How to Curate a Corporate Christmas Party that Won’t Feel Corporate This Year
Guest Writer: Liz Mumford, Owner at Mabble Media
Our co-workers and employees – the people we work with day in and day out, and who are dedicated to our collective success – are our second family in so many ways.
As artists and somewhat hopeless romantics, we relish in the coziness and nostalgia of the holidays. Our Christmas Party gives us the opportunity to honor and indulge those who are the greatest key to our success. I truly can not wait to celebrate the people who daily make Mabble Media amazing.
There are four things I think matter when planning a truly memorable and amazing holiday party for your team.
Make it Your Own
We strive all year to make our team members understand how their unique strengths are paramount to our success. We never want them to feel like a cog in a wheel or a number in our books. We don’t want them to feel that way in anything we do. While there is a vast array of options in a casino town like Reno of experts who throw parties at grand scales daily, we choose instead to curate a party of our own, by our own. This is important to us. If we entered a grand ballroom where our friends and their friends had their company parties the nights before, it just wouldn’t have the same effect. We chose The Elm Estate. While it is an event space, it is highly exclusive, private and customizable. We can curate the space and use the specific areas that meet our size specifications. We are a small team – so we want a smaller space that still feels grand, yet cozy and intimate.
Build a Better Menu
Our team is fussy – and I mean that in the nicest way because I am one of them. We each have a list of dietary restrictions that makes choosing a restaurant or caterer increasingly difficult, maybe even impossible. And we still try. Catering to the needs of our team is important because it’s the premise of the entire party. I think businesses often overlook this crucial detail in light of ease of planning – but if you take a team of vegetarians to a steakhouse, they’re more likely to remember the lack of options than the incredible night. We are lucky to work with an incredible caterer, Blend, that meets and exceeds our team’s expectations for what we think is possible for an evening out together. Each member of our team is considered – and left with a satiated palette and full belly. I know this is truly appreciated because it’s a constant topic of conversation throughout the year. I cannot stress the importance of this care enough. We live in a time where food preferences and restrictions are easier than ever to cater to – so let’s all strive to do a better job to consider those who don’t want to speak up or be the difficult person at the table.
Get out of the office. We understand the temptation to cut costs and host it close to home if it’s a possibility. While free space may free up some costs for something else, it inevitably leaves a team member completely unable to relax because he or she becomes the responsible person and the last man out the door. Honor every employee and give them each the night off.
Pay for the Planner
If your team is anything like ours, we are maxed out in our current roles. Our incredible operations manager does enough. As a founder, I don’t want the holiday party to be another thing she needs to add to her plate – quite the opposite. We are fortunate to have the incredible team at The Elm Estate who thinks of every detail so we don’t have to. This takes the work out of it. If you need to hire a party planner, go for it. Spending on this once-a-year affair is an investment in your team’s morale and it will payoff in unmeasurable ways that won’t be hard to gauge if you tune in to the good tidings of a really well curated holiday gala.
Along the way, don’t forget the purpose of this is to connect. Team size can be a challenge, but finding ways to engage through games, activities, or other family-inclusive activities that don’t involve office talk are always the way to go. One idea, that our team loves, is a blind wine tasting (everyone brings a bottle of wine wrapped so you cant see the label, and we all have to rate our favorite wines throughout the night).
Give your team permission to be present in the moment and sincerely enjoy time spent outside the office by showing them that you are giving yourself permission to do the same. Merry Christmas.