As the year-end holidays approach, many meeting
planners have been working feverishly on employee parties. M&C
surveyed planners in October to find out about their involvement
with those events.
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the 216 respondents said
their organizations do host a holiday event; of those, 72 percent
said the task of planning it falls to their
departments. Of those whose firms don’t have a party, 55 percent
reported they have never had one, 27 percent said the party was
discontinued within the past five years and 18 percent said the
year-end celebration was eliminated more than five years ago.
One respondent said the organization’s employees had voted to
send the money budgeted for the year-end party to a fund benefiting
co-workers affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Where will the shindigs take place? This year, 74 percent of
respondents will go to an off-site venue, 14 percent will stay at
the office and 7 percent will celebrate the holidays in someone’s
A dinner party is the most popular choice for the holiday event
this year (cited by 46 percent), followed by lunch (29 percent)
and cocktail parties (24 percent). A slim 1 percent said the
holiday party will be a breakfast.
A plurality of companies (25 percent) budget $31 to $45 per person
for the gathering, while 20 percent set aside $21 to $30. That cost
has stayed the same since last year for 69 percent of the
Almost half those surveyed (46 percent) said attendees also
will receive a holiday gift; 30 percent of the gift givers said the
presents will cost more than $30 each, while 25 percent will spend
$6 to $10 per person.