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Holiday Office Party Planning Tips for Small Firms

By George Khoury, Esq. on December 10, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The holidays are a great time of year to do some fun legal marketing. Yes, usually the words fun and legal marketing in the same sentence will cause some sort of breach in the space-time continuum. However, the exception to that is when your legal marketing takes the form of a party.

Even if you don't want to think of your office holiday party as marketing, if you have invited clients, potential clients, and/or colleagues from other firms, it's marketing. So if you're planning on having a holiday party, below you'll find some tips to make sure you make and get the most out it.

1. Pay Your Staff to Market, Not Party

While it may be a party, with booze and music and festivities (and maybe even catering), if you have associates, partners, or staff, everyone needs to be on the same page: the party isn't for you or them, and staff are "on-the-clock" during the party. All firm personnel should be acting as hosts, making sure to keep mingling to ensure guests are enjoying themselves. This isn't the time to sell the firm's services, but rather to sell the client on firm itself. If you want to reward your staff, give them money or time off, not a party.

2. Do a Business Card Raffle

Since networking is a big part of marketing, one way to make sure your attorneys meet every guest is to have games or activities that will encourage the guests to meet the firm's attorneys. The business card raffle is great icebreaker if you have a few (or several) attorneys in your firm.

A business card raffle is a simple icebreaker that works like this: Each attorney in the firm takes 40 or more (depending on expected guest count) business cards and writes out a number-sequence on the backs (using the same number for every two cards so as to make a set of raffle tickets out of the cards). The attorneys keep one set, then put the other set in box with all the others for a drawing near the end of the party. Then guests are told that there will be a raffle for prizes and that to participate they need to meet the attorneys, who will hand over a card upon request, or after answering a riddle or fun holiday question. It also encourages the guests to stay until the end of the raffle.

3. Don't Have a Holiday of Errors

When it comes to holiday decorations and holiday parties, it's usually best to avoid religious themed decorations and opt more for a winter-time theme that avoids the usual religious holiday elements. I.e., skip the nativity scene, but keep the string lights; forget the Christmas tree, but definitely get a wreath and maybe some tasteful garlands. And above all else, make sure you label the alcoholic and non-alcoholic eggnog clearly.

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