Covid Holiday Parties

How does Covid-19 Impact Your Company Holiday Plans?

December 2020 corporate celebrations will be drastically different than previous years. Would you typically host a party for your staff and their spouses?

These types of events are either going to be:

1. Illegal due to size restrictions, or
2. Not a wise business decision if your entire staff end up in quarantine because of exposure.

I believe that holiday celebrations (in some form) help contribute to the culture of your organization. These events help your staff to feel appreciated and offer an opportunity to create bonds (aka loyalty) to others in the group. If you needed another reason, holiday staff parties are 100% deductible for tax purposes. Canada Revenue Agency permits up to six of these 100% deductible events annually where all staff are invited. Normally, meals and entertainment are only 50% deductible for tax purposes.

If you can’t meet in person in the tradition sense, what are your options? It’s time to get creative. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Virtual tasting experiences
There is a chocolatier in Edmonton that will deliver their product to you at home and then lead a private online tasting event for small groups. Several local businesses are offering such services for their products.

Skip the Dishes/online gaming
Have dinner delivered to your employees’ home and host a Jackbox party.

Online cooking classes
The ingredients and recipes are delivered to your employees’ home and the culinary instructor leads an interactive online cooking class. This could be a fun “date night” for your employee and their spouse.

Socially distanced experiences
Some hotels/restaurants are getting creative with offering Covid-19 friendly activities. While you still need to follow local Covid-19 protocols, one particular hotel I know of is offering a package that includes a three course meal (a separate table for each couple), dancing lessons (participants keep in their designated square in the ballroom), and a night at the hotel. With travel restrictions still tight, hotels are suffering and would probably be open to suggestions if you came up with a similar idea for a private function. I think that these types of events will become more common with people craving a unique staycation.

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