Read below Yellow House Events – Account Director, Sara Gundy’s interview with 24 Hour Toronto. Sara shares Yellow House Event’s top tips on what you can do to mix things up for your Office Holiday Party this year.
Thud! The responsibility of planning your organization or department’s annual holiday celebration has landed on your desk. You want to make sure a good time will be had by all but if you’re wondering where to start, think “Instagrammable, moments.”
The advice comes from Sara Gundy, an account director at Yellow House Events an event marketing and planning firm in Toronto. Her firm’s tried-and-true tips will help ensure your event appeals to the masses, including, millennials.
Create shareable moments. You already know millennials love sharing photos with their social network so deliver Instagrammable moments. Cool backdrops and oversized props with good lightning are a great stare but why stop there? Instagram’s Boomerang app creates looping videos so up the ante with the movement and interaction, such as a tinsel curtain. Make sure your event’s sharable moments include experiences, such as interesting experiences, such as interesting food and drink stations. Bug bars, anyone?
Nix the sit-down dinner. Instead, create a reception style event so guests can roam and interact with others, allowing them to network rather than make small talk with a group of their peers. “We’ve found millennials have no problem interacting with their senior leaders, and even chatting and taking a selfie with the CEO,” Gundy says.
Embrace Food trends. Look at trendy restaurant’s and chefs for inspiration and don’t overlook the importance of presentation. “Millennials definitely eat with their eyes first. If they want to take a picture with it, they’re probably going to enjoy eating it,” says Gundy. The plant-based diet is becoming mainstream, so not vegan or vegetarian but local fare and eating with impact. Kombucha and fermented foods are having such a moment right now.” A signature drink and craft beers will impress.
Choose your venue. It may not be within budget or event necessary to take your celebration offsite. “If you can’t take it outside the office, it’s about bringing interesting and unique experiences into your space,” Gundy says. “If you are taking it outside the office, make sure you’re taking it to non-traditional spaces – not the hotel ballroom but maybe a really great bar and restaurant in your area, a movie theatre or a dance hall.”
Create experiences. Depending on the size of your group, you may want to celebrate with a unique experience like axe throwing, an escape room (which also incorporates a team-building component) or an interactive bar or restaurant (such as a ping-pong bar or adult arcade.)
Make it interactive, mobile friendly. This could include anything from oversized Jenga games, Cards Against Humanity or even a live band to complement karaoke. Your event should also be mobile friendly. “If there’s an e-vite going out, can they RSVP from their phone? Are they going to get a reminder email and make leading up to the event?” Gundy asks.
Make it meaningful. Millennials are socially conscious so your event should offer an opportunity to give back, perhaps to a local charity or charitable organization. It might even include volunteering at a local soup kitchen or wrapping gifts and delivering them to a children’s hospital or organization that’s accepting gifts for kids.
Timing if everything. Mid week is the best time to schedule your event. “Time is often our currency so if you’re asking people to stay late, make sure it isn’t too late, as they may have to commute home,” says Gundy. From about five to seven or late afternoon through early evening is the “sweet spot.”
Written by: Joanne Richard (Special TO Post Media Network)