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Old 10-27-2007, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,018,602 times
Reputation: 5020

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Any party planners out there? It's not my area of expertise, but since I'm the new gal at work my boss is hoping I'll be able to come up with some fresh ideas for the company Christmas party. I'm told turnout is pretty low...there's about 130 employees and the last 2 parties had 20 attendees, and that included spouses. Ouch. The budget is terrible ($800 - $1000), my boss wants to have money leftover for a small gift for each employee, and we can't charge people for their meal or no one will come. Last year they rented a hall and one of the managers cooked all the food, which she does NOT want to do this year (too much work). I'd love to hear any ideas or suggestions.

Moderator comment: Everyone note that this 10-year-old thread was revived today by a spammer. The spam post has been deleted. You may continue to post on the thread, but be aware that the OP is long gone.

Last edited by PJSaturn; 12-06-2017 at 01:44 PM..
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:33 PM
 
95 posts, read 1,157,315 times
Reputation: 148
Don't have a meal. Have a reception in a nice hotel meeting room with several small round tables with simple centerpieces like a green wreath with a few small ornaments on it with an angel in the center, for example. Put a "sticker" under one chair at each table and at some point during the party when the most people are there, have the boss ask everyone to sit down. He can give a simple holiday greeting wish and then ask everyone to look under their chair. The person sitting in the chair with the sticker wins the table centerpiece. Grab bags are also a good idea. Each person can receive a "ticket" when they arrive, and at some point the boss can call ticket numbers and the winner walks up and "grabs" a present from "Santa's bag". The items can be small and wrapped in tissue paper with ribbon. Items like bath gel, candy, mini-books, Christmas CDs, flashlights, keychains, etc., are always fun. This way, everybody has fun and gets a gift. If you have a Sam's Club, I know they have mini cheesecakes, mini quiche, and many other "mini" items that just need to be heated. You could make the time right after work, say 5:30 - 7:30 so that employees have the choice of dropping by before dinner, or taking their spouse to dinner and stopping by afterward. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:03 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 19,180,553 times
Reputation: 4660
I'm not into the office party thing so I don't know how it works. Are you having alcohol or not? If not, then you probably can make punch cheaply and get a few of those plastic punch bowls for drinks.

What about doing a poll at work (with some choices) and asking people which they prefer? Maybe you can have a dessert and coffee/tea party.

The office/work Christmas party is a nice idea but most people spend too much time at work so the last thing they want to do is socialize after!

What about holding it at lunchtime? Many companies have it the week of Christmas, get a big hero/sub (no cooking) and some sides like potato salad or a green salad and a cake.

Stores sometimes do catering (your local supermarket) so maybe you can get a good deal on a sub and sides if you don't have any delis.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:31 PM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 786,423 times
Reputation: 553
One idea to get people to come... boss hands out those gifts at the party. Kills two birds with one stone: gets people to come, and makes it painfully obvious who the non-team players are who didn't come. And their gifts can be canceled/returned. When we did cash bonuses as the Christmas gift, it ensured upwards of 100% turnout.

Can't help too much with the low budget affair, though. Might want to check around to see if any country clubs host a "shared" type of Company party. We did this one year... a local country club brought in the band, served the food, and all.. but there were probably 6 to 10 companies all there sharing the dance floor. Each company had its own section for tables, though. Looked like a bigger deal than what it really was.

Nowadays, we have our Christmas party at a private banquet room at Aujourd'hui at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. That runs closer to $200 a head for that affair. Again... no problems getting people to come, though.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Ct Shoreline
368 posts, read 1,770,836 times
Reputation: 280
I think that people are not coming because it is not an event to look forward to. People are busy enough during the holidays without adding in a sort of low end company party. Maybe think of something fun that would allow people a little escape during the rigor of the holidays - what is the demographic of your party? Young, older, little bit of everything? Can you maybe go bowling or laser tagging if people are primarily younger? What about a company coming in and doing a tea if you have many women? What about a BBQ? Not sure where you are located, but if weather permits, how about a summer in December party..BBQ companies come in and do all the cooking, and I think price wise it is not the most expensive. In CA, where I am, Mexican themes are always popular because it is fairly inexpensive and feeds a lot of people.

On the topic of the gift, for the small amount of money that you are going to be able to spend, in my experience people just go home and either regift that kind of gift, or throw it in the drawer. I would encourage your boss to put that money into the party. Then, buy just a FEW nicer gifts, and then at the party, have a raffle - sort of like where the winning number is called and everyone looks under their seat and a number is taped - winner takes home a more quality prize and it is sort of goofy fun.

Is anyone - maybe the boss? - willing to have everyone to their home? This would cut down on the cost of a facility. I also agree that lunch is a super option. Right in the middle of the work day, does not require additional time of people who are already stretched for time, and better attendance because people are there anyway.

Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:08 AM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,281,542 times
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Just have lunch brought in one day for everyone.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Zebulon, NC
2,275 posts, read 5,511,177 times
Reputation: 3588
Quote:
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
Any party planners out there? It's not my area of expertise, but since I'm the new gal at work my boss is hoping I'll be able to come up with some fresh ideas for the company Christmas party. I'm told turnout is pretty low...there's about 130 employees and the last 2 parties had 20 attendees, and that included spouses. Ouch. The budget is terrible ($800 - $1000), my boss wants to have money leftover for a small gift for each employee, and we can't charge people for their meal or no one will come. Last year they rented a hall and one of the managers cooked all the food, which she does NOT want to do this year (too much work). I'd love to hear any ideas or suggestions.
Your boss is asking you to throw a party for 130 people, at a cost of less than $8 per person - NOT including spouses. This is simply unrealistic. Does he want the leftover money to come out of that budget, too, or does he have a separate budget for that?

With that kind of money, the best you can do is have lunch brought in for the employees. Seriously. It's much better to put the money towards the gifts he wants to give, rather than waste it on a party no one will attend.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 27,318,231 times
Reputation: 7069
Let everybody off at noon (with pay) and have a bowling party. It is fun, you give out prizes for lowest score, most improved, funniest delivery, etc. Order pizza in.

I always hated after hours functions. Bosses leave early to get ready, but the rest of the folks stay til 5, fight traffic to get home, get ready, and be somewhere by 7.

Or, have a big catered lunch.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:32 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,035,286 times
Reputation: 5787
Oh boy. I HATE doing this every year. We are the boss so we get to plan most of it except my husbands Admin. Asst helps out too. We got the place booked several months back - whew, that is out of the way. Now I am busy getting "gifts" for a "Chinese Christmas" game for us to play. The gifts are all nice (avg $150 each). First I will tell you that the budget you have been given is TOTALLY UNREASONABLE for that amount of people. Even for only 20 people you can not pull it off. Our company is much smaller and we usually spend about $30-50 a person EASY not including their bonus. Since this affair does cost us so much my dh is PRETTY DARN TICKED if someone does not show up. We pay for EVERYTHING for them and their spouse at these events and we try to have them someplace that is not where they would go and kind of special. So being there is kind of expected and it is known that we want you there and this is when your Christmas bonus will be passed out. But it sounds like your boss is used to having pretty "lame" kind of parties for these affairs. Heck, if no one is going to show up and you MUST pay in advance for everyone.............. I'd drop the budget too and be just as cheap.

As for the hotel ballrooms or country clubs you can forget that. This time of year and just about any other you are NOT going to find one for $1000 at all. A hotel that charges $1000 just for the room and then you MUST buy the food & beverages from them is not going to be looking to bargain. They also will not allow you to bring in your own food and beverages. Some very small venues MIGHT let you bring in your own but not many.

I'd ditch the low end gift ideas for sure. If it is possible to do something during work hours so that everyone will participate I'd go for that in your case. Check w/ Boston Market as they are about the most reasonable priced for catered affairs that you pick up the food and serve. Other places that are reasonable are some mexican food restaurants for fajitas and maybe some bbq places. All of these are going to want you to pick up the food and serve it at that price though. Find one big area in your office to decorate and have music playing for everyone to eat and mingle. Be straight up w/ your boss and tell him that there is NO WAY you can feed everyone a half way decent meal for less than $10 a person.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:35 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,035,286 times
Reputation: 5787
Anyone who has ever worked in Corporate America can all relate to this.



FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 01, 2005
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas
Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon
in the private function room at the Grill House. There
will be an open bar & plenty of food We'll have a
small band playing traditional carols ... feel free to
sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up
dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit
at 1:00pm. Exchange of gifts among employees can be
done at that time; however, no gift should be over
$10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's
pocket. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO
will make a special announcement at that time!
Merry Christmas to you & your family.
Patty


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 02, 2005
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our
Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an
important holiday, which often coincides w/Christmas,
though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on
we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy
applies to any other employees who are not Christians
or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There
will be no Christmas tree. No Christmas carols sung.
We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.
Happy now?
Happy Holidays to you & your family.
Patty


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 03, 2005
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of
Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table
... you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to
accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a
table that reads, "AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous
anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?
Somebody?
Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange is
allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is
too much money & executives believe $10.00 is a little
chintzy.
NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: December 04, 2005
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that
December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,
which forbids eating & drinking during daylight hours.
There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how
a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate
our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House
can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the
party - or else package everything for you to take it
home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work?
Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight
Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet &
pregnant women will get the table closest to the
restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit w/each other.
Lesbians do not have to sit w/Gay men, each will have
their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangement
for the Gay men's table. To the person asking
permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing allowed
tho we will have booster seats for short people.
Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We
cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest
for those people w/high blood pressure to taste 1st.
There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics,
the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts.
Sorry!
Did I miss anything?!?!?
Patty


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All [bleep]ing Employees
DATE: December 05, 2005
RE: The [bleep]ing Holiday Party

Vegetarian pricks I've had it w/you people!!! We're
going to keep this party at the Grill House whether
you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the
table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so
quaintly put it, & you'll get your [bleep]ing salad bar,
including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes
have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them.
I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right
NOW! I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk
& die,
The [bleep] from HELL!!!


FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 06, 2005
RE: Patty Lewis & Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis
a speedy recovery & I'll continue to forward your
cards to her. In the meantime, management has decided
to cancel our Holiday Party & give everyone the
afternoon of the 23rd off w/full pay.
Happy Holidays!

Last edited by PJSaturn; 12-06-2017 at 01:46 PM.. Reason: Inappropriate language. ;)
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