Business meets pleasure: how to throw a great corporate party
We’ve all been to those corporate parties. Some good, some bad, some memorable, and some, well, not so much. The truth is, with a little creativity, the right help and great food, your next corporate party could be the talk of the town.
Food for thought
When it comes to corporate parties and events, serving stations typically include hors d’oeuvres and food stations, however that doesn’t mean there’s no room for creativity. But before you get into the menu particulars, you want to start with another important M word – meaning.
While your corporate party may not have the warm and fuzzy feelings you get from a wedding, there’s still meaning, purpose and some sort of emotional connection. You’re gathering people to celebrate, motivate or even thank them for a job well done. Your party purpose should inform everything from your food and décor to serving style.
Function meets fun
There’s the go-to corporate food that we all know and love. Canapes, chicken, etc. And while there’s nothing wrong with serving something functional, every corporate party is an opportunity to flex your creative and innovative muscles and surprise attendees. Shake things up with creative cocktails that not only kick start the evening, but also kick start conversation too. Add a little fun to the evening with build your own taco stations or other menu surprises that are anything but ordinary.
Bottoms up in a down turn?
But what about hosting a corporate party in a recession you ask? Doesn’t it look bad? The answer is no. Here’s why. Parties are about deepening connections and developing relationships regardless of whether the economy is riding high or slumping and unpredictable. A party isn’t just about showing off how well a company is doing. Parties are about celebrating healthy corporate relationships and strengthening corporate culture. The trick, however, is how to do it without breaking the bank or inviting criticism about spending the money when people may be getting laid off.
Make them feel something
According to J’Val Shuster, Owner of Calgary’s Devour Catering, special care and attention should be given from the very start to avoid empty purpose parties. “From how guests are invited to how they’re treated when they arrive, no detail should be overlooked,” says Shuster. One recommendation is to avoid relying solely on electronic invitations. It takes more work to deliver traditional invites, but the turnout will be better and the people who come will be interested in deepening the relationship.
Whether there’s speeches, a presentation or a more informal program with your corporate party, there are plenty of opportunities to make it memorable and make it special. Think about how to fill people up. Fill them up with food, with remarkable thoughts in the program and maybe even gifts they can take home. At the very least, find ways for people to connect so that they achieve meaningful connections – ones created by you.
Party with Purpose
Many people attend corporate events out of obligation, which makes it hard for the event to feel special. Think about the end goal of the party – what are you trying to achieve and what can you do to achieve it?
Regardless of the venue and the menu, keep your party purpose at heart throughout the evening. Be overt with your intentions too, reminding guests why they are there so that they too can keep the purpose in mind during the evening. And while it may seem simple, be sure to thank everyone who was part of the evening. A “thank you” just may be as sweet as the signature cocktails you served.