Corporate Party Entertainment

Creativity and organization are the SECRET to a good party!

The problem with most Holiday Party Committees is that they usually don’t continue year after year. Valuable information is lost or forgotten by those who were on the committee.

It’s always a great idea to keep a list that changes and gets better each year. This way next year’s group doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

By a list I mean intricate notes of what worked, what didn’t and what can or cannot be repeated.

Each year’s budget should be included so they can be used as a starting point and modified depending on the number of people coming to the party.

Decide on a theme

Themes can make or break a party. Sure it can be the usual seasonal theme but with a twist. It could be a magical Christmas party where everyone at the table gets a simple and fun prepackaged magic trick they have to “perform for the table”. Anything to promote fun at the table will elevate the atmosphere of the entire room.

Decor

If you are producing the party at the business premises or at a banquet hall, try getting a group of people together to brighten things up with simple decorations. At Christmas or Halloween it’s pretty easy to get tons of stuff at a dollar store to create an atmosphere that will help project the spirit you want to accomplish.

Don’t just throw some cut outs on the wall and confetti on the table. Try thinking about little details such as the paper napkins (holiday theme) tied together with a little bit of ribbon. These little touches go a LOOOOONG way. Funny messages or cute jokes in envelopes under each plate; Secret gifts taped under one chair per table (make them shareable such as jelly beans, etc).

If your guests aren’t interacting… IT’S NOT A PARTY!

Find out how many are thinking of attending

There is no way you can decide on a budget for a party if you don’t even know how many you expect to have there. Keep records year to year and it will give you an indication, but the all time best way is to just ask. At least this way you will have an estimate which will tell you if you also need to “Promote” the party and entice more to come. Tell them about the features, contests, prizes, entertainment, incredible food – FREE BOOZE (well maybe not free).

This impacts on where the party will be held as well as the amount of food and drink needed. It also gives you an indication of how big or small the event NEEDS to be. If you only have 14 people you can cancel the band! But if you end up with 500, you might be looking for the trained monkeys that do impressions of your favorite TV stars.

Decide on a Budget – see above

This should include but not be limited to:

  • Hall or facility rental
  • Food per person
  • Alcohol and/or Non-Alcoholic drinks
  • Server Costs (if not included in food prep)
  • Tips for servers
  • Cab fares or transportation fund (see Before/After Party)
  • Decorations
  • Invitations
  • Printing costs
  • Entertainment/DJ
  • Party Gifts for all guests
  • Photographer/Video Recorder
  • Prizes for contests
  • Specialized lighting or sound equipment for LIVE Entertainment
  • Staging, Curtains, Band
  • Hotel Rooms if needed
  • Taxes
  • Misc. expenses up to 10% of budget for anything unforeseen.

Get a hall, Restaurant or room to put on the party (yes it’s obvious but if you don’t do it early enough your choices will be limited)

Food is the great incentive to any party – but remember the vegetarians, lactose intolerant and people who are allergic to nuts, Vegans and picky eaters. Buffets are the best solution, since long sit down affairs with endless waiting for food can drag your party down the boredom trail!

Pre-plan your music for each phase of the party, before, during and after the meal. Consult with your DJ company to make sure they have age appropriate music and quite a variety, from oldies to new age, hip hop to jazz as well as ethnic and country. Know your own crowds’ tastes (survey them!), so you can let the DJ know what your guests like. This will give the DJ a huge advantage right from the get go.

A good DJ can get a feel for the crowd very quickly but not all DJs are created equal. Go and see some in action. Get their information from the ones you like and book them right away. A really good one is usually booked a year in advance, usually by the parties that they just played for the following year.

How about making up a simple CD compilation disc for a small party. With burning software you could have dozens of combinations in a day!

The fun starts with your invitations – Think outside the box. If you personalize the invitation, you are far more likely to get a positive response. Try funny pictures of them from last year’s party. It may take a little work but in the end the details are what generate the excitement.

Photographer (see before and after)

A professional or even one of the committee should take both still photos and video of the party. Great memories won’t be lost and it’s a good record for next year’s committee.

Take pictures of the guests as they come in. Have several funny hats or costumes available for them to wear or just capture the smiles.

Introduce Everyone! For large or small corporate parties why not give each person a personalized Santa or funny hat so people can see each others names. It’s a lot better then a cheesy stick-on name tag and will get people talking to each other!

Contests – in your invitation, offer prizes for the people who are dressed up the best from antlers to Santa suits. Encourage cheerful holiday clothing, jewelry, hats, or anything that their imagination can dream up! Everyone gets to vote for their favorite at the party.

Entertainment is ALWAYS a winner.

Most parties have the predictable cocktails, dinner, dance, etc. If you REALLY want to spice things up, a professional entertainer with a proven track record, good testimonials (that you can contact) and a guarantee from them that they will blow everyone away is essential!

Go to a performance they might have in the near future, look on the Internet or cruise the Yellow Pages. Have a list of questions so you can quickly get the essential information. How a performer talks to you about their act could be as important as the act itself. CALL their past clients to see what they really felt about the show!

Games and Prizes- OH YEAH!

Audience interaction is always the key to a great party!

Try a Holiday Trivia challenge with 4 teams of randomly selected participants and include questions that have a personal company meaning. This “IN JOKE” will help promote fun conversations at the tables by having company members explain it to the table or their guest.

How about Movie or 70’s TV trivia, or name the Corporate Logo. No letters or insignia like apple’s logo but a lot harder ones like CISCO or BMW’s without the letters.

Just go to Google and select Corporate Logo’s and voila’ instant game. They could be projected or printed on small cards, etc.

Of course name that tune is great but how about a Karaoke portion where they have to sing it with the correct line or 2 of the lyric!

Before and After the Party

If you have alcohol at the event, prepare alternative transportation such as cab vouchers, van rides, buses or even designated drivers. Make sure that the restaurant, hall or hospitality room knows to not over serve the guests. This can be a tricky situation. It is especially important that there are plans in hand to help smooth over a potentially embarrassing moment for the guest as well as the host company, if an unruly guest over indulges.

What about parting gifts? It was always a hit at your Birthday Party; Nothing has changed in all those years. It is a finishing touch that will long be remembered. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be pleasantly memorable. A beautiful Tree Ornament that has a company significance or a nice Photo Frame containing their picture, you had taken at the beginning of the evening (you have to love those digital cameras and printers with glossy stock!).

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