Let’s face it, everyone has high expectations on New Year’s Eve. If you’re working with your corporate event management team on planning a 2019 New Year’s Eve corporate event to stay within budget, there is undoubtedly a lot of weight on your shoulders. No detail can be overlooked and everything has to be perfect.
The kids may have just barely returned to school, but experienced corporate event planners have probably already started creating their event planning guide checklists months ago.
It’s likely they have their venues and vendors booked and are currently focusing on what they can do to make their event unique and exciting.
If you haven’t gotten started on the planning process, then you should get started right away. We have some great out of the box ideas that will help you take your pre-event planning to the next level.
Venue Ideas for Your New Year’s Corporate Event
New Year’s Eve is a popular date for parties and you will need to reserve a venue far in advance to ensure you get one you are happy with.
However, if you’re getting a later start this year, it may work to your advantage. You may be forced to seek out venues that are off the beat and path that work to make your event even more unique.
Here are some examples of venues that will let your guests know your party is off to a great start as soon as they walk in the door.
- Museums: A museum can be a great venue for your 2019 New Year’s Eve corporate event. Imagine hosting your event alongside unusual displays, installments and exhibits. Some museums may even have planetariums and other rooms that are vibey enough to enhance the experience.
2. Rooftops: Rooftops were great places for having parties when you were young. Why not rekindle some of that excitement by taking your New Year’s corporate event to the rooftop? The right patio lighting can set the mood and the view is a built-in bonus. However, the weather can be a consideration in colder climates so plan accordingly.
3. Active Lifestyle Venues: Some venues can provide their own entertainment. All you have to do is decorate accordingly to set the mood. Venues that fit the bill include bowling alleys, amusement parks, ski resorts and drive-in theaters. Just have your employees come prepared to participate in the fun!
4. Mansions: Of course, you could save money and throw your party at the house of a colleague, friend or relative. But think how much better this will go over if that colleague, friend or relative owns a mansion! Mansions can provide luxurious spaces for outdoor and indoor entertainment, dining and more.
5. Breweries: A restaurant is an obvious choice for a New Year’s Eve corporate event, but a brewery can give it a more casual, fresher, younger vibe. It’s also perfect for those that enjoy exotic tastes in brews.
6. Art Studio: Similar to a museum, an art studio can provide a great aesthetic that is perfect for a fashion forward brand. It is also probably a bit more budget friendly than a museum.
Entertainment Ideas for Your New Year’s Corporate Event
The entertainment you provide at your 2019 New Year’s corporate party has to bring it. There are many unique entertainment options you can choose from. Here are some we recommend.
7. Live Music: No matter what type of entertainment you have at your party, you should be sure to make the hiring of a live band priority on your event planning checklist. On New Year’s Eve, everyone will want to get up and out on the dance floor.
You can choose from DJs or a live band.
A DJ can play any popular songs your guests request. They can also do their own mixes and mashups of guest favorites.
If you decide on a DJ, be sure to make the DJ booth look exciting. An LED DJ booth that can change color will make your venue look terrific.
However, live music may be a better choice for a New Year’s Eve corporate event. A live band can be more interactive with the crowd and can even lead off the countdown.
When considering what live musical entertainment you will be hiring, think of the genre of music that will best suit the event. Then ask for recommendations to find a reliable band that fits the bill.
Many bands are capable of performing a wide variety of musical genres and these may be your best bet. These bands will be able to conform to any sort of party vibe and switch things up if necessary.
8. Artists: An artist can work well with other entertainers. You can have an artist sitting in a corner and creating art live for all your guests to see. Giving the artist the opportunity to sell the art can be advantageous for everyone involved.
Sand artists who make creations out of sand are particularly trendy when considering entertainment for corporate events.
9. Dancers: Dancers make the perfect entertainment for your guests and they can work well with a live band. Aerial dancers, fire dancers and video mapping dance groups are favorites according to current trends. If you have access to a pool, an aquatic show can also be a lot of fun.
10. Comedians: Everyone loves to laugh. Get a comedian out to your show to have your entire crowd in stitches.
11. Magicians: The slight of hand will get them every time.
12. Human Fountains and Statues: Have you ever been walking in a public square when you suddenly see a statue you swear you’ve never seen before? Then you look closely and the statue blinks?
These human statues have been wowing people for ages and they are a great addition to any party.
For a variation on the human statue, how about a human fountain? Beautifully dressed and goddess-like a human fountain can add a serene sense of beauty to any party.
Human statues can incorporate movement or not, but either way, they are sure to give your event a sense of wonder.
