The holidays are around the corner, which means it’s time for the annual company party.
You know the drill… greasy finger food, bottomless drinks, and awkward conversation.
Want to spice things up this year?
Here are five alternative party ideas, all which guarantee a great time:
“Set up a Food Network-style throw down,” said Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, executive producer of The Healthy Voyager, an online, nutritious food information resource. “If your company is small, it could be hosted in a home or you could even rent out a facility that offers cooking classes. Break people up into teams, provide ingredients and structure the event as a competition.
“People will get excited because they will not only be preparing a meal, but taking part in the night’s entertainment. Interactive parties are always a lot of fun.”
“Take over a cool loft space and transform it into an experiential destination,” advised Anthony Larrisey, principal of Event Lab, an event marketing agency based in New York City. “Keep the night a secret from your team and just tell them to dress up and meet at the loft space. Meanwhile, find a company that will facilitate dining-in-the-dark parties.
“When your team gets to the loft, staff at the event company will blindfold every participant and lead them to a table to eat dinner. The entire dinner will then happen blindfolded. Afterwards, everyone will remove their blindfolds and have a great laugh. It is a really fun idea for a small team and will make for an unusual holiday party.”
“Instead of planning a holiday party filled with lots of alcohol and fatty foods, try to organize a health-inspired event,” advised Dr. Tom Potisk, author of Whole Health Healing: The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages. “Offer healthy food and cocktails with light alcohol content. Divide the party into rooms and in one room, bring in a health professional to give a 30-minute talk on healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. In another room, have a professional offer stretching exercises.
“And in another one, offer free chair massages or manicures.”
“Everyone has a hidden talent; something they do in their spare time,” Larrisey said. “Take over a loft for the evening, set up a stage and have a company talent show. In one area of the space, set up a gallery for an art-loving employee to show off their work, allow time for a wannabe stand-up comic to show off their routine and ask aspiring cooks to cater the event.”
“Break your company into teams of two or three people,” said Scott-Hamilton. “Then set up a scavenger hunt around town. For several hours, teams will have to look for simple things from establishments like soda cans or tid bits of merchandise. You can also have a photo scavenger hunt, where, instead of buying something, teams can just take photos of things they find.
“Make sure the hunt ends at a restaurant, then finish the day with a fun dinner and awards ceremony. This will make for a memorable event and team building activity.”
Katie Morell is a Chicago-based freelance writer, specializing in small business concerns.