The news is full of stories about how the economy has turned the corner, and not only will businesses start to grow; the few remaining companies will take off like rocket ships.

The new mood is optimism, and we are all relieved to see it.

How can you capitalize on this optimism with a mid-year summer party while you're still waiting to see all this business come in?

1) Pick your venue carefully. You can still look like a growing, profitable company if your venue is fabulous. The best way to do this on a budget is to throw the party outdoors. Nature is guaranteed to be lovely, but do make sure there's a sheltered area available in case of rain.

Some venues are still willing to make a deal to book up their spaces. Creative ideas are:

  • Minor league baseball stadiums - they are off the radar for many companies, but the venue is terrific for leaving a lasting impact on your employees and clients.
  • Take it on the water - if your business is in a coastal town, see if there's a sightseeing charter you can rent for a few hours. P.S. it's much less expensive if you have the party on the boat without leaving the dock.
  • City/State parks - if your employees are parents, they'll appreciate a family friendly venue. City and State parks have great facilities for keeping the kids occupied while you have a fun day together.

2) Splurge on ONE area. Because everyone is so aware of cost cutting measures, show some optimism by splurging on one aspect of your party. This gives the feeling of optimism while maintaining your cost control.

Splurge ideas (just pick one):

  • Top shelf liquor
  • Premium grade entrée meats
  • Fancy place settings
  • Thoughtful, quality attendee gift bags 

3) Invite your clients too. It will be good for your clients to see you treating your employees a little better, and to see them all interacting with each other in a social setting. And if your party looks big, you will leave the impression with your clients that yours will be one of the high-growth companies that comes out of the recession like a rocket. AND inviting clients allows you to entertain clients on the same budget that you had planned for just your employees.

Cheap and impactful. That's how we'll come out of this recession the fastest.