out with the girls, or the lads – but it’s not a way to meet people from a professional point of view. Leave the alcohol at home, and find a way to build your courage that doesn’t give a bad impression of you, and your business. One drink too many and you could end up embarrassing yourself beyond repair.

2.    Scan the Room While Speaking to Someone

It’s really impolite to look around the room as though you’re bored, when you’re in the middle of talking to someone. Scanning the area for people who might be more interesting than your current companion is going to give a terrible first impression – even if you are feeling a little exhausted with the conversation. Once the conversation has reached a natural end, you can tell the person it was nice to meet them, and move on – but not a moment before.

3.    Hand Out Your Resume

If you’re looking for a job, then you can start handing out your business cards during conversations with people at a networking event. However, that doesn’t mean that you should bring copies of your resume with you. A resume makes you look unprofessional and desperate in a place that’s bound to be full of important individuals relevant to your business.

4.    Try to Find Romance

A networking event is a social occasion where you can meet new people within your business or industry – it’s not a place to look for Mr., or Mrs. Right. If you think that someone you see is really cute or attractive, then you can follow up later to ask them for coffee – don’t lose your professional air by attempting to hit on them at the networking event itself.

5.    Ignore the Organizer

Finally, make sure that you thank the meeting organizer for inviting you before you leave. Organizing a great event is a tough and time-consuming task, so it’s worth showing your gratitude – otherwise you might not be invited again.

Image source: Flickr

event management

Does Murphy’s Law Play a Part in Event Management?

Famously, Murphy’s law suggests that:

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

While this might seem like a seriously negative way to perceive things, the truth is that it can often seem highly accurate – particularly when we find ourselves in stressful situations. While the real truth may be that the law of averages ensures that positive, and negative outcomes are both equally likely – our perception of the world can make Murphy’s Law seem more common.

Why Murphy’s Law Matters in Event Management

Murphy’s law can have a part to play in almost every aspect of business and life – as assuming the worst can often mean that you’re more adequately prepared for whatever might happen. Despite the proven benefits of positive thinking – there is something to be said for taking the time out to think like Murphy, and assume – just for a moment – that everything might just go wrong.

In event management, there are always two possible scenarios. The first is that everything will go smoothly, and there won’t be any problems to worry about, whereas the second suggests that you’ll have to deal with a major disaster. Though it’s often more comforting to assume that the first scenario will take place 99% of the time – the truth is that preparing for the second might be better for your event, and your business.

Using Murphy’s Law as a Planning Tactic

As an event manager, you’ll be responsible for dealing with a lot of important things – from ensuring that a venue is suitable for a particular occasion, catering has been dealt with, and even making sure that there’s adequate parking for attendees to use. With so much to think about, it’s easy to overlook certain aspects that could lead to disaster.

However, using Murphy’s Law as a planning tactic can allow you to look at each aspect of your management career more closely, meaning that every time you prepare for an event, you also prepare for every possible negative outcome.

By brainstorming the things that are most likely to go wrong, you can determine potential reactions that you can use to fix the scenario as quickly, and effectively as possible. For instance, if your caterer drops out at the last second – do you have a local backup that you might be able to turn to? If the electricity in your venue suddenly fails, is there a generator there that can keep the event going? What about if your venue doesn’t have enough parking space – are there alternative modes of transport available?

Using Murphy’s law, event managers can assume the worst is going to happen, then take reasonable precautions against those possible disasters.

Image Source: Pixabay

drinking at work functions

To Drink, or Not to Drink? – 3 Things You Shouldn’t Do at Work Functions

Whether to drink alcohol – or stick to the softer solutions – is often a significant question at many work events. Whether the business occasion is taking place as part of an “end of year” celebration, or you’re getting together for a chat at a mini networking event – alcohol can frequently be a factor.

While we all love to have fun and let our hair down – particularly at work when given half the chance – drinking too much during a professional event can lead you very quickly down the path of disaster. That’s why we’ve put together this list of three things you shouldn’t do at work functions when alcohol is involved.

1.    Don’t Use Booze as a Social Lubricant

The Scenario: You’ve had a couple of extra chardonnays and notice a beautiful woman talking to your boss. Feeling confident, you stroll up, say a few less than appropriate things, and wake up in the morning to find that you’ve not only angered your employer, but also isolated a huge potential client. Whoops!

There’s a time and a place for building your confidence with an extra glass of wine – and it’s not in a business event or boardroom. The more you drink, the more likely you are to embarrass yourself with stories and comments that could actually damage the future of your professional career.

2.    Don’t Drink Yourself Sick

The Scenario: A few bottles of beer and some time spent on the dancefloor leaves you feeling nauseated. You stumble off to the side of the office, or conference hall, retching, just to feel a tap on your shoulder. As you turn around, and heave the contents of your stomach up onto the person in front of you, you recognize one of your biggest investors – now covered in the remnants of the buffet you scoffed earlier.

Many business events will have a wide range of attendees – including those that are incredibly important to the present, and future of your business. One accidental bad impression could mean disaster for your brand.

3.    Don’t Drink and Make Company Purchases

The Scenario: You wake up in the morning with a headache, a serious case of dry mouth, and dozens of missed calls. Checking your business bank account, you discover that you’ve wasted half of your budget on buying disco balls for the office.

One of the problems with drinking, is that it can quickly make terrible ideas seem like great ones. Mix that with a professional setting, and the end result can be a bunch of company purchases that damage your bottom line, and leave you struggling to make ends meet.

