Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What to do for your Holiday Party?

Recently, we asked Kristina with Team Casino to guest blog for us.  We thought with the Holiday's just around the corner it would be great to have her give some tips on great company parties.  Below is what she has to say. :)

It’s time to start thinking about your company holiday party! Boring parties where you serve dinner and give away some awards are out! A great holiday party shows your employees you appreciate them, and while most people do appreciate free food, they want something more to do than just talk to the co-workers they see every day. They want a REASON to come party. There are a few ways to make your employees more excited to come to your holiday party:

1. Great prizes. No matter how you give them out, your staff will be super excited to know that they have a chance to win an iPad, TV, etc. Even if you only have the budget for one great prize, that’s a great way to get your employees excited about your party!

2. Bring in a little booze! There are many different options for all types of budgets
                  a. Have a Hosted Bar
                  b. Host drinks during Cocktail Hour
                  c. Give each attendee 2 drink tickets (on the company)
                  d. Or have a No Host bar

3. Try to provide childcare. Many of your guests would love to have a night away from their kids, but might not be able to afford the babysitter, or might not be able to find one on a busy holiday weekends. Perhaps your facility has an additional room you can use to bring in a few caregivers and your staff can bring their children, and pick them up on the way out!

4. The ability to network with the higher-ups. The annual holiday party may be the only place where all your employees will mix and mingle. During old school parties people sit with the co-workers they talk to every day, leaving little room to introduce themselves to the people that make the big decisions, without seeming pushy or intrusive. Here are a few tips:
                  a. Assign seats to the managers – have each one sit at a different table, so employees have to sit with them.
                  b. Facilitate a networking activity – try something easy and silly like taping names of celebrities and famous people on each person’s back and having them guess using yes or no questions. When you HAVE to talk to other people as part of a game, approaching others is much easier.

                   c. Bring in some entertainment that promotes networking and conversation. (Shameless plug time!) Interactive entertainment like casino nights, Hold’em tournaments, Wii bowling tournaments, etc. allow people to interact with those they may not know in a fun environment. With a band or other stage-based entertainment, they may just end up at the same tables talking with the same co-workers again!

So get to work revving up your holiday party! AND DON’T WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER. Now is the time to start planning! If you’re already doing many of these things, Awesome!

The holiday party is an important way to show your employees how much you appreciate them. Make sure it’s a great time for everyone!

So we say give us a call to schedule your consultation today and we can get you all hooked up with a Team Casino party.

Kristina Griffith
Fundraising Bookie | Team Casino Parties & Music Portland

Lisa Marie & Jessica
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saving for the Future

OK, lets face it, weddings can be expensive! However, there are lots of ways you can save for the wedding and lots of things you can do to help with the cost.

First step is to remember that it is your wedding and you should pick a theme, style or look that really represents the two of you.  There are a million images of amazing weddings out there and lots of things to fall in love with.  Many of which can make you over spend.  Make sure you take a step back and think if it is really something you WANT or just something you think is pretty.

Below are a few things you can do to save some extra money for your wedding, honeymoon or first house.  (or whatever you want to use it for)

1. When you use cash, drop all your change into a jar. If you spend $7.65 at lunch, leave a $2 tip and pay with a $20 bill you have $10.35 left.  Put the $10 back in your wallet and drop the $.35 in the jar.  Do this for a full month and see how much money you spend.

2. Eat out one less time a week.  Either lunch or dinner.  If it is lunch make a little extra dinner the night before so that you have some leftovers.  This can save you on average $7 a week.  If you typically eat out 3 or 4 times a week for lunch you can save yourself about $20 a month.

3. Drink more water.  It is free.  If you go for an afternoon coffee or pop or even just order a drink like Ice Tea or Lemonade with your meals you can save anywhere from $2-6 per drink.  Imagine if you went for 10 lunches a month and didn't order a drink and instead just ordered water you could save on the low end $20 a month.

4. Evaluate how you spend money at the grocery store. Use coupons! Even if it is just for one or two items.  The money you can save is amazing.  There are a lot of programs you can use to help like  Additionally, check into the stores you shop at the most for their rewards cards.  Safeway has a mobile App and Fred Meyer has a rewards card where you can add manufacture coupons to your card and do not have to clip them.  This saves you extra time in trying to remember to take them with you.

5. Use CASH! I know this may sound funny but set up a budget for all your non essential monthly expenses.  put together 4 envelopes and if your budget is $400 for the month put five (5) $20 bills in each envelope.  At the end of the week whatever is left put in the money jar! Don't roll it to the next month and Don't steal for the next month.  If you run out on Thursday make due.  Eat at home, don't buy that Starbucks, Dutch Brothers or other coffee drink.  Remember the above post about water? :) 

6. Walk!!  It is amazing how much time we spend driving around.  Walk to lunch if there is a place close by, walk to the store or instead of driving somewhere like a movie theater go for a walk with your sweetheart. It will save you some time, money and gives you a workout. :)

7. Errands - Stop on the way home from work to pick up groceries and plan out your day so that you can run all your errands at the same time.  Instead of doing 1 day try to schedule a full day on the weekend and get them all done at once.

Most importantly really look at what you are buying.  Do you NEED that item?  Can you pay for it out of your monthly budget or will it take 2 or 3?  Money doesn't grow on trees so it is good to sleep on bigger purchases.  If a day or two later you still want it and can afford it without hurting your budget then go for it.  :)

Need additional help creating a budget for your wedding?  Schedule a consultation with us and we can go over some tips and tricks.  There are lots of ways out there to save your budget during your wedding planning process as well as ways to save money and get a few more of the items you would like.  So lets chat. :)  

Life is about enjoying but not about going into debt.  So enjoy the beauty in life.

Lisa Marie
Find us on Facebook and Twitter 
Portland Oregon Event and Wedding Planner.