Office holiday parties may be a little merrier this year

If you’re company is throwing a holiday party this year, chances are it will be a memorable one.

More companies plan to spend more money on holiday parties this year, according to an annual survey by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Roughly one in five companies hosting a holiday party are budgeting more for the event, the survey found. That’s an increase over the last two years.

Data shows that corporate profits are back above $1.6 trillion after dipping in the last of half 2015, according to Challenger CEO John A. Challenger. Its survey “suggests that employers are ready to spend some of those profits on their workers,” he said.

Eighty percent of companies plan to host a holiday party this year. That’s down slightly from 82 percent in 2015 and 89 percent in 2014.

Here are some holiday party trends from Challenger’s survey of about 100 human resources executives in October:

  • More companies are letting their employees bring guests: 43 percent will invite spouses or other family members, up from 31 percent in 2015.

  • Nearly 62 percent of companies said their parties will include alcohol vs. 54 percent in 2015.
  • Thirty-eight percent plan to hold parties on a weekend or evening, up from 31 percent last year.
  • More than 66 percent of companies said they’re hiring caterers or event planners vs. 62 percent last year.

Still, 20 percent of companies won’t host a holiday party, or about the same as last year. Bah humbug!


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