Top 12 Corporate Holiday Party Ideas from the Pros

Top 12 Corporate Holiday Party Ideas from the Pros

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Chances are, there are only a couple of times a year that your entire team is all together in one place, and for many companies one of those times is the holiday party. Because you only get one opportunity a year — and because everybody knows that company holiday parties aren’t soon forgotten — it’s important that you spend a little bit of time developing some unique themes, activities, and extras that get your team excited. The corporate holiday party is essential for employee appreciation, team-building, and to make your employees feel like one big family!

Ditch the typical happy hour buffet in favor of some more original party features this year. Feeling stumped? Here are some of the best holiday party ideas gathered from the pros at Hampshire House, your premier Boston holiday party venue!

  1. A Holiday Scavenger Hunt — Encourage team-building like never before when you create an elaborate, holiday-themed scavenger hunt for your employees. We’d recommend renting out a large space for this — perhaps an entire venue with multiple floors and rooms — to keep the hunt self-contained and indoors.
  2. An Unconventional Secret Santa — Corporate gift exchanges are some of the most enjoyable and entertaining parts of the party, but the typical draw-a-name-and-exchange approach can be a little bit boring. Instead, create a game around the exchange. A white elephant game, musical chairs, or a trivia element (guess who the gift is from, for example) can spice up your typical gift swap.
  3. A Tour or Activity Before Dinner — Dinner, dancing, and drinks are essentials for any good holiday gala, but you can break down departmental barriers and encourage new bonds to form when you do something different as a team beforehand. Give your employees a half day off to do something fun, like touring a historical site or seeing a holiday show.
  4. An Element of Giving Back — Remember to give back this time of year by hosting a toy drive, a charity auction, or a fundraising facet that lets you funnel some resources back into your community as you all gather and celebrate together.
  5. Games for Healthy Corporate Competition — You’ll definitely want to get creative with the games this year to encourage some healthy competition among your top performers! Get everyone involved with inclusive games like holiday movie trivia, company-themed bingo, or card games.
  6. A Costumed or Themed Affair — Giving your holiday party a special theme is a wonderful way to get people excited, engaged, and out of their comfort zones! Some popular corporate holiday party themes include roaring 20s, masquerade ball, and white Christmas.
  7. Custom-Made Drinks, Dinners, and Desserts — Your company is successful because it does things differently, so why not celebrate it through food and spirits? These days, it’s all about creating customized, edible creations for corporate events, such as custom cutout cookies (in the shape of your logo, perhaps) or signature drinks that celebrate something special about your company.
  8. A Corporate Awards Ceremony — There’s no better way to recognize your best employees and no better time to do it! Get creative with both serious and funny company awards and don’t forget to have some trophies or certificates made just for the occasion!
  9. A Visit from Someone Special — No, we’re not talking about Mr. Claus (though that’s never a bad idea, either). Make it a real memorable affair when you hire some special entertainers for the evening, whether it’s an elegant string quartet or a popular local cover band that gets guests dancing.
  10. A Craft or Cookie-Making Station — Sometimes it can be fun to get your creative juices flowing as a group! Setting up a table specifically for making something fun, like a group gingerbread house or cutout sugar cookies, is a sweet way to bond during the season.
  11. Organize a Company Sports Game — If you’ve got a team full of sports-lovers, there’s no better way to get everyone active and engaged than by hosting a special company-wide game. Football is a popular option during the holiday season, but we’d recommend going with something more approachable for all, like whiffle ball or kickball.
  12. Ask for Personalized Toasts — During dinner, open up the mic and invite your employees and their guests to send personalized well wishes to their co-workers and second family. Don’t forget to provide plenty of champagne for some holiday clinking!

Your corporate holiday party will surely be a success if you provide some fun and unique activities that get the whole team involved. With a little bit of thought and planning with your events venue, you’ll be well on your way to a company affair that no one will forget!

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Fall Wedding Venues: What to Look for in a Fall Venue

Fall Wedding Venues: What to Look for in a Fall Venue

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If you’ve decided to make it official in the fall, you’ll be delighted to find that there are thousands of ways to create an elegant autumnal affair that honors your vision. One of the most important elements of a beautifully orchestrated wedding is, of course, the venue. When you’re planning a fall wedding, you must take special care in choosing the setting to ensure that it suits your theme and bodes well for the time of year. Hampshire House is the ideal fall wedding venue in Boston, so we know a thing or two about helping newlyweds-to-be pull together a fabulous fall festivity. Here are some of our best venue-scouting tips.

The Fundamentals of a Good Fall Venue

When you’re looking at wedding venues, make sure that you come with a list of ideas. Categorize your preferences by needs, wants, and bonuses, making clear which items are non-negotiable. Chances are that there are only a few wedding venues in your area that are a 100 percent match, but when you find it, you’ll know you’re making the right decision! Here are some things to look for when scouting fall venues.

  • It’s Indoors — For many parts of the country, the weather is temperamental during October and November. It’s not unusual for snow to fall during this time of year in cooler climates, so planning an outdoor event is often not worth the risk. The last thing you want to do is ask your guests to mingle, dine, and dance outside in sub-zero temps, so our best advice is to pick a dry, heated venue with a view of the changing leaves, like our turn-of-the-century mansion that overlooks Boston Public Garden.
  • It Offers a Seasonal Menu — The food and libations are what most people look forward to the most with regard to weddings, so you want to make it count on the menu! Make sure that your venue (if it’s providing the catering) understands your vision and isn’t offering formulaic, year-round menus that don’t have a ton of personality. Look for establishments with chefs who create thoughtful menus showcasing the local ingredients that are in season.
  • It’s Available on Your Date — Naturally, this one’s incredibly important for weddings in all seasons. But it’s especially important if you intend on hosting your autumn event during the peak season for changing leaves. If you live in the northern United States, look for dates in the last two weeks of October and the first two weeks of November to ensure that you get the best leaf coloring for your backdrop and photos. These will always be some of the most popular fall wedding dates, so make sure to book well in advance.

The Cozy Details that Make It Special

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When it comes to fall weddings, the details are the things that tend to matter the most. It’s all about orchestrating an event that feels warm and cozy despite the brisk fall air, and one that celebrates the delightful colors and flavors of the season. Your venue should be the blank canvas in which you decorate with inviting, fall accents, so be sure it’s appropriate for your special vision before committing!

  • It’s Got a Fireplace (or Two) — Since you can’t have a bonfire inside and you don’t want to risk your big day falling on the first snow storm of the season, it’s vital that you pick a place that has some fire feature to create that much-adored warm, fuzzy feeling inside. We love to see brides and grooms at Hampshire House invite their guests to enjoy freshly made hot chocolate or spiked cider next to the blazing fire! Our couples often get married in front of our exquisite fireplaces, too.
  • It Suits Your Color Palette — Do your due diligence before taking venue tours and come to each with a pre-established color palette and theme in mind. Any carpeting, wallpaper, or upholstery that offsets your style will need to be modified or adjusted (which can add plenty to your final costs) so try to find a place that honors your desired aesthetic and wedding theme.
  • It Can Accommodate Your Special Requests — Say you want to have the chef whip up an extra-special fall entrée or you’d like the venue to help you plan an elaborate pie bar or s’mores station… these are things you don’t want to have to stress over when you’re planning your big day. Go with a venue that will happily accommodate your unique vision and doesn’t attempt to force your wedding motif into a premade mold.

We often say that finding the right venue is something like finding your future spouse — when you know, you know. With a clear vision, a thorough checklist, and an eye for what makes fall weddings so special, you’ll be able to find the picture-perfect spot to say your vows during this favorite season!

 

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