Are Business Cocktail Parties on the Way Out?

You receive an invitation to a company dinner or conference, incuding the obligatory cocktail party. Do you attend? Skip it and attend the dinner? You know it will be the same old thing, feeling like a wall flower while the same few people congregate together, some over indulging at the bar. After all, the company is paying the tab, right, so why not drink up?

The above scenario is all too familiar, causing more and more businesses to rethink the wisdom and effectiveness of hosting cocktail parties. Originally intended as a networking opportunity, too often the parties foster excessive drinking at company expense and may promote exclusiveness among a few extroverted cronies, leaving the introverts to either skip the party or endure the party in misery.

In our increasingly diverse business world with varying religions and ethnic backgrounds, employees are increasingly avoiding events including alcohol and even certain foods. Vegetarians, gluten-free individuals, diabetics, those that a…

Plan a Scavenger Hunt for Your Next Team Building Activity

Five teams raced through the streets of Old Town Scottsdale, each responding to directions received on their phones. One team member might be told to take a picture of the team jumping. Another person might be told to find a certain sculpture (Scottsdale is filled with public art) and count the number of fish in it. We raced; we looked for items; we photographed; we uploaded. Through it all, we laughed, we got lost and we didn't win, but we had fun trying.

You might try a similar activity with your employees. A scavenger hunt provides a good break during a day of meetings, or in my case, conference activities. Mix up the teams so that people who don't know each other are forced to get acquainted. You can provide clues via phone, as we did, or you can be less techie and require teams to collect items, such as a brochure from a hotel or a napkin from a coffee shop. Your employees will enjoy the exercise and the opportunity to break up their day doing something fun.

Beautiful Wedding Video

Many thanks to Tandem Wedding Films for sharing their beautiful video of a wedding that Memory Makers coordinated in September at a private home overlooking Lake Lowell. We were blessed to be part of their special day. Enjoy!

New Trend: Marrying Yourself

In September an Italian woman married herself in a lavish ceremony complete with white dress, bridesmaids and multi-tiered cake. Missing were a groom, groomsmen and a marriage license. The trend, called "sologamy," is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and Japan.

Tips for Choosing Music for Your Event

Music is an important element at weddings, reunions, company parties and other events. Making just the right choice of whom to engage, however, may be more difficult than you anticipate. Should you choose a DJ, a string ensemble, a band, pianist, harpist, bag pipes or something else? Maybe you want to download your own playlist on a laptop or iPod.

Turn Your Yard Into an Event Site

Recently, my back yard was the site of a wedding reception. In the past, we have hosted a rehearsal dinner, graduation parties and other events open to invited guests in addition to family. Perhaps because of this, in recent weeks I have been asked by friends with large yards or unused buildings if they could offer their premises to the public and make a bit of extra income. The short answer is no, not without spending time, money and aggravation to secure required permits.

Planning for the Solar Eclipse

On August 21st a total solar eclipse will occur. Portions of Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and other states will be prime viewing areas, mostly in rural, sparsely populated areas. If you plan to travel somewhere to view the eclipse or want to sell food or memorabilia, be sure you are a good citizen, obeying local laws and showing courtesy to fellow viewers.