Image Source: Flickr

networking

How to Get the Best Out of Your Networking Events

If you run your own business, then networking can be a fantastic tool for growing your personal brand, as well as giving you the opportunity to learn from other business owners. Of course, a networking event isn’t the same as making new friends on the playground – and it’s easy to get lost, or even intimidated when approached by crowds of professionals.

Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips and tricks at hand that could help you to ensure that you not only make a good impression the next time you try to build some industry relationships – but that you walk away feeling happy, confident, and ready to tackle your next business hurdle.

1.    Know What Your Aims Are

Networking events might seem like a great place to try and sell your products to potential investors – but that’s actually not what they’re for. If you go in with a sales pitch, then the chances are you’re just going to annoy the people you’re supposed to be building a rapport with. Remember, the aim should be to connect with new people, get as much information about the industry as possible, and potentially leave with a few new connections that you can use later on.

2.    Get to the Point

When you’re sharing what you do with other people, try to get it across in two or three sentences. Everyone in a networking event is in the same position as you – they need to talk to as many people as possible – which means they don’t have an hour to listen to you drone on about your personal accomplishments. Be quick and effective, but try to be polite too – you don’t want to seem like you’re trying to get the conversation over with as quickly as possible.

3.    Listen!

While the things you say about your business to other people should preferably be as brief as possible – that doesn’t mean that you should try to rush them when they’re speaking to you. Listen to what the people you speak to have to say – you might actually learn something.

4.    Follow Up

All of those people who gave you a business card with their phone number, email address, or website on aren’t going to be annoyed if you follow up with a quick correspondence – in fact, they probably expect it. Make sure that you send personalized messages, and reach out as quickly as possible after the event so that the people you’re talking to haven’t had chance to forget all about you!

Image Source: Flickr

 

promotion

3 Ways to Promote Your Next Event (with Style)

Your next big event is on its way.

The venue is booked, the date is set, and you even have an idea of what you’re going to do in regards to food and entertainment. Now all that’s left is to make sure that people actually turn up.

If you’re new to event promotion – don’t panic, there are plenty of ways you can build the hype about your upcoming occasion with style and sophistication. No-one needs to know that you’re anxious but you! All you need to do, is start with the following three steps.

1.    Get Social

Events are social occasions – so being social in your promotion is about as essential as it gets. Choose a hashtag and get tweeting, find relevant influential people on social media networks across your industry and ask them to get involved in supporting your cause.

Remember, there are plenty of different social media platforms out there, with a whole host of new potential attendees lurking within each one. After you’ve shared on Facebook and Twitter, don’t be afraid to consider LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, and Instagram.

2.    Connect with the Press

Many media sites online today will allow you to post events if you submit a request far enough in advance – so expand your reach by getting in touch as early as possible. At the same time, send press releases about your upcoming event to industry associations, and local press – whether it’s a magazine, newspaper, or website.

Although getting the attention of the big dogs in Press can be difficult – the chances are that someone will be willing to post your story for you – and maybe even conduct a couple of interviews too!

3.    Woo Your Partners

Finally, events are a team-effort. You need caterers, photographers, and video creation experts to help make your occasion a success – so make sure that you get them involved in the promotion aspect of things too! Use your marketers to create pre-event blog posts, email interviews, and other snippets of quick content that your followers can easily read and share.

If you have sponsors and speakers to think about, invite them out for a wine and dine session, and convince them to do some promotion on your behalf. The possibilities are endless!

Image Source: Flickr

 

team building

How to Create a Supportive and Productive Team as an Event Business Owner

Let’s face it – a positive team is a more productive team. The more you support the people you work with, and help them feel engaged and included in your work environment – the more likely you are to be rewarded with creativity, great moods, and other professional treats. At the end of the day – what could be more important for an event business owner, who’s company runs on charisma, inspiration, and a fun-loving attitude?

So what can you do to make your working environment as nourishing as possible? We have a couple of tips!

1.    There’s no “I” in Event

When businesses are young, it’s common for the entrepreneur that founded them to associate him, or herself with the business, and get used to saying things like “my” company. While it’s good to take pride in what you’ve achieved – if you want your team to feel like they’re part of the family, you’re going to have to work on using more inclusive language. Use “we” instead of “I”, and “our” instead of “my”.

You’ll be surprised how much of an impact these little words can have.

2.    Banish Boredom, Inspire Involvement

It’s hard to feel engaged and included as part of a team if you have no idea what you’re meant to be doing to contribute to the company. Clearly define the roles of each of your team members, and make sure they know exactly what they are responsible every day. At the same time, remember to challenge them where necessary to expand their boundaries – and never punish a bad idea. In the business of events, you want to encourage creativity – not squash it.

Acknowledging successes is always a good idea too – whether you simply tell your team that they’re doing a good job, or celebrate a big client with an in-office cake!

3.    Make Time for Fun, and Bonding

Finally, no matter how big or small your business is – the industry of event management and organization is always going to be fast-paced, and hectic. That means that every member of your team needs to be able to work together quickly. Team building exercises can help with this – and as event organizers yourselves, you should be able to come up with some pretty exciting ideas of what you can do to bond as a group.

At the same time, remember that team-building exercises can also be a great way to blow off steam after a particularly rough period in the office – so space them out across the year for regular fun interludes.

Image Source: Pixabay