photographer: Kari Otero | event planner: Florie Huppert Design | venue: Guastavino's
The Best of | New York | Corporate Events

11 Tips for Hosting a Festive Corporate Holiday Party in NYC

When it comes to hosting a corporate holiday party that your employees, clients, and extended network will enjoy (and talk about until next year’s celebration) — New York is the perfect setting. Rule over the Empire State with these 11 tips for a memorable holiday party in NYC. And if you haven’t started planning your soirée yet, it’s time to consider — and appreciate — the many less-talked-about charms of hosting a New Year’s celebration in January instead. 

photographer: UP Studios Photography

1. Choose the Perfect Venue

ASPIRE at One World Observatory proved to be the perfect NYC spot for a gorgeous holiday party for luxury car brand, Mercedes. An aspirational brand deserves an inspirational celebration, and GO! Experience Design worked with Tinsel & Twine to provide just that — with twinkle-lit trees, mirrored tables, and clear lucite furniture from Party Rental Ltd. and RentQuest. ASPIRE boasted views of the city lit for the holidays, and World Stage outfitted the space with luxe lavender lighting, both adding to the magical feel. We absolutely adore the creative candle and greenery installations within the lucite tables.

gold lighting over a crowd of people
photographer: Scott Clark Photo

2. Go Big with Décor

Spotify knows how to party — with entertainment-driven holiday celebrations for their employees. TINSEL Experiential knows that a big show requires big décor elements to make an impact. Fittingly, they engaged BML Blackbird for a cohesive lighting design that included oversized gold mylar fringe chandeliers hovering above the dance floor, inflated bubbles, and a captivating dramatic light show. Red and purple lighting and a disco ball were used to create a circus-tent vibe in one area of the celebration, while blue blanketed the “punk rock” space, and green lit up the faux laundromat spot. Furniture and décor items from Party Rental Ltd., Taylor Creative Inc., and Luxe Event Rentals created fun dining and gathering spaces that fit with the color-blocked journey through the Avant Gardner music venue. 

photographer: Phillip Van Nostrand Photography

3. Deck the Halls — with Florals

Legacy Records’ private dining space — as decked out by the talented Ovando Design and Production — played host to NBC’s end-of-year soirée. Ovando’s team eschewed the traditional hues of the season and instead evoked spring with stunning pink and purple floral arrangements undulating across the tables. Gold lanterns and glowing purple candles added to the magical feel, as did shiny metallic balloons and suspended gold florals backed by stark white draping. We also love the pop of deep blue on the velvet chairs. 

dramatic center pieces in a dim lit ballroom
photographer: Erika Kapin Photography

4. Create Drama with Lighting

This Northern Lights-themed soirée featured a stunning creative vision from Shields Flowers & Events. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum provided the perfect towering, dark space for dramatic lighting that evoked nature’s spectacle with moody blue and green hues, as well as projections of snowflakes swirling on the museum’s hulking aircrafts. Lit trees and a snowglobe-inspired photo spot added to the holiday vibe.

branded ice sculpture with purple dramatic lighting
photographer: Kari Otero Photography

5. Conjure Creative Branding

Baby it’s cold — inside. For this modern aprés ski-themed holiday celebration, the team at Florie Huppert Design created a winter wonderland complete with a towering ice display featuring the luxury jewelry company’s name, RNA, carved in the cold stuff at the dance floor, and a giant icy “R” at the bar — both from OKAMOTO STUDIO Custom Ice. Additional branding could be found on staff t-shirts, napkins, and more. Guests remembered who they were celebrating as they competed in beer pong and video games, in addition to enjoyeing a snowboard simulation at NYC spot Guastavino’s.

quilted red booth with pillows and candles
photographer: Molly Adams

6. Give Guests Spots to Gather & Gab

For Paradigm Talent Agency’s New York team, Ink Events & Design (formerly Geffen Events) curated a luxe tropical celebration complete with towering green palms, silver succulents, and lots of dramatic lighting. The team also ensured that there were plenty of — perfectly branded, of course — spots for partygoers to lounge, including holiday-inspired chic red banquettes from Design House Decor at The DL in NYC. We also happen to love the branded games that partygoers could compete in — if they ever wanted to leave the cozy confines of the glam lounge areas.

entertainer with appetizers on a tray and purple dance floor in background
photo courtesy of Elegant Affairs Caterers

7. Plan a Memorable Menu

This holiday celebration was filled with delectable fare paired with creative presentations from Elegant Affairs Caterers — featuring fully-costumed servers dressed as vintage cigarette girls, futuristic snow queens, and more. We love the taco bar, displaying row after marching row of perfectly-dressed tacos, as well as the cones of popcorn strung around the room and winter-bare trees bearing boxes of bites. Broadstreet Ballroom gave Decco by Party Up Productions plenty of space for fun décor as well as delineated areas for the catering team to work their magic — which they did yet again when they offered end-of-the night treats of milk in soda fountain glasses topped with donuts and cookies.

women wearing a mask plays harp
photographer: Jack Roman

8. Create Energy with Live Music

Want a fun party? Add masks and lots of music. This Venetian-themed masquerade ball featured Hank Lane Music performers donned in beautiful masks performing dance-floor-filling, gather-around live music at the Marriott Tarrytown. A singing harpist, an Italian opera singer, an electric violinist, and full band kept partygoers entertained. More than Music offered a DJ spinning tunes and karaoke, while Creative Games Inc had guests trying their luck at casino games. Fusion Productions outfitted the celebration with dramatic lighting, a custom dance floor wrap, chic chandeliers, and more.

pancake drawing of a man
photographer: Travis W Keyes Photography

9. Think Beyond the Band with Interesting Activations

Vontobel — a Swiss based investment management company — celebrated employees with a party packed with creative activities, seasonal cocktails, a delectable 6-course meal, and fun entertainment at the iconic Ziegfeld Ballroom. Eventsful Inc. planned the soirée utilizing the talent of Creative Games Inc to offer guests unique, engaging activations like snapping a pic in an old-style photo booth, hearing their life story in one minute from a traveling poet outfitted with a typewriter, and seeing their selfie transformed into an edible crepe. Ed Libby & Company outfitted the ballroom space with luscious red florals and candles for a dreamy holiday vibe.

disco dancers entertain a crowd of people
photograper: Kari Otero Photography

10. Get Guests on the Dance Floor with On-Theme Performers

For this Disco-themed bash, the skilled planning team at Florie Huppert Design arranged for not only oodles of glittering disco balls, but also roller-skating dancers from Total Entertainment outfitted in era-perfect tube socks and satin jackets. Guests enjoyed donning their 70s best to boogie at NYC’s Edison Ballroom.

a bank robbery staged Instagram photo op
photographer: Osh Images

11. Create a Clever On-Theme Photo Op

Former Williamsburg Savings Bank — now gorgeous event space Weylin — was the perfect spot for Tinsel Experiential to plan a bank heist-themed holiday party for tech company IPsoft. To commemorate their good time, guests could choose between two robber-ific photo spots: pose amid $$ sack, gold bars, and loose coins for a vault-themed pic curated by A1-Array, or say “cheese” in front of a vintage getaway car from Brindamour Photography.