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.

COST-SAVING TIPS:

• 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.”   


JASON SHUFFLER


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

 

 

More Articles

Downtime with Debra Ringold

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University


Read more...

5 things to know about veterans in the workforce

The Latest
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
070215-vetsthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.

0315 input01 620px

 

Reader comments:

"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."

"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS