Since the economic downturn of 2007-08, one of the first disposable items to get cut from company budgets was the office party. And like many other economic indicators, that too is slowly, steadily, making a comeback. In its 2014 Year-End Holiday Practices report, business-research firm Bloomberg BNA says 77 percent of businesses are expected to hold a holiday party this year, up from 70 percent a year ago. That falls short of the 83 percent who celebrated in 2005-06, but hey, that’s still significant improvement!
Here on Long Island, local catering halls have seen a 10-15% uptick in holiday party bookings, and some are coming up with creative ways to get smaller businesses in on the action. Bank of America’s Fall 2014 Small Business Owner Report noted only 49 percent of small businesses plan to throw a holiday party this year, up from 43 percent in 2013, but still paltry compared to larger companies with deeper pockets. Many halls organize larger gatherings where multiple small businesses can book individual tables at a lower price. Way to stay merry!
At my company, I pride myself on organizing either a mini-trip or party for my staff every year. In years past we visited Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for a long day trip—food, transportation and a little mad cash provided. Last year we had a great party at a catering hall with awards, trivia and even a photobooth! This year we’re going to switch things up a bit and have organized a trip to a comedy show at the Paramount in Huntington. Bringing a little laughter and levity to thank my staff for a year of hard work seemed a perfect fit, but if your office is on a tighter budget, check out this article for ideas.
What will your office be doing to celebrate the season?
- On December 23, 2014