13. Photo Booths: These days, no party is complete without a photo booth. Photo booths give your guests something fun to do at the party and also provide great souvenirs that guests can take home to post on social media or hang on the fridge.
If you are dealing with a smaller budget and can’t afford to bring a photo booth in, social frames can be just as effective.
Leave these frames lying around so your guests can pick them up and take a selfie that they can post to let everyone know how much fun their New Year’s Eve was.
14. Transform Your Venue into a Casino: Casino games can be a lot of fun. And just in case you’re worried about local laws or gambling addictions, when you rent a vendor to transform your venue into a casino, no actual money will be involved.
Vendors can be hired to provide a variety of gambling tables in your venue as well as a full staff to operate these tables.
Food and Drink Ideas for Your New Year’s Corporate Event Party
Food is an important consideration in all types of corporate event planning, but when it comes to your 2019 New Year’s Eve party, you really have to bring your A game.
New Year’s Eve parties are not generally dinner events so you don’t have to worry too much about providing a meal. However, appetizers are recommended and, when it comes to cocktails, a wide variety of only the finest will be acceptable. Because people tend to let loose a little more for New Year’s Eve, and because this is a corporate function, make sure to follow these best practices when serving alcohol to your guests.
Here are some ideas for food and drink you can serve at your New Year’s corporate event to make it truly memorable.
15. Appetizers: Trendy appetizers will elevate your event, taking it to the next level.
Here are some we recommend:
- Mini-Mexican Duck Confit Tacos: These tiny tortillas deliver the great taste without the mess. They are topped with ribbons of duck, prepared with seasonings and cheese and wrapped in an edible tie made of greens.
- Southern Shrimp Cocktails: This is an appetizer that can be easily served cocktail style. To prepare, fill a small cordial glass with sauce and garnish with a jumbo shrimp, okra and thin breadsticks.
- Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup: This is a light appetizer that is perfect for vegetarian guests. Top avocado soup with chopped cucumber and a light parmesan cheese chip for a tasty snack that is sure to be the talk of the town.
- Caramelized Onion Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites: This may seem like an odd combination, but wait till you taste it! Start with whole grain crackers with caramelized onion-cranberry compote, and add cream cheese and fresh cilantro to create a mouth-watering treat.
- Hummus Stuffed Peppers: Hummus is a tasty and popular superfood enjoyed by many. Stuff it in mini bell peppers for a taste sensation your guests are sure to enjoy.
16. Dessert Bars: A dessert bar is sure to please your sweet toothed guests. It can also make your party more aesthetically pleasing while offering an interactive element.
You can divide your dessert bar into different sections like ‘cookie bar’, ‘candy bar’ and ‘pie bar’. This can help your guests explore a world of sweet delights.
You can also provide interactive stations like a ‘make your own smores’ station or a waffle station where guests can make their own waffle sundaes using ice cream and candy you provide.
A fondue bar is a bit of take-off on the dessert bar. You can include a chocolate dipping fondue where guests can dip their favorite fruits, candies and more. Alternatively, cheese fondues can be great for dipping meats, breads and other choice items.
17. Cocktails: No matter what type of food you serve, for most guests, cocktails will be the star of your New Year’s Eve corporate event. What better way to start the year off than with a great, fresh drink?
Here are some cocktails that will be perfect for ringing in the New Year.
- Pear and Pub Ale Party Punch: Punch brings a fun element to a party taking your guests back to the prom. This party punch is made with whisky, dark rum ale and a cinnamon pear syrup that adds a dose of holiday cheer.
- Fire: You can call this cocktail whatever you would like but we feel this mix of lime, mint and whiskey served with a floater of Campari liqueur to provide a bright red color makes it worthy of its name.
- Champagne Punch: No New Year’s party is complete without champagne. Why not take it to the next level with this elegant drink that combines champagne with cognac, Jamaican rum and a spiced Darjeeling tea and oleo saccharum to provide a great fruity flavor.
- Irish Coffee: This will be perfect for making sure your guests stay up until midnight. The drink requires a mix of Irish whiskey, homemade brown sugar syrup and hot coffee that will give your event the kick it needs.
- Infused Tom Collins: Give your night an elegant twist with this simple drink. It combines your choice of vodka or tequila with lime juice, simple syrup and club soda.
18. It’s All About the Way It’s Served: Sometimes the way the food and drink is served can bring an entertaining element to your party. Here are some ways you can provide a wait staff that brings the fun up to 11.
- Mimes and Clowns: Have your wait staff dressed as mimes or clowns or use any other type of costuming to wow your guests.
- Human Tables: Make your server a part of your table by providing human tables at your parties. Here, the human is the centerpiece while the table surrounds them in a matching theme that will make it difficult for your guests to distinguish between the table and the human.
