Putting together the right holiday party can send a message that will be heard loud and clear, making it a good opportunity to showcase how important the work-play balance is to your company. A holiday party can also be a great way to promote environmentally sound habits that can have a trickle-down effect to employees. With off-site rental locations increasingly focusing on going eco-friendly, it has never been easier to go green while making plans for a memorable holiday party. Here is a guide to a fun and environmentally conscious holiday retreat that will have employees counting down the days until next year.
Embrace the digital revolution and ditch the paper/plastic products.
The best places for conference room rentals these days work in lockstep with environmental concerns, particularly when it comes to the decorations. While paper decorations have long been calling cards of holiday parties, systems like Phillips Hue light bulb technology let you be as artistic as you want while upping your game in the green column. With LED lights that fit into a standard socket and can transform into any color of the rainbow, a party organizer can easily control the entire lighting scheme with his or her smart phone, opening a wide range of possibilities for creating the perfect ambience. You can even easily change lighting moods during the night to mark different segments of a party. So even though just about everyone loves Martha or Bill’s diligently crafted decorations, lighting schemes powered by Phillips Hue let the crafters in the company focus on their dance moves instead of worrying about whether a string of Gingerbread men will come crashing down on the dance floor. You will also drastically cut down on your paper and plastic waste while lightening the cleanup.
Find a site with customizable screens.
Everyone these days is used to customizing just about everything, which is why finding an off-site conference space that has a good screen and Wi-Fi is a great first step for planning your party. Skip the wasteful decorations for a customizable screen and you can personalize the event in ways that were simply impossible previously. Not only can you use a screen to display your events schedule, cutting the need for paper handouts, but you can set the tone with fun employee photos from throughout the year. Candy-cane borders, snow backdrops and interactive karaoke are all just a couple of clicks away with the right setup, giving an organizer plenty of advantages for crafting a fun and eco-friendly atmosphere. Even without a built-in screen, a projector or projection screen combined with devices like Apple TV can also provide some major advantages for a party organizer.
Living décor and furniture.
Even though cut flower centerpieces can look great, there are a couple of central problems: they tend to be on the expensive side and will likely get tossed nearly as soon as the party ends. That’s why plenty of party planners are turning to plant life that can be easily transferred to a garden. Instead of the water waste and expense that goes along with traditional flower centerpieces, the right planted flowers (e.g. succulents) can be handed out as gifts with something as simple as a recyclable mason jar. Many eco-conscious host sites even have living décor as part of their packages, making it very easy to promote green living while providing a little plant life around your holiday party.
Green-focused companies will also want to take into consideration the furniture used at a party, as that can lead to one of the oft-hidden environmental drawbacks of a holiday retreat. Tables covered in plastic or paper are environmentally problematic but so are linen table cloths, which lead to significant water waste during laundering. Looking to minimize waste, many San Diego meeting room rental sites will offer reclaimed wood furniture that won’t require wasteful covers. Not only can a reclaimed wood banquet table save your company money and green waste but can be a tremendous boon to the visual design of the room.
Location, location, location.
One of the best things you can do while planning a holiday party is to find a location that has built-in aesthetic advantages. A corporate meeting space that has a natural view of a beach or forest can give you a focal point to build around, making interior decorations not as much of a priority. This can lead to a lowered budget for decorations but can also be a very encouraging sign to employees, as a major reason to have a holiday party in the first place is to break out of the typical constraints of the office. With an offsite rental that can provide some outdoor space to catch some fresh air, employees will be encouraged to want to stay to the end while a party organizer cuts waste associated with parties that rely heavily upon decorations.
Other things to consider.
There are also many other ways to have a positive environmental impact when it comes to planning a holiday party. Some of the major ones include:
Finding a caterer who focuses on locally sourced fruits, vegetables and meats.
Use an electronic photo booth.
Stick with Evites, which not only slice paper waste and delivery-related emissions but are much easier for planners.
Cut food waste with doggy bags for guests to take home. Another method to cut food waste is to keep the main courses warm and utilize them for a snack later in the night.
Give out a practical gift that can be reused. An easy example is a mason jar, which can serve as personalized memento and also be used for drinks throughout the night instead of paper/plastic cups.