Best Holiday Party EVER!

  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Dec 03, 2012 12:29 AM GMT
    Right from the beginning, I have to say...."I hate parties, especially holiday ones!" Those of you that know me are aware the holidays are not my favorite time of the year and on December 1, my employer had it's big holiday event.

    I left my "box of macaroni and cheese giving employer" last April to work for a much better organization and when I heard my new co-workers mention the holiday thing, I had to see what it was all about.

    The party was at the Amway Center in Orlando and it is where our NBA team, the Orlando Magic, play. It was a night off for the Magic, so we had the place from 6 PM until midnight.

    When I arrived, there were at least 2 dozen, if not more, stations set up in the lobby (ground floor/street side) serving appetizers and assorted finger foods. This wasn't Cheez Whiz on a Ritz cracker. This turned out to be garlic basil prawns, Beef Wellington bites, mini Reuben sandwiches, chicken satay, on and on. Also, there were about 10 areas where one could turn in our drink tickets (minimum of 2 drinks...geez!) and get beer, wine, cocktails, etc. Photographers were also in the lobby, taking pictures of couples plus there were at least a dozen artists doing caricature portraits of party goers.

    Inside the arena on the basketball floor, about 500 tables were set up for dinner, complete with a stage for dancing. To get to this area, we passed by the Magic locker room and by the Mercedes Benz Star lounge, which is within feet of the locker room. That bar is only for courtside season ticket holders ONLY and is that ever nice and posh! Dinner was buffet style with lots of upscale offerings and again, another 24 or so stations for food were set up inside the arena.

    After dinner, prizes were given away and we all wondered, "Where's dessert?" The inside of the arena went dark, indoor fireworks went off, strobe lights filled the arena and a spotlight shone on the ceiling where the Magic's mascot, Stuff, repeled down a rope to the floor. As soon as Stuff landed on the court, a huge banner came down from the ceiling with the inscription, "Let's Eat Dessert!" We all had to follow Stuff, the Orlando Magic cheerleaders and several costumed characters on stilts back out to the lobby where we found 35 (I counted them) stations that served everything dessert-wise. I mean EVERYTHING. Nothing was repeated. Anywhere.

    Dancing was great and the music featured everything from today's tunes with a lot of Pitbull to smooth jazz, name it. Every music genre. No "Chicken Dance." No "Macarena."

    I was SO impressed by this, I had to share it with everyone here and wonder if you have ever been to an event of this type and so creative. Please share your experiences because I have not been to a party so well done and so "unexpected." Ever. You know, we do have a lot of creativity here in Orlando, and it's a shame so much of it is expressed at our theme parks. You get away from the tacky tourist areas and you will find many other ways to say "Wow" here....

    Let's hear it. Tell us about your best corporate party. Also, if I can get my hands on some pics, I will share them in this thread, 'cause if there are no pics-it didn't happen.....
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    Dec 03, 2012 2:19 AM GMT
    I think that the only events anywhere close to that that I've been to are the parties that major drug companies throw at biomedical conventions. Usually I'm not invited to those, because I don't prescribe drugs, but I got in once or twice.

    Oh, and there was one thrown by Mitsubishi back in the 80's. They used to have a Pac10 football game in Tokyo every year, and I got swept up in one of them. (Actually, it was always UCLA and some patsy for them to knock over.) I remember that the dinner was served at multiple stations like that, progressing from small groups in little houses in a garden and progressing into a big ball room. But it's been so long I can remember few of the details. I do remember that it was a bit insulting that the "bowl" trophy was engraved "UCLA Champions!" the day before the game.
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    Dec 03, 2012 5:35 AM GMT
    Sounds like a great time was had!

    I've only worked for one company that threw a Christmas party, and it was held at a local restaurant with an open bar. It was a small company (less than 50 employees), so it was nothing as extravagant as what you got to experience, but the employees truly appreciated the day off and the recognition by the owners of their hard work. My husband still works for the company, but sadly they no longer throw a party, and don't give Christmas bonuses either.

    Now I work for a school. We're not even allowed to say "Christmas," let alone throw a party. My old boss at the administration office used to throw a private party for the office and some of his close employees, but that's since fallen by the wayside, too.

    Bah, humbug! (But I'm glad you were blown away by your employer's generosity.)
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    Dec 03, 2012 9:28 AM GMT
    Perhaps that will take the sting away from the Mac & Cheese incident. I also hope that you will continue to find joyous moments this holiday.

    Seasons Greetings!
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    Dec 03, 2012 12:48 PM GMT oversexed mermales or centaurs???
    it pales in comparison to our holiday party.

    (photos to follow)


  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Dec 03, 2012 12:54 PM GMT
    Glad you enjoyed such a great time Jeff!

    My office has either an office lunch or dinner (we always used to do dinner, but it can be a challenge, so lunch became a more popular approach.
    We will be doing a fun "Friday lunch" next Friday. I let my assistants pick the place. My job.. go, enjoy and of course,
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Dec 05, 2012 2:28 AM GMT
    ConQuest saidPerhaps that will take the sting away from the Mac & Cheese incident. I also hope that you will continue to find joyous moments this holiday.

    Seasons Greetings!

    No mac and cheese this year!!

    (Note: For those of you wondering what the "mac and cheese" thing is all about, last year my cheap-assed employer gave the top sales people a box of Kraft M&C for the holidays...we tore into the boxes thinking there was a real "prize" in there somewhere....there wasn't....that was the forward one year later and that company is in serious financial trouble and is seeking a buyer to bail them out....they may not even make it through the first quarter of 2013....I left them in April of 2012)

    I did a rough estimate of how much that whole affair cost and by my estimate with the rental of the arena (that was $15,000 which is dirt assed cheap), food, liquor, DJ, prizes, cheerleaders, Stuff The Magic Dragon (like the humor? bad pun??), wait/bus/security staff.....I guessed $175,000.

    Beats Kraft mac and cheese, doesn't it???