At Image Marketing Consultants we’ve been busy planning, and managing upcoming holiday events, parties, and promotions for a number of different clients, as well as for ourselves. We wanted to take the time to share some of our tips for a fabulous 2011 corporate holiday party!

Long gone are the days where a corporate holiday party consists of frumpy co-workers huddling around a punch bowl counting down the minutes until an appropriate time to scoot on out. Companies are becoming more creative in their party planning efforts to ensure that their annual holiday bash is more of an event to look forward to than it is an uncomfortably anticipated one.

Read on for our Top 5 tips to consider for your company holiday party:

1)   Choose a unique location- away from the office! Consider mixing things up, it may be cold outside, but use that as inspiration. We proposed an outdoor event in December for a client. A heated, glass, clear or windowed tent is so gorgeous in the snow and will add a naturally beautiful element to the evening!

2)   Consider a theme! Whether you opt to partner with a charitable organization, or throw a masquerade ball- it is fun to engage guests in something other than another typical holiday themed event.

3)   Serve a signature cocktail! Get your employees involved in the planning for this- select 3-5 different specialty drinks and send a mass e-mail through the office with a poll that allows everyone to vote for their favorite drink! It’s nice when others feel like they have a say- and everyone will be excited to see which drink is the office fave!

4)   Avoid extra costs and awkward seating charts by opting out of a sit down dinner. Instead, have stationary and passed hors d’œuvres making their rounds all night (most of the time guests enjoy the hors d’œuvres more than the meals anyway)! Have a great dessert table; chocolate fountains, ice cream or gelato bars and candy bars are on a whole new level! These typically childish treats have re-entered the adult world to incorporate a fun, interactive, and delicious treat to serve at events! Consider having servers pass milk and cookies at the very end of the night as well.

5)   Book a photo booth or photographer to document the night. Everyone loves to see photos after an event they’ve attended. Use them on your blog, monthly newsletter, or Facebook page. Your employees are all professionals, but should a neck tie end up around the forehead of the director of marketing…consider keeping those images under wraps 😉

And a bonus tip: just have fun! Take this opportunity to engage with your co-workers, and their families. Make the most your night out. Social events are a great opportunity to interact with co-workers in a different atmosphere where they can relax, let loose a little bit and build new relationships that will only enhance the atmosphere in the office and increase overall moral.

While it is late in the season to begin planning holiday events, Image Marketing Consultants does have staff available to help you or your company with the planning, preparation, or coordination of your holiday party this season!