BrainTrust Query: Companies Party with a Purpose
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Contrarian, the blog of the Dynamic Experiences Group.
Recently, one of our clients announced to their employees that the traditional holiday party will not be held this year. The employees were very disappointed. The annual event has long been a high point of the year because it brought families together for an evening of food, drinks and socializing.
The disappointment turned to excitement when the owner announced that the holiday party hadn’t been completely cancelled, but would be replaced by a smaller scale event that will enable people to give back to their community.
The company is giving each employee a gift card to use to purchase holiday gifts for children in need. The employees, along with their families, will bring their purchases to a gift-wrapping party held over consecutive nights at the company’s office. The party will be catered and is shaping up to be a wonderful evening.
I love it!
It’s a holiday party with a purpose. Employees are still recognized for their contribution to the company, but at the same time the organization is able to give something to their community. It’s a win/win that makes a difference, and in this particular instance it could spell the difference between a child having a present under the tree or not.
It’s a great reminder of the opportunities retailers have to touch lives in their communities. Also, don’t underestimate the impact this has on both employees and customers.
Here are a few more suggestions for ways to add more purpose to holiday parties and events:
- Donate a gift or make a contribution for every customer who shows up at a VIP or Wishlist event. This gesture could be the tipping point for a customer who is undecided about whether to attend or not.
- Ask customers to bring a gift or canned goods as the price of admission for an event. Even better, match the donation.
- Offer a gift card or discount for bringing in a gift or canned goods. This is a great way to start the sale. It’s up to you and your team to finish it.
- Let customers vote on Facebook and/or in the store for your holiday charity.
- Partner with a local shelter or charity to create a Wishlist tree. Customers can purchase an ornament that helps a particular person or family in need, and those customers are invited to an exclusive evening or weekend holiday event.
Discussion Questions: What are your recommendations for making company gatherings around the holidays more effective from a team-building standpoint? What are some ways to get shoppers involved in holiday community efforts while raising brand awareness and customer loyalty?