Three Ways to Ensure an Inclusive Office Holiday Party

We haven’t even reached Halloween yet, but in HR departments across the country, plans are already underway for end-of-the-year holiday gatherings. Christmas and New Year’s will be here before you know it, and the time to start plotting out a wonderful office holiday gathering is now.

As you plan your event, you obviously want to make it fun and festive—yet it’s also important to make it inclusive. Simply put, not everyone on your team celebrates the same holidays in the same ways. Your office gathering can’t leave anyone out, however; after all, you want the party to bring your team together, not drive its members apart.

So what can you do to ensure your gathering is truly inclusive, welcoming to everybody? Here are three brief considerations.

The Name

Though at times this has been the object of controversy in our culture, the simple reality is that not everyone on your team celebrates Christmas—and even if they do, most office holiday gatherings don’t have much connection to spiritual or religious traditions. As such, it just makes sense to call your gathering a Holiday Party or a Festive Party. Make it clear that the whole point of the event is to get your team together for fun and fellowship—nothing more, nothing less.

The Menu

Make sure the food you serve at your gathering doesn’t exclude anyone; accommodate team members who may have unique dietary restrictions. You might even survey employees in advance to determine what kind of vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-free items you should serve. Work with your catering company on a menu that offers something for everyone.

Alcohol

Not everyone drinks, and a party that is focused on alcohol is going to turn some people off. By all means serve alcohol if you wish to, but also ensure that you have activities that include everyone, and offer some fun for people who may not wish to drink.

Your office holiday party can be a big hit—with all of its attendees. Hopefully, these quick guidelines will help. If you have any questions, reach out to Mosteller Events today.

Planning for Dietary Restrictions at Your Catered Event

salad-374173_1280Any time you’re organizing a catered event, you obviously want to please as many people as possible. That’s why most catered meals come with different options, allowing each guest to pick and choose the things that sound most appealing. Of course, as you consider the different options you provide, it’s also important to take dietary restrictions into consideration.

Simply put, different people follow different guidelines for the food they consume. Sometimes, these are matters of preference, but in other cases they’re real health concerns. Regardless, your catered options should provide options that accommodate all of your guests.

If you’re aware of any specific dietary restrictions, it’s imperative to let the caterer know. In some instances, it might be wise to ask about dietary restrictions as you take reservations for the event. In other instances, you might simply instruct the caterer to ensure there are options for everyone, spanning as many dietary frameworks as possible.

Which Special Diets Should You Consider?

In terms of specific dietary needs, consider each of the following:

Gluten-free diets. Gluten-free isn’t just a health trend; for those with Celiac disease and other digestive conditions, it’s imperative.

Lactose intolerance. You’ll want to have some dining options that are dairy-free.

Nut allergies. It’s also important to cover those with hypersensitivity to various nuts. Note that Peanut Allergy is in a distinct category due to its severity.

Paleo. Those who follow the paleo lifestyle cannot consume dairy, grains, sugar, or alcohol.

Vegetarianism and Veganism. Both of these lifestyles are fairly common, enough so that you’ll definitely want to consider them at any catered event.

Handling Food Preferences

Remember that your guests, no matter their particular dietary choices, taken them seriously and expect you to take them seriously, too—which is why all of these food preferences should be treated as allergies. Don’t feel like you can fudge any of them; instead, be rigorous in ensuring that you have a caterer who will truly help guests with dietary needs and preferences feel comfortable and welcome.

That’s something the Mosteller Events catering team can assist you with. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help meet different dietary needs.

4 Planning Mistakes That Can Derail Your Company Holiday Party

bow-595868_1280Being placed in charge of the company holiday party is no small thing. Actually, you have a pretty awesome responsibility to create an environment that is fun, memorable, and inclusive—the kind of party that bolsters everyone’s spirits and makes each employee feel glad to be part of the team.

As you plan this year’s holiday party—something that you are hopefully already doing—keep in mind some of the biggest planning blunders that can cause your party to fall flat. These are the things you want to avoid!

Mistake #1: Delaying the planning process. We’ve already hinted at this one: The time to start planning the party is yesterday. Some companies start planning their holiday gatherings as early as January, believe it or not—and while you don’t necessarily have to begin that early, you should start planning by summer or early fall so that you can secure the venue and vendors you want and potentially score better deals.

