You are probably still shaking the sand from your beach towels, but it’s actually time to start thinking of planning your company’s holiday party!  My number one rule when it comes to planning an annual event – Whatever you normally do, change it!  No matter what you did for your last Christmas party, you have got to do it differently this year.  Okay, enough preaching.  Let’s plan your party!

Try thinking of your holiday party as an event. Instead of the traditional sit-around-somewhere-and-eat party, these are just a few of our favorite corporate parties that we have designed for some San Francisco clients:

Take the Ferry to Sausalito…wine taste at Bacchus and Venus,, and then enjoy a wonderful lunch at Poggio Trattoria.  You’ve had a field trip on the gorgeous bay, tasted some wine at a completely different venue, and then settled into a delightful lunch.

Play pool!  We planned a very fun late afternoon of appetizers, cocktails and playing pool for a small law firm at the elegant Jillian’s Billiards Club.  It’s a great way to interact, but the vibe is casual and low stress.

Invite a wine expert into your office for an hour of true wine education and tasting.  A fruit and cheese plate keeps everyone satisfied, until you then close the office and walk to your favorite French or Italian restaurant.  Bruce Cass of the Wine Lab does a superb job in educating the amateur wine connoisseur.  Perbacco is a perfect choice for the group lunch that follows.

Go bowling!  This is a great way for everyone to laugh and bond over those gutter shots.  Both Yerba Buena Bowling Center and Lucky Strikes offer group packages with food, beverages, and bowling shoes.

Take a cooking class.  This is definitely one of my favorites.  Team building at its best – you are working together in teams and creating something for the whole group.  Hands on Gourmet,,  has a gorgeous kitchen, wonderful (and patient) chefs, and your whole company will feel like you’ve done something very special together.

Let us know if we can help you plan your next corporate event!