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Holiday Celebrations: A Recipe for Success | Great Performances


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Holiday Celebrations: A Recipe for Success
by Ronnie Davis, Managing Director of Great Performances

This is remarkably my 40th New York Holiday party season drawing near, so I thought this might be a good time to offer some advice to those who are planning their annual company party. I have seen a lot of trends, fashion statements, new foods, etc. over the years, and here are a few pointers that have stood the test of time. This year remarkably, there is a great upturn in companies hosting employee appreciation events in January of 2018.

©Amanda Gentile

Tips for Success:

Do not be swayed by Page Six: Chic and “press-popular” venues do not necessarily make for a good company party unless Lindsay Lohan works in the cubicle next to you. Most trendy places are noisy and not conducive to conversation appropriate for today's modern workplace – perhaps 30 years ago, but not in 2017. Inappropriate office behavior has been redefined in the past five years, so why put your co-workers in an atmosphere that is borderline in the first place?   

Think about your budget: How much can you really afford to spend on the space, and does that leave you enough money to provide adequate food and beverage? Remember: if there is liquor, there must be food. Responsible entertaining starts with this one basic rule. 


Safety first: A successful party needs to be accessible on both ends – both arrival and departure. If you do not think there is sufficient public transportation and/or taxis available, consider a shuttle to major stations (Penn Station and Grand Central as well as express train stops and PATH.)

©Amanda Gentile

Considerate menu planning: Think about everyone – not just what you think is cool, or “in” at the moment. Be sure to balance vegetarian and vegan choices with other selections. This is a growing trend in New York as well as the rest of the country so please watch that it is not a "Slider and Carrot Stick Party.” (If you do not understand this line… have someone else plan your party.)

©Amanda Gentile

Responsible service of spirits: Fun cocktails are simply that: fun. However, they can also be dangerous to those who are not used to drinking. Be sure to have a beverage selection that your guests can be comfortable with, and have non-alcoholic options as well. Be sure that the venue is licensed and insured.

There's no place like "Home": There is always a strong case for holding holiday events at the office. The result can be a special sort of camaraderie that comes from interacting in a different way with co-workers in your normal environment. We are also seeing an upturn in executives hosting their associates in their homes. I know this sounds a bit hokey like the last scene It's a Wonderful Life but the reality is that it works and works well.

©Amanda Gentile

And finally: Why take a chance on doing this all by yourself when Great Performances has a remarkable venue search engine on our website and a team of event professionals ready to do all the work for you? Save yourself the time and trouble… and maybe your job! 

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