by Adam Jackson
Credit: Brian Solis
This year, the consensus was that there wouldn’t be any holiday parties or we would simply see a lot less. I’ve followed the Silicon Valley tech scene for a number of years and I remember the big parties – the parties with ice sculptures and rock bands. I remember when every event was open bar and catered. Ah, those were the good days.
The idea that holiday parties will be non-existent this month is incorrect. In fact, there are still plenty of parties going on. I’m adding 3-5 new parties every day to SocialCalendario. What I’m noticing is that these parties are drastically smaller than previous years. It’s easy to throw a holiday party for your employees, their families and for your users.
The first step is to cut the extras – no live bands, no performers of any kind. Every Silicon Valley geek loves a clown making balloons, but that’s an expense that isn’t feasible right now. You still have to offer something for free though. Music is a must and it’s best to make the alcohol free. It doesn’t have to be free all night and you don’t have to do an open bar. Drink tickets are a great way to budget the alcohol for a party and limiting guests to beer and wine will help save money.
Be very careful because however. Most venues have bar guarantees. Some venues will let you rent for free but then ask for $7500 in alcohol be sold that evening. It’s not impossible, but 50 employees can’t drink that much. Oh, but there’s another option too. Holding an event at a restaurant is great! Many restaurants have a full bar, will let you rent out a space and will allow you to setup some music either pre-recorded or a DJ as long as it isn’t too loud. The restaurant usually won’t have a minimum bar guarantee and won’t throw on fees like a venue would.
Let’s say your startup just started making money or you just scored a large round of funding. In economic times like these, where even Google is toning down its holiday party, it’s important to not stand out too much. Stand out with an excellent product or with adoption numbers but standing out by throwing a huge amount of cash into a sculpture of your company’s logo is not the right way to go about it even if the sculpture was donated.
Everyone is expecting small parties this year and that’s what we’ll have. I’ll simply be attending more of them instead of waiting for the big one. If you must attend a party this month, SFNewTech is up there.
Holiday Party 2.0 is another must attend. There’s another upcoming party from yours truly that I’ll make sure to tell you about in a few days. Any questions, hit me up on Twitter or Email and I’ll be happy to direct you in the right direction for planning a party or finding the right one to attend.