Successful Meetings - October 2007 - (Page 46)

Special Events A Trick and a Treat By Corrie Dosh rate clients are doing some type of Halloween celebration. I don’t know if it’s always in place of Christmas, but it’s definitely something they are doing as big as the traditional office holiday party,” says Deborah Borsum, a certified special events planner at Chicago-based The Meetinghouse Companies Inc. “You don’t necessarily have the religious connotations to work around, and people are so busy at Christmastime. We’ve watched a trend to either do something like this instead or to move the holiday party into January.” Borsum planned a Halloween party last year for an office products company that was a day-long celebration complete with pet costume contests, pumpkin carving, and prizes for the best-decorated desks. “I remember walking by one of their conference rooms, and there was a team of people having a meeting, but they were all in costume,” she says. “It was a fullday event.” The day’s main activity was a costume runway show in the For many companies, Halloween is the new holiday office party Spooky ghosts and goblins, costumes, and candy—Halloween is one of the best excuses all year to knock off work for a day and celebrate. For companies, Halloween is rapidly becoming one of the best and easiest opportunities to build morale, reward employees, and throw a great office party—all while finding an alternative to expensive year-end celebrations. “More corpo- ing’s lobby, complete with a professional emcee, music, and large video screens hoisted to broadcast the contest throughout the atrium. Needless to say, “a lot of work didn’t get done that day,” she says, but the celebration was a hit with employees. “What makes it fun is that the holiday allows employees to show some creativity, and people can take advantage of a good sense of humor. The requirement is that senior management expects it to be a spoofy kind of day and that productivity is going to go down a bit but morale is going to go up,” she says. Halloween decor rental rates are often lower than those for winter parties, and there is less competition for local design companies. “That’s one of the reasons it’s growing so much. You don’t need a large budget to do a Halloween event,” Borsum says. Companies that are replacing a traditional holiday party with Halloween typically apply the same budget, while companies that add a Halloween party to their calendars often spend 25 percent to 50 percent of their year-end party budget, Borsum says. Some companies choose to have the celebration on Oct. 31, but Meetinghouse planners are busy with Halloween parties as much as a week before the actual holiday, she says. “There’s a humorous and whimsical aspect to it, and people are into the fall season. The summer heat is over,” she says. “People are in a festive mood, and it’s a good time to capitalize on it and do something fun.” OCTOBER 2007 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS PHOTO: ACTRESS MELINA KANAKAREDES AT THE CHILDREN AFFECTED BY AIDS FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING EVENT: FRANCIS SPECKER / LANDOV 46

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - October 2007

Successful Meetings - October 2007
Editor's Note
On the Record
Technology Talk
Mouth for Sale
On Site
Tools of the Trade
Striking a Balanace
IACC’s New Generation
Suffering from “Green” Fatigue?
There Once Was a Group in Nantucket . . .
A Trick and a Treat
Places & Spaces
Reno / Lake Tahoe
New Orleans
Los Cabos & Baja
Ontario Province

Successful Meetings - October 2007