Corporate Holiday Parties Get Boost from Economy

November 8, 2006 ( - The percentage of companies sponsoring a holiday party has increased for 2006, according to findings of Battalia Winston International's Annual Survey on Corporate Holiday Celebrations - a statistic the firm has found is directly linked to the health of the economy.

According to a press release from the executive search firm on the study’s findings, 94% of businesses surveyed said they will be conducting some type of holiday celebration this year – a 7% increase from 2005. The study found 74% of celebrations will be evening affairs, compared to 26% taking place at a luncheon.

More than two-thirds (77%) of the 110 American businesses surveyed for the study said their celebration will take place off-site, while 23% said their celebration will take place at the office. More than half (52%) said only employees are invited to the celebration, and 37% said spouses will also be allowed. The vast majority (95%) are not inviting clients, according to the release.

Twenty-eight percent of companies said they will conduct more expensive parties this year, an 11% increase from last year. Two-thirds of respondents said this year’s celebration will cost about the same as last year.

“Throughout the years, we’ve learned that the percentage of company parties is directly linked to the health of the economy. The strength of the stock market combined with stable interest rates and a drop in energy costs in recent months has given employers the confidence to celebrate again,” Battalia Winston CEO Dale Winston said in the release.

Most (91%) holiday parties will be paid for by employers, according to study results, with 4% of companies saying employees are footing the bill and 5% saying employees will be contributing to the bill. Only 26% of companies said they are expecting to have a more lavish party, while 16% said the parties are going to be more modest. When asked if the recent emphasis on proper corporate governance had affected party planning, 65% of respondents said no and 35% said it did.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said their celebrations will not include gift giving – a practice that Battalia Winston said has been declining since the late 1990’s.