by Lauren Conklin | November 19, 2018

The holiday season is just around the corner, but it's not too late to plan an event that your colleagues will enjoy. As the director of catering of Kimpton Hotel Eventi in New York City, I have worked with corporate groups from around the world and know what they are seeking and can bring their vision to life. Here are some key recommendations to keep in mind in order to have a successful holiday party.

Color Scheme
According to Pantone, ultra violet is the color of the year. Ultra violet has been increasingly popular in décor, linens, lighting, as well as been the color of signature cocktails. One of the most popular signature cocktails that I have seen is the Kir Royal a la Violette, composed of sparkling wine and Bitter Truth violet liqueur. Pantone usually announces in the beginning of December what the color of the year will be so I am excited to find out the color of the year for 2019 very soon.

Food and Beverage
Instead of just serving regular drinks and signature cocktails, it has now become more popular to create a customized bar with seasonal spirits including a hot toddy bar and world whiskey tour. Attendees love to feel the holiday spirit in every aspect of the event. In terms of dining, there has been a decrease in formal dinners, and an increase in buffets and a more casual dining style. Everyone works extremely hard during the year and this type of set-up allows for a more social environment among colleagues.

When picking a venue, it is crucial to ensure that weather will not be a factor that could put a damper on the event. At Kimpton Hotel Eventi, we have a tented space and have noticed an increase in bookings as it allows for holiday parties to occur no matter the weather. During the winter, the tented terrace can be transformed into a snow globe with an elegant retractable tent and give the feeling of a winter wonderland.

Clients are spending more on holiday parties and are becoming more creative with what they are offering their colleagues. They realize that the holidays are a time of giving and showing appreciation for all of the effort that their colleagues have given throughout the year.

Holiday parties are starting to be booked further out so clients can ensure that they can secure the venue of their choice as well as the time that they desire. Even though the holidays are only a few weeks away, there is still time book.

When planning a holiday party, it is important to keep colleagues in mind and think about what they would enjoy the most. I wish you all a successful holiday party.

Lauren Conklin is director of catering for Kimpton Hotel Eventi in New York City, which offers more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space including indoor event rooms, two outdoor terraces and two hospitality suites. Groups can use its 4,000-square-foot ballroom and appreciate its 30-foot outdoor multimedia art screen, among other attractions. Photography: Kimpton Hotel Eventi.