The lavish office parties of pre-recession days are, for most firms, long gone. Some companies are offering scaled down festivitiesâ€”spouses not invited, beer and wine only, etc.
Other firms are trying a more novel approach, sharing holiday gatherings with other companies in a kind of â€˜group gala.” That is, several unrelated firms getting together under one roof for a big holiday blowout and sharing the overall costs.
An invitation to join one of these multi-group gatherings sent by the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ, read like this: â€˜What’s better than a holiday party for one company? A holiday party for 10 companies.â€™
The idea is not totally new. The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut has hosted Big Little Holiday Parties for a few years now. But the concept is spreading as the economy continues to scuffle. The more companies that participate, the lower the cost per person. As one small business owner told Mickey Meece of The New York Times, â€˜No one is giving a bonus, but you still have to give your people some love. They have to know that they are wanted. You have to give back something.â€™
You just have to be careful which companies get together to share the joy. You don’t want competing firms celebrating in the same room. Pepsi and Coke…Verizon and AT&T…Fox News and The White House…fisticuffs could ensueâ€”or employee-recruiting.
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