Mistake #2: Relying too heavily on alcohol. There’s certainly nothing wrong with serving drinks at your party, but don’t make that the only reason for participants to be pumped about attendance. Food, music, and entertainment are all critical. Trust us: You really don’t want a party where people have nothing to do but drink.

Mistake #3: Scrimping on the food. Speaking of which, if there’s any part of your party that you really want to spend top dollar on, make it the food—because honestly, that’s what people will remember. That’s what people will talk about. That’s what will make your party a hit!

Mistake #4: Not publicizing your party. Start spreading excitement for your party now! Let people know that something fun is on the way. Send out save-the-dates several weeks before the party arrives. Don’t make the party something people find out about at the last minute.

So what are you waiting for? If you don’t have a venue and a caterer lined up, start there! Contact us today to ask about the availability of Mosteller Events. Remember: It’s never too early to start planning the perfect holiday party!

Planning a Company Holiday Party? Start Now.

christmas-tree-1149619_1280Are you in charge of planning this year’s company holiday party? Here’s our top piece of advice: Start the process sooner rather than later. Yes, it’s only now the start of springtime, and the Christmas season feels like it’s a million years away—but of course, it always gets here before you know it. Advanced planning is necessary to ensure the gathering goes off without a hitch; in fact, many companies start planning the next year’s holiday party in January!

In other words: It’s never too early. So whether you plan to have your party at Mosteller Mansion, or else to use our catering team for an off-site event, we hope you’ll find these quick tips to be useful.

Set a date as early as you can. People’s calendars fill up awfully quickly over the holiday season. December tends to be pretty jam-packed, so pick your date now and send out a save-the-date e-mail to everyone in the company. Get it on their radar before they become bogged down with other obligations. As for the time of the party, note that your employees may not be at peak productivity in the days immediately following the party, so a Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday night is probably best.

Find out what your budget is. This, of course, will dictate the rest of your party planning. Find out how much money you have to work with, then allocate it to the things you think are most important to your group—food, entertainment, alcohol, or whatever else.

Think through the type of event you’re going to have. A daytime event, or an evening one? An elegant dinner, or a casual White Elephant party? Something where spouses and partners are invited, or just your team? Think through all these dimensions of party planning.

Book your venue now. The good ones get snatched up well before December rolls around, so don’t delay!

Don’t forget about theming. The theme ties the whole party together, and provides you with a frame of reference as you strive to make everything look elegant and festive. Decide on an appealing, inclusive theme early in the planning process, and use it as the central hub of your ongoing planning efforts.

Start thinking about food and drinks now. Not to beat a dead horse, but lining everything up in advance is key for a smooth party—and that includes meeting with a caterer before the holidays actually get here.

We’re happy to start chatting with you about your holiday festivities now. Give us a call to begin the planning process today!

Planning the Perfect Corporate Party

150049_129189313802729_121080851280242_146615_1208143_nThere’s a reason most companies throw the occasional party—whether it’s a holiday get-together or simply a celebration of a major achievement. Parties are unifying. They are morale-boosting. They can bring a team together, lift everyone’s spirits, and ultimately foster better relationships and more productivity in the office.

Of course, all this hinges on the party actually being good. A downer of a party may have an effect that’s the opposite of your intentions, which makes corporate party planning of the essence.

Maybe your company has the resources to hire a party planner; whether you do or you don’t, you’re still going to need someone from the company to be involved in the strategic process and to make some decisions and some recommendations.

Maybe that person is you. If so, what are some things you can do to make your corporate party as perfect as possible? Here are some tips:

  1. Leave office stuff in the office. If it is indeed a party you’re throwing, then all work and professional business needs to be left at the door; the party is no place for a miniature meeting, unless it’s something like the CEO giving everyone a quick pat-on-the-back for a good year.
  2. The environment is important. You need to get people out of the office to a place that’s neutral, relaxed, and fun.
  3. Feeding people is a must. Frankly, the food is what people are likely to remember the most, so make sure you spring for a good caterer. Also ensure that you pick food that suits the group; is your workforce a sit-down-dinner bunch, a finger foods bunch, a BBQ bunch, etc.?
  4. Entertain them, too. There are plenty of options here—a band, a DJ, or even something interactive. Just pick something that your team will feel comfortable with.
  5. Transportation may be an issue. If you’re going to have people consuming alcohol then you may wish to think about taxis, local hotel vouchers, a DD system, or something else to minimize your liability.

We are proud to make both our Mansion and our catering team available for your next corporate event; to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact us today!