- Service with a Smile: Think of a unique way to provide your guests with drinks from the moment they walk in. One idea is to have a hand magically appear from behind a curtain with an elegant glass of bubbly. This will definitely let them know they are not in Kansas anymore!
- Aerial Drink Pouring: Aerial dancing is all the rage. A highly skilled aerial dancer will also be able to pour drinks for your guests while suspended upside down and, hopefully, not spill a drop.
- Sleight of Hand: Want a waiter that can juggle your wine bottles? Balance champagne glasses on his nose? With the right budget, the sky is the limit.
Decorations Tips for Your New Year’s Corporate Party
The way you decorate your 2019 New Year’s Eve party will set the vibe for the night. It will be the first thing your guests notice when they walk in and it will set the tone for every aspect of your event.
There are many ways you can decorate that will set your party apart. Here are a few we recommend.
19. Augmented Reality: A logical extension of virtual reality, augmented reality uses projected images to transform the entire look of your venue. This can be a money saving alternative to decorating the entire room to evoke a specific theme or look
20. GOBO Light Projectors: Providing a similar effect to augmented reality, GOBOs are flat pieces of steel or glass that can be affixed to certain types of lights to project desired images.
21. Igloo Décor: Give your room a celebratory winter look by using transparent vases, furniture and candelabras. Bring in silver tones and candlelight to enhance the effect.
22. Starlight Canopy: Bring a sense of romance and excitement to your event with a starlight canopy. These can be ideal for outdoor venues or they can also work in indoor venues to provide the illusion that guests are gathering under a starlit sky.
23. Disco Décor: Disco balls are a must when it comes to events where you want everyone up on the dance floor. Take a break from the ordinary by using ‘melting disco balls’. These have an odd shape and can create unusual lighting effects that will make your party unique.
24. String Light Centerpieces: String lights can provide a terrific vibe to your party when draped around the room. Innovative trends are bringing them to the table as well. Scatter string lights around the tabletop or put them inside enclosed bottles to give off a candlelight effect that will last the entire evening.
25. Customize the Dance Floor: Your guests will be spending a lot of quality time on the dance floor and it needs to look great. There are many things you can do to customize your dance floor. One thing we recommend is to make it look like a giant clock significant of the passing of time from one year to the next.
Getting Ready for the Big Moment
Of course, the talk of the evening will be what takes place when the hand strikes twelve and 2019 turns into 2020. This moment has to be magical for all your guests. Here are some ideas for what you can do to prepare for the event and what you can do to celebrate the moment when the New Year hits.
26. Champagne Toast: It is traditional for guests to do a champagne toast at midnight. A good host will make sure all guests interested in toasting in the New Year have a glass of champagne ready for the big moment. The most organized way to do this is to send a wait staff around to make sure each guest has their drink five to ten minutes before midnight.
If you have a particularly big party, you may need to hire a small truck to do the job. These mini trucks can be used to transport champagne prior to the ball drop and throughout the event minimizing lines and wait times.
Once all drinks have been distributed, be sure to get the big boss up there for the countdown.
27. A Giant Countdown Clock: Time is of the essence at a New Year’s Eve party. Make sure your guests are all aware of the time by putting a giant countdown clock in the middle of your venue. It may be best to use a digital clock as these are easy to see and can also keep track of the seconds as you get closer to midnight.
An alternate to this would be to have giant TV screen projectors and that show the Times Square broadcast when the New Year rings in.
28. A Balloon Clock: This can serve as an adorable companion to the countdown clock. The clock will have 12 balloons with each one representing the hours of the day or the minutes of the hour. Guests can pop the balloons as time passes.
Balloon clocks can feature company logos or messages that will help promote the theme of your event.
29. The Drop: Once midnight hits, the moment has to be extravagant and well planned. Here are some ways you can celebrate:
30. Balloons and Confetti: A great way to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year is to drop balloons and confetti on your guests. It may not be the most original idea, but it will always provide a festive vibe and an air of excitement.
One way to do this is to get helium balloons and confetti and tie them up in a canopy above the dance floor. Once the hour hits, release the canopy to let the contents drop on top of your crowd.
31. Fireworks: If you are using an outdoor venue, and have the right type of licensing, fireworks will always be an impressive way to ring in the new year.
32. Follow a Custom: There are many customs that take place in other countries that you can incorporate into your corporate event. Some are a bit excessive and may be difficult to pull off at a large event, but if you can get away with it, I’m sure your guests will find them quite entertaining.
