Company parties aren't as grand and extravagant as they once were.
Not to start off on a bad note, but the economic recession caused a shift in the way many companies looked at their spending habits and how best to keep company morale up while also cutting costs. For many, this meant cutting back on the number of company holiday parties, if they even had any at all. If you were one of them, it's time to break out the billfold again this year.
The economy's not as dire as it once was, and companies are finding ways to cut costs while still throwing a bash their employees won't forget. One of the easiest ways for companies to do this is by picking venues that are already set up with a theme in mind and all amenities included -- this keeps it easier and cheaper on the party-planning committee and the company on the whole while also providing a cohesive experience. We should know; it's our job to work with these venues! Because of this, we've put together a list of 5 of our favorite estates with accompanying themes that will make your next company holiday party as stress-free but as memorable as possible!
1. A Garden Party at Valentino Estate
Though the entrance to this estate may not look any different from your typical ranch, Spanish-inspired, Californian home, the Valentino Estate holds a few surprises perfect for a garden party-themed event.
Located in Rancho Sante Fe, Valentino has some beautiful rose gardens on its 16 acres that your employees will enjoy strolling through when they're not busy with other activities. The patios are another great feature for this type of company holiday party, as they have wicker chairs and couches that practically beg you to sit down and have some tea and crumpets. Stables full of horses on the grounds also lend that extra bit of "elegant country" feel to the event.
Serve up some finger foods, a range of drinks, and maybe even those tea and crumpets. You can even ask your employees to come dressed in khakis and dresses to help set the more vintage tone. And don't forget the garden games like croquet, Bocce ball, or bean bag toss!
2. Rustic Charm at Caballo Estate
If your company's looking for a rustic-inspired holiday party theme, look no further than the Caballo Estate venue.
This 13,000-square-foot barn overlooks San Francisco Bay and has indoor space available for parties and corporate events. The wood grain construction and iron details make it the perfect setting for your company holiday party that's more comfy than it is formal.
Minimal decorations will be required in this warm of a setting -- a few real fir branches, some iron lanterns, and plaid details here and there may be all you need. Hot apple cider, brandy or whiskey, and a popcorn or S'mores dessert bar would fit in perfectly, as would a few games of bobbing for apples or bean bag toss.
3. Modern Chic at Rooftop Gardens
It's hard to beat a spectacular, modern company holiday party, especially when there's little you need to do to make it a success.
That's the case with Rooftop Gardens in L.A., where you have not only a rooftop space full of lounges and a pool, but also an indoor area with a full kitchen and bar. Hosting a company holiday party here will take minimal effort on your party planning committee's part. A theme other than "modern" may not even be necessary, though adding some Christmas lighting, silver ornaments, and crystal tree decorations would definitely give this venue a modern holiday vibe.
Consider crafting only a few drinks particular to the evening instead of stocking a huge bar, and make sure the food is well-presented yet simply done (sushi would fit in well here). Games can be almost anything you want for a modern-themed company holiday party, but one of the most fun is seeing who can wrap a Christmas present the best... while wearing oven mitts.
4. Retro Hollywood Gala at Cairo Estate
Feel like dressing up this year? Try a 1920s or 1930s-inspired Hollywood gala at Cairo Estate.
Your employees will feel like movie business elite when they arrive at this 13,000+ square foot estate full of luxury. Complete with two kitchens, tennis courts, and more, Cairo has lots of versatility for you to work with for your Hollywood bash.
If you're going to go with this theme, definitely ask employees to dress up as 1920s/1930s stars and starlets to help create the mood. Serve food and drink based on what Hollywood industry people would have indulged in for their time, and consider bringing in casino games like poker and black jack to round out the evening's entertainment options!
5. Tuscan Decadence at Constantine Estate
For the company holiday party that's got lots of inspired class, choose a Tuscan-themed evening at the Constantine Estate.
This location is all about the little details that contribute to the lavish atmosphere. Patterns, textures, and decor seem like they came straight from the Mediterranean. Your employees will probably want to dress up so the tapestries and stone don't seem so out-of-place (or vice versa)!
Though Italian may not seem like a very holiday-like theme, your employees probably won't care if they're sitting in front of one of Constantine's 3 fireplaces. You could even consider having several different Italian food and wine stations set up around the estate for your employees to try, and add a lush Christmas tree in the entryway covered in Italian-themed ornaments and decor, like grapes and wine bottle corks.
When the holiday season rolls around, you'll definitely want to find the right place to help build that company spirit and community you're after. Of course, your company can pick from hundreds of other venues and themes for your holiday party this year, but to make things easier (time-wise and financially), consider one of these venues where the theme, amenities, and setting are already mostly done for you! All you'll need to do is bring in the guests.
Which company holiday party would you want to attend and why?