Joshua Conran is the Managing Partner at Deksia.View all articles written by this author
Your employees are going to remember four things about your office holiday party: the venue you booked, the food they ate, the entertainment they enjoyed, and the people they saw. The average business shells out $75/person for a run-of-the-mill office party. But an extraordinary business can plan a holiday party on a similar budget that aligns with everything its brand stands for — mustering more good cheer and brand continuity amongst employees.
How do extraordinary businesses pull it off?
At Deksia, we know how. It all comes back to your Big Idea — which is everything. It’s the brand. It’s the state of mind. It’s what your business stands for. It’s what you are to consumers and employees alike. And it starts with you and your employees.
Since the Big Idea is everything, it should have a whole lot of something to do with your holiday party. Considering the four points below, you can plan a party that celebrates the season, incorporates your brand, and helps everyone cherish the brand like a great gift all year long.
The holiday party’s location sets the tone for the evening. Be sure it aligns with who your company is. If you book the ballroom at the fanciest hotel, and your company’s Big Idea is far from extravagant, then you’re going to give your employees and any other guests the wrong idea about what your business stands for.
Good food and drink doesn’t mean the most expensive or elegant food and drink. Use the holiday menu as a starting point. If your brand is higher-end, hire a caterer. If your brand is more about comfort or family, pull out the eggnog, turkey, and stuffing. Or, if your brand is about competition, have employees bring a dish for an end-of-the-evening “Best Dish” vote. Whatever you choose, keep your nosh true to your brand.
From bands, to DJs, to karaoke, to a photo booth, to art gallery or white elephant exchange, the ideas are limitless for how you can keep your guests engaged. Remember, your guests are your brand advocates. They were hired and invited with your brand’s values in mind. So chances are that whatever entertainment aligns with your Big Idea, your guests are going to dig it.
Your brand is nothing without the people who uphold it and those it serves in the marketplace. You can do all you want to lay the groundwork for the perfect party, but the people you invite will either bring it to life or watch it flop. If your Big Idea is about family, encourage employees to bring significant others and children. If it’s about exclusiveness, consider keeping the guest list down to co-workers.
Remember, if you’re ever questioning part of your holiday party plans, just ask yourself, “does this serve our business’ Big Idea?” If it does, then you’re 100% on track. Yippee ki-yay!