It's Time to Throw a Party for Your Agency

Don't Write Fun Completely Out of Your Budget

By Published on .

Peter Madden
Peter Madden
It's been a long few years, agency owners, don't you think? The economy still ain't what it used to be. You've seen layoffs followed by hope followed by confusion -- and, hopefully, an occasional spark that tells you things are coming back.

Have you been making the last couple of years feel longer to your staff? Have you chased fun out of the office? Did you cut the very notion of throwing a party out of the budget? You might want to reconsider.

I'm writing this on the day of a soiree we're throwing at AgileCat for clients, prospects and good friends of the agency. The theme -- Mad Masquerade -- a tribute to the ad game as it was 50 years ago, and a bit of a deconstruction of "Mad Men."

Besides probably feeling a little groggy tomorrow, I can't find a downside to this. In fact, despite the expense, it's worth every penny and in my mind our best advertisement. I'm lucky to have an incredible group of co-workers who conjured up the idea, creative that took it to the next level and a fun space that takes on the perfect vibe. And all the planning? Talk about bonding! A group of us spent time around one of our conference tables assembling invites a few Fridays back, from "the boss" (yours truly) to the newest staffer. It felt great.

As the last few weeks have built up in anticipation, everyone's played a role, from our design team who came up with cool physical invites, a kitschy little e-mail invite and an events staff that gets me the hell out of the way so they can do what they do best.

Sure, getting out on the town for a little bonding ain't bad, but why not throw down at your place of work? I don't care if you're Midtown or Midwest, sole proprietor or a staff of 500, get your ass up and start planning a party to celebrate absolutely nothing.

A few ground rules to the Agency Owner embarking on this adventure:

  1. Know your budget. That's going to dictate every move that's made.

  2. Realize that your idea for a theme may be good, but it's best if someone from your team comes up with the Big Idea.

  3. As stated previously, get the hell out of the way unless asked for input.

  4. Write checks with a smile on your face. It's not a cost; it's an investment.

  5. Make sure everyone/every team contributes and adds their touch. Every corner of your agency should feel pride in the event.

  6. Invite your family. They're wondering what the hell you're up to anyway.

  7. Invite your friends from the industry who are looking for work. Wouldn't it feel great to be at the heart of that kind of connection?

  8. Make a 30-second speech thanking the real people who made it happen.

Let me know how it goes. Let's face it -- we're all sick of hearing how tough it is or experiencing how tough it is -- so why not throw a humdinger and laugh with the people who got you here and keep getting you there. Ya heard?

That's it for now. Gotta' go start our own sparks and get this fire going.

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