Sponsored by Lane Powell

Trimming the office party without cutting the fun

| Print |  Email
Monday, December 01, 2008

Company holiday celebrations are an expression of employee appreciation and just because business may be down for the year and cutbacks loom, that doesn’t mean you should ditch the party.

“Unless they are really hurting, most companies are going to do parties, but they are paring down their budget a little bit,” says Matthew Weber, owner of the event-planning business A Swank Affair in Lake Oswego. He says his reservations so far are holding steady compared to last year.

Royce Mason feared that all the unrelenting chatter of economic gloom and doom this holiday season would mean fewer parties. Mason, owner of Royce’s Prop Shop in Portland, throws company parties for a living.


• Have your party in the office. Play holiday CDs, or decorate the office during the party.
• A catered lunch or after-work party at the office can be less expensive than a restaurant or banquet outing.
• Invite your employees and guests to your home. It can be a  friendlier atmosphere than work or a restaurant.
• If you do go offsite, parties held on any day but Saturday are generally less expensive. Consider having a “wintertime” party in January when rates may also be cheaper.

Source: businessknowhow.com

The best he hoped for heading into the busy holiday season of company parties was to stay even and not lose any of his usual clients. To his surprise, in early October reservations for his party-planning expertise were up 10% from last year. “[Businesses] want to keep things as usual,” he says.

One of Mason’s clients was reluctant to throw their usual extravagant party this year because they didn’t want to appear excessive at a time when others are hurting. Mason told the client he could scale down the event with less fancy décor and amenities. “It wasn’t so much the cost as much as what they would look like,” he says.

Mason sees more companies being environmentally conscious and demanding local vendors and products at their holiday party.

Some of Weber’s clients are taking a closer look at their alcohol budget this year, an expense that is often the largest at a company party. On average a large company easily can spend $6,000 on alcohol. This year there will not be as many open bars, he says. Other cost-saving measures include companies opting for the less expensive DJ rather than a live band.

A party could also be an optimistic beginning to a new year. Mason says he is surprised at all the calls coming in about New Year’s Eve parties.

“It gives people something to look forward to,” Weber says. “It’s a morale booster.”   


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



More Articles

New green wood building product takes off in Oregon

Thursday, September 10, 2015
091115-cltjohnson-thumbBY KIM MOORE

Oregon is set to become a hub of a new type of wooden building design as a southern Oregon timber company becomes the first certified manufacturer of a high-tech wood product, known as cross-laminated timber, or CLT.


Big Geek

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

To attract technology companies, the U.S. Bancorp Tower repositions itself as open, light and playful.


After the Orange Line

Linda Baker
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
090815-trimet-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Alan Lehto, TriMet's director of policy & planning, shares a few thoughts on ride sharing and more nimble bus services.


Video: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon 2015

The Latest
Monday, October 05, 2015
100-best-NP-logo-2015-video-thumbVIDEO BY JESSE LARSON

Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.


Baby. Boom!

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.


Money Troubles

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

The state’s angel investing fund gets hammered in Salem.


Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02