The festive season is a busy time for everyone. End-of-year celebrations, family gatherings, sales goals, resolutions for next year and closing out the business before the end of the year, we’re equal parts excited and a little overwhelmed.

At BB Events, this is a time when festive fundraisers are kicking off. For our clients, it’s a chance to celebrate their teams, donors and communities. And that means unforgettable parties that dial up the entertainment. And what we’ve learned is that there are ways to approach this busy period with intention and positive impact.

So whether you’re planning your family holiday party or a larger work celebration, here are our top tips to celebrate the season in a way that leaves no one behind.

Be Mindful of Cultural Differences

This season boasts many traditions, symbols, food and fun from Hanukkah’s latkes (potato pancakes) and Kwanza’s Kinara (candle holder) to Santa’s reindeer and New Years’ fireworks.

Firstly, it’s important to be respectful to your team and community if they require different dates off to celebrate their cultural holidays. Offering this opportunity is an instant way to embrace inclusion in your organization.

Secondly, consider how these diverse celebrations can shape your end of year celebrations. Think about embracing a variety of cultural elements to your event design and culinary menu. Have an open brainstorm with people from your community about what this festive season means to them and work with vendors from varying backgrounds who could help bring this to life.

For example, at our ILEA-NCC Havana Nights Gala, we worked with Latin-owned businesses to bring their culture to the event for a truly spectacular and authentic celebration of Havana. Embracing new cultures can bring a whole new experience to the festivities!

Put the Guest Experience First

Festive celebrations are a unique time to bring people together in person. But as we still transition out of virtual events, in-person events are a unique opportunity to give your attendees an experience that they can’t just get at home.

Let’s start with the entertainment.

Music is a must – and an energetic DJ or live band can set the tone. But think beyond that for when your guest’s dancing legs get tired or they’re looking for something a little less energetic. In past events, we’ve included game stations, photo booths, interactive art installations, poetry readings, and wine walls to provide a variety of engagements throughout the event.

It’s about facilitating unique and engaging interactions. And that doesn’t just mean tearing up the dance floor.

Leave them with more than memories.

We can’t deny that gifts are a nice touch so why not give your guests a little piece of something to leave with?

Whether you go for something branded or more sentimental, gift options are a great way to surprise and delight your guests. When we’re working with our clients to find the perfect event giveaway, there are some key things to consider:

  • Find something that can extend the story of your organization or non-profit. We don’t just mean slapping your logo on something, but finding an item that your guests can use that have something to do with your organization in a more symbolic way.
  • Think about things that your guests can use for years to come. It reduces waste and keeps you close to them. Recently, we got to take home a personalized water bottle from an event we attended. A great reminder to stay hydrated too!
  • Great photos are something they can share and reminisce over. And there are many creative ways to capture the moment. From photo booths with props, to 360 degree cameras, there are plenty of fun ways to get the perfect content to share.

Be considerate of the expenses of your guests.

This can be a really expensive time. With gift-giving to the family and trips back home, the bills can definitely stack up. Though this is also an important time for non-profits and community organizations to galvanize their community for support.

Giving back can look like more than just the end of year donation. And when times are tough, offer your guests an opportunity to get involved in different ways.

Maybe they can come in and volunteer a day with your organization? Or they could donate their skills to a specific project?

Instead of gifts for everyone, maybe this is a chance to do a secondhand White Elephant. It reduces the waste of unwanted gifts gathering dust in your closet and adds an element of fun.

The Right Choice of Venue Matters

When you’re clearly setting the tone for celebration, finding the right venue can make or break the experience. No amount of fairy lights or decor can replace the bones of a great venue.

Consider the rooms that you need for your event program – including different levels for different activations or small enclaves for more intimate conversations.

Balance between celebrating the unique character of your event and going with something more simple to let your decor design shine. Some of our favorite venues around tap into the unique history of the Bay Area and brings a different edge to the events we plan. For example, recently in the Regency Ballroom, we added a touch of class and heritage by utilizing their 100 year old organ for the entertainment at the ACLU Partners for Justice event.

It’s Always the Right Time to Be Green

Sustainability is always a tentpole at BB Events – and the festive season is no different.

  • Wrap your gifts in a reusable way – whether that’s in patterned wrapping cloth or in a bag that can be reused.
  • Rethink your catering to reduce the food waste. Who doesn’t love the turkey sandwich the day after a festive feast? So allow your guests to take home leftovers or even consider smaller portions.
  • Think ahead with the decorations you use. How much use can you get out of it? We’ve gotten creative with thrifted decorations or even chatting to the venue to see how we can use perishable decorations – like flowers – across multiple events that they host.

Take Your Event to the Next Level

BB Events has the passion and experience to create an impactful event. Bring Becca’s tips into your family gatherings, or utilize her expertise to take your event further.

Becca is now offering strategic consultations to get you started on the right foot when you’re planning your own event; or need someone to steer yourself in the right direction as we get into crunch time for your holiday party. Find out more here.