4 Embarrassing Corporate Holiday Party Stories And How To Avoid

2 ladies whispering to each other at an embarrassing corporate holiday party

Whether you love or loathe the corporate holiday party season, we think you’ll LOL at these 4 party events that went terribly wrong.

The corporate holiday party season is upon us again. It’s a time of overindulgence and lame office parties.

Place your bets. Will Stan’s toupee fly across the dance floor again? Is 2019 the year that Shelly’s dress, which is always three sizes too small, manages to contain her?

Who will be brave enough to tell the boss that Paco Rabanne is so 1980’s and should be lightly sprayed, not bathed in? Oh, and does anyone know the name of the janitor?

NOTE: We can’t guarantee the authenticity of these stories but nevertheless, they’re entertaining and we are living in the era of ‘alternative facts’.

1. Consider bathroom size when choosing venues.

Determined to get their Christmas party right this year, the management team of a California based company, began planning four months in advance.

During the first meeting, they established what had gone wrong the previous year. Guests were bored so they left early, the one entertainer they had booked was embarrassingly rude. They had underestimated how much food they needed. The list of errors was long. 

So week by week they checked items off their to-do list, nothing was going to be missed this year. 

The event was to be held in an empty warehouse so they hired a professional company to decorate it – check. 

Catering company booked – check. 

Lots of entertainers; airbrush artists, caricature artists, DJ, and MC booked – check. 

Invitations sent and RSVP’s received – check. The list was complete.

Two hours before the event, the CEO arrived and he was a very happy man. The warehouse was decorated festively.  The tables and stage were done up beautifully. The various forms of entertainment were already set up and the staff was in place to greet the 700 guests due to arrive. He congratulated the management team on a job well done. 

“Right”, said the CEO “I’ll just use the bathroom before seeing myself out”. This was met with an uncomfortable silence. 

It was then that the staff realized their big error. They had overlooked restrooms. During the setup, everyone just used the one janitor’s restroom. This big warehouse was about to be filled with 700 people and one bathroom!

Waiting in a long bathroom line
How happy will party guests be with long bathroom lines? 👎

2. Double-check everything BEFORE the event!

Is there anything more fun than an alcohol-fueled scavenger hunt with a $1,000 prize?

A company in Rochester, New York was hosting clients for their New Year Eve corporate event. One of the team-building events included a city-wide scavenger hunt. 4 teams of four were grouped together each consisting of two staff and two clients.

After an hour of food and quite a few beverages later, the revelers were given maps showing the location of the first clue, the public library. With great merriment, the teams dashed off only to quickly return looking very puzzled.

It turns out the intern who had been asked to print the maps for the scavenger hunt was half asleep or something when printing them.

The now-unemployed intern had printed copies of Rochester, UK and not Rochester, NY.

"Can we get there from here?"

3. Hire the right entertainment and keep your britches on!

An anonymous Business Insider reader tells of a Christmas corporate party a few years ago held in a local hotel. The company had hired a hypnotist as the night’s entertainment.

Several people excitedly volunteered to be hypnotized on stage. Once hypnotized, the hypnotist told them the floor was covered in cash and they could take as much as they could carry.

“One of our employees immediately pulled her dress up and starting stuffing imaginary money into her pantyhose.” Yikes!

A very nervous hypnotist managed to stop her but not before 1000 of her coworkers saw.

“She was a good sport about it, and we decided not to hire a hypnotist in the future.” 

I bet they didn’t. More on this story at Business Insider.

4. Communicate with people in a way they understand.

A Middle Eastern company had just employed an American sales professional as their International Sales Manager. He was their first Western employee. Being that Christmas was only a few weeks away, the directors, wished to make him feel at home. They decided to welcome him by throwing a company holiday party.

The American wanted to say something at the party in Arabic to express his gratitude for everyone’s hospitality.  

Not knowing any Arabic, he asked his new secretary how to say, ‘thank you for your warm welcome’ in Arabic. He practiced for a couple of days until he felt confident with his pronunciation.

Walking down the corridor, he noticed two signs written in Arabic and English. In English, they say; Ladies and Gentlemen.  He asked a passerby, how do you pronounce this, as he pointed at the sign?

The day of the event arrived and albeit a little nervous, he mostly felt confident. Standing in front of his peers, he heartfeltly said in Arabic, “thank you for your warm welcome ladies and gentlemen”.

The room broke out in laughter and applause.

He later learned that what he had actually said was “thank you for your warm welcome women’s toilet and men’s urinal”.

When you realize what you really said! 🤦‍♂️

Moral of these corporate holiday party horror stories

Planning a successful event takes more than most of us can anticipate. Take a load off your mind and hire professionals to plan and execute your corporate holiday party. 

Here at Airbrush Events, we pride ourselves on professionalism. We will deliver not only high-quality wearable artwork but your guests will enjoy customizing their swag and watching our artists bring it to life. 

We have a couple slots open still for the upcoming 2019 holiday season. Click here to schedule your event. 

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