- Pop 12 Grapes in Your Mouth: This is a Spanish tradition. The grapes are meant to represent each month of the year and popping them in your mouth is supposed to bring good luck. If you distribute your grapes in a timely manner, it could be tons of fun for everyone involved.
- Burn Something: In Ecuador, it is common for the people to burn a scarecrow at midnight. This is meant to diminish the negativity of the passing year. For safety’s sake, you can think of ways to incorporate fire into your event with posing a hazard…or maybe just bring your fire dancers out for a number.
- Smash Things Against the Wall: This is another tradition that might be best off taken outdoors. Perhaps think more along the lines of a Jewish wedding where the groom smashes a champagne glass that is carefully wrapped in cloth with his foot. This will be a slightly less hazardous alternative.
For added fun, be sure to sing Auld Lang Syne when the hour hits and take a few snapshots that will make for great souvenirs.
Party Favors and Gift Bags for New Year’s
33. Party favors: Party favors can make any event more fun but they are pretty much essential at a New Year’s Eve Party. Party hats and tiaras will get everyone into the party mood. Noise makers, party poppers, silly sunglasses and over the top props are a lot of fun as well. Sparklers can even be lit if you feel confident your guests will be safe.
Goodie bags will also make for great souvenirs. Because this is both a corporate event and a 2019 New Year’s Eve Party, you can incorporate both themes to provide your guests with unique gifts.
Starting with the bag itself, instead of using a cheap and non-eco-friendly plastic, opt for a reusable tote with the company name.
Candy makes a great gift regardless of the occasion. You can personalize the packaging by adding the name of the company or including a message wishing your guests a happy new year.
Bath items are also a pretty safe bet since they are useful to most people. Packaging can be personalized on bath items as well.
Other possible goodie bag items that may come in handy on a professional basis include:
- Airplane Friendly Items: If your staff travels a lot, they might appreciate items like earphones, eye masks and travel sized toiletries.
- Personalized Water Bottles and Coffee Mugs: What employee can’t use one of these?
- Portable Powerbank: These are great for keeping your on the go employee’s phones charged 24/7.
- Cord Tacos: These are a DIY, travel item must have. They are little pieces of leather or fabric that fold up and snap together to keep your electronic device cords from getting tangled up.
- Flash drives: Flash drives are a great alternative to documents that could end up getting tossed in the trash. While a New Year’s Eve party may not be the most appropriate atmosphere for providing flash drives with work related information, you can also use them to provide information on what there is to do in town that is holiday related. This is perfect if you are expecting out of town guests or holding your event in a city other than the one where your company is located.
- Smartphone Magnifier or Projector: A smartphone projector turns your phone into a wall projector at any time. A magnifier can expand your smartphone screen to the size of a tablet.
- VR Cardboard: These are perfect for creating a VR experience without the headphones. Guests can use these Google Cardboard headsets with their smartphones to make any presentation multi-dimensional.
These are all terrific gifts that can make your employee’s professional lives easier; but if you want your gift bag to be targeted towards leisure time, here are some great alternatives.
- Gift Cards: A gift card to a drug store, department store or restaurant will always be appreciated.
- Grown your Own Plant Kit: Your eco-friendly employees will love these. They are available in herbal varieties allowing your guests to grow their own herbs. They come with their own mason jars and they don’t require any watering.
- Virtual Swag Bags: Instead of giving your guests a bag full of things they’ll have to carry home, opt for a virtual swag bag. These can be full of goodies they can redeem online like ebooks, gift certificates, service subscriptions and more.
- Mini Wine Box: Wine makes a terrific gift, but it can be difficult to transport. Eliminate the hassle by giving your guests a mini wine box. Many of these can also be purchased with chocolate pairings.
- Free Headshots: A photo booth can be a lot of fun, but you can also have a live photographer documenting your event. Set up an area where he or she can take head shots and give your guests a ticket to redeem them at some point after the party. This will be ideal if your guest list includes a lot of models and actors.
- Inflatable Hammock: Your employees work hard! These inflatable hammocks fold up to the point where you can include them in your party bags. Better yet, they self-inflate…no pump needed!
These are all great ideas for how to take your 2019 New Year’s Eve corporate event to the next level. This is definitely an extensive list and you’ll need good event planning software to help you keep everything organized, but there is no end to the creativity one can put in when it comes to corporate event planning.
In fact, we would like to create the biggest list ever, and we need your help!
If you are a party planner, we invite you to submit photos with your New Year’s corporate event ideas. We are hoping to get a sampling from a wide range of cultures that will continue to inspire planners everywhere, so don’t be shy! Send those pictures in so we can all see how you make your corporate events unforgettable!