Traditional corporate holiday parties used to go little like this: Everyone gets dressed up. They show up for cocktail hour then adjourn for dinner. The Vice President of Sales stands up and tells a few jokes. Some people have a little too much to drink. There’s a little dancing, some dessert and then it’s time to go home.
The dinners at these holiday parties were often the most dreaded part of the night. Sometimes Bob was seated next to Julie and her husband Mike even though Julie spends most of her office days avoiding Bob. As soon as they are able to politely get away, Julie and Mike made a dash for it. At home Julie talks about how frustrated she is with her job and how she doesn’t feel like she connects with her co-workers. At these dinner parties, forced smiles take place with awkward silences. Employees show up out of respect not out of any desire to spend more time with their co-workers than they needed to.
Fortunately for employees, some companies have seen the light. They are throwing more engaging and fun holiday parties. Traditional scenarios have gone out the window. Instead of a sit down dinner, some companies are throwing Casino Nights. Drinks and appetizers are served as guests visit the roulette table or the black jack table. Employees can mingle and congregate with those whose company they enjoy most.
Another idea for a fun holiday party is Prom Night. Think ball gowns, bands, and buffet tables. There might even be a Flamenco guitarist for out on the balcony where lovers of all ages escape for a breath of fresh air under the nighttime stars.
Storytellers for adults. It’s amazing to see how much adults appreciate a good story. It makes people feel young again, which is a great way to bring a fresh positive attitude to a party. Storytelling is something that will be talked about for a long time to come. Some companies invite the entire family to be part of the holiday celebration, so storytelling can be an event to engage children as well as adults.
For a more adult themed holiday celebration, think Cabaret. The glitz and the glamour will capture everyone’s attention and keep them riveted. Invite employees up to dance with the cabaret. This brings people closer together, relieves tensions and lets people relax and have fun. Bob has moves you never imagined he had.
By creating a fabulous, fun environment, employees become more social with one another. At a holiday party, the goal should be to encourage bonding and to get to know co-workers in an atmosphere outside of the job. It’s amazing how quickly people open up when they are relaxed and having a good time. The goal is to engage employees. Holiday parties should be fun. Get creative and enjoy the results.
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