How to Tailor a Company Party to a Young Crowd

Groupon's holiday party appealed to its young-professional guests with casino games, a live band, and a late start time.

By Jenny Berg January 7, 2015, 7:15 AM EST

Event Creative oversaw the evening's decor and created custom carnival games. Costumed Factor models staffed the game booths.

Photo: Sheri Whitko Photography

Groupon Holiday Party
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Groupon, the daily deal website, hosted its holiday party at Chicago's Aragon Theater on December 12. The company is known for a quirky, offbeat sensibility, and planners worked to infuse the gathering with a fitting sense of upbeat fun. “We reflect the Groupon brand [at the holiday party] in a number of ways,” said Noha Salah, manager of experiential marketing and events. “There's a sense of playfulness in our communications, decor, entertainment, and even food. Many company holiday parties are more formal. With a young workforce, we take a different approach, and try to create a party atmosphere ... with a focus on live music and dancing.” The event had a 2,971-person guest list including employees and their guests.

“Planning [for the annual event] begins in June,” Salah said. “This year, we added casino games and carnival games in order to provide more to do than just dancing and drinking. They were a huge hit.” The activities also fell in line with the event's theme, which was inspired by the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. “We were [deciding] between three themes: Chicago, casino, and fair/carnival,” Salah said. “The 'Chicago World's Fair' theme ended up being the perfect combination of the three.” Ways in which the theme came to life included custom carnival games from Event Creative, thematic videos from Sound Investment, and carnival-inspired snacks such as cotton candy.

In the event's aftermath, Salah and her team surveyed employees to find out which aspects of the event impressed them the most. “Everyone's consensus was that the decor, the addition of games, the photo booth, and [live band] Maggie Speaks were their favorite parts,“ Salah said. And though the holidays are a wrap, “the party lives on in our office where we display branded decor pieces from the event to keep the fun memories present.”

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