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Recipes for a Successful Holiday Business Event

As we all know, it takes a lot of planning and preparation to pull off that perfect holiday event. And whether you are at home or at work, the ingredients for success have much in common.

With the holidays nearly upon us, most of you have already made your event plans, so we thought this would be a good time to share with you our HRG "recipes of success" that have worked for us over the past 17 years developing and managing events.

Here are a few tips you may want to consider that we have found to be tried and true:


1. Keep it Festive- Remember, it's a party! Choose from a distinctive menu, include an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages and, if possible, some form of entertainment or music to keep it light.

2. Set Some Ground Rules- Remind your employees that the same behavioral policies that apply at the office will also be in place during the party.

3. Check Your Policies- Take a few minutes to review your insurance policy, especially if you choose to offer alcoholic beverages at your party, along with travel policies, hotel contract coverage, etc.

4. Manage Your Exposure- If you have a large gathering, consider limiting alcohol consumption by providing drink tickets to employees of legal drinking age, and cut off serving alcohol 30-60 minutes before the party "officially" comes to an end.

5. Make a List- Check it Twice!- Review every detail with your event manager to make sure you are covered and all is prepared as specified in your contract. Remember, this is the busiest time of year for them, and the stress and strain can result in errors of substitution and omission.

6. Messaging- Keep any company-related discussion about business brief and upbeat, if you are planning any presentations or a speech. Remember- this is a company party, not a business meeting.

7. Team First- Focus on recognizing employees individually, and their contributions as a group. Also, encourage your management team to mingle and introduce themselves to your employees, and to assist with overseeing the party to make sure everyone enjoys the event.

8. Event Recognition- Remember to thank ALL staff who were involved in the effort to make the event a success! Write down their names if you have to, and make sure you pronounce their names correctly.

9. Leave on a High Note!- Avoid those awkward moments by planning to thank everyone for a great year. Celebrate the wins while you refer to the challenges ahead, with a positive message to position for success in the New Year. Consider a quote from a widely recognized leader that everyone should be comfortable with.

10. Heading for Home- Consider the venue location and transportation options to and from your event. Provide taxi fares and/or phone numbers for cabs, train schedules, and confirm designated drivers for a safe ride home. Consider offering discounted hotel accommodations.

A Special Holiday Recipe From Our Friends at New York Hospitality Group

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting the 7th Annual NFP Educational Leadership Summit event that included a panel on the value of partnerships in developing successful business events. One of the featured panelists was New York Hospitality Group's "Best Chef in America" award-winning Executive Chef Joe Sasso.

When asked to share his thoughts on engaging employees during the holiday season, Joe said, "Since we are busy during this season and sometimes forget, or are unable to express our appreciation in person, we try to give gratitude and appreciation to each team member by writing a personal thank you note indicating how much we appreciate their efforts throughout the year. In our note, we highlight one of their strengths, to make it personal and well thought out. I think employers should be thinking about how grateful they are to have their team members working for their cause. As we’ve learned in one of the sessions from HRG, positive reinforcement goes a long way!"

Here's one of Joe's favorite recipes for a classic holiday hors d'oeuvre that he thought you may enjoy:†

1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat
1 cup grated jack cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
5 roasted garlic cloves pureed or smashed with a little oil
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tobasco sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup spinach, julienne
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat heavy cream, garlic, s&p and bring to boil, reduce for 5 minutes until it gets thick, add crab meat, cheese, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire, tobasco. Shut off, add spinach and mix together, adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot with crackers, pita or crostini. For a little twist, add or swap any one or more of these components: toasted almond slivers, chopped tomatoes, brie, scallions, cilantro, cooked chopped shrimp, cooked chopped scallops, cooked chopped lobster, frizzled onions.

We hope you consider our ingredients of success we have shared with you for your holiday event.

Happy Holidays from HRG!

About Hospitality Resource Group

Hospitality Resource Group, Inc. (HRG) is a group of three vertically integrated companies, with over 16 years of experience in developing innovative marketing, training and event programs for businesses, education institutions, municipalities and not for profit organizations. HRG clients benefit from our proven ability to ignite market interest, engage consumers, and educate employees on how to manage and lead their companies to build brand equity, increase sales and improve productivity.

The HRG family of companies includes:

Hospitality Resource Group has been recognized as a recipient of the
MPI Greater New York Presidentís Award in 2013

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or call (914) 761-7111.


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