The holidays are right around the corner, and you want to throw a festive corporate event for your team and their families. Luckily, there are professional Christmas performers who can bring energy and fun to help you make it truly memorable. One of our favorite Santas – Santa True – has some fresh ideas and handy tips to help your event go gliding like a one-horse open sleigh… smoothly!
Some people may be nervous about booking a Santa Claus for a corporate event for fear of offending people of other religions. Generally speaking, Santa Claus and other Christmas performers have been such cultural icons in mass media that they perform worldwide and are often seen as secular characters. Your professional performer can provide a jolly non-denominational vibe to your celebration and greet your guests with “Happy Holidays”, “Merry Christmas”, or even “Happy Chanukah.”
Festive Activities for Your Santa
- Stage a “Big Entrance.” Your Santa could have a high-energy, fun call-and-response routine that gets folks cheering! He can also follow up with a meet-and-greet.
- Act as an event greeter. Although that’s not as fun as a Big Entrance, Santa can stand at the door and welcome guests.
- Lead the way as Master of Ceremonies. Santa can make announcements and keep the energy moving during the event.
- Participate in a photo booth. Let Santa goof around with guests in a photo booth or slow-motion video booth.
- Stage photos on a Christmas set. You can provide props, a large Santa chair, and side seating for large groups for a photographer to set up photos. Don’t forget group photos for each company team!
- Distribute gifts. Let Santa do what he does best and hand out holiday (or end-of-year) bonuses, gifts, and awards. Or he can help with gift exchanges and swaps by moving things along and keeping them fun!
- Ho-ho-hosting duties. If you’re holding a holiday raffle or trivia contest, let the big man take the lead.
- Be a jolly judge. Holding a gingerbread house, ornament, or cookie decorating contest? Maybe your team competes in an Ugly Sweater contest? Santa can determine the winners.
- Break the ice on the dance floor. No one gets folks out to boogie like Ol’ St. Nick! If you have a Mr. and Mrs. Claus, they can take the floor together for a very sweet moment.
- Mix and mingle. Santa can make his way around the event and take “Elfies” (selfies with Santa) with your guests.
- Help with your season’s greetings. Don’t forget those who couldn’t make it to the festivities! Santa can record a video message for them, or even participate in a video conference call for remote workers.
- Lead a sing-a-long. Well-known holiday tunes are more fun when they’re sung with Kris Kringle! Or take it up a notch… karaoke with Santa, anyone?
- Storytime with Santa. CEO Santa can show off his raconteur skills with interesting stories about the history of Christmas and his adventures at North Pole Industries.
Think Outside the Box
While “Breakfast with Santa” is always a popular theme, your event could be even more unique! Try featuring unusual activities for your team such as horseback riding, arcade games, bowling, or beach day. Be sure to check with your venue to make sure there isn’t another Santa on the premises already. And if you host your corporate event in a public venue, your Santa is sure to have some fans, so be prepared for some gawkers!
Things Your Santa Will Need to Know
- Your event theme and schedule. Your Santa may have various outfits or looks to complement your theme, whether you are hosting a fancy gala or a folksy breakfast. If Santa is not the only featured performer, coordinate the schedule and the events for all your performers.
- The activities Santa will lead or host. If your event is large enough, you may need to assign an escort (or team of escorts) to assist Santa, like mascot handlers at amusement parks.
- Age of attendees. Will your event be focused on just adults or will your employees bring their children for a family event? If this event includes families, how many children and in what age ranges?
- Extra details. Does your corporate audience speak several languages? Are there handicap-accessible areas? Any sensitive subjects to avoid?
Details for Your Event Planners
- Booking your Santa. Before you book, be sure to look at your Santa’s photos, videos, and reviews from past events. Also, a professional Christmas performer should carry a current background check and performing insurance. Using GigSalad to book your Santa ensures you’re covered by our Worry-Free Guarantee in case something goes wrong.
- Food and drink. Be thoughtful about food and beverages in regard to Santa’s beard, white gloves, and his special outfit. If there is barbecue sauce, cookie decorating, chocolate, colored punch, or pancakes with syrup, stock up on wet wipes and towels so that children do not accidentally smear Santa with things that can stain. Please hand out sugary treats after children see Santa. Furry and sticky are not a good combo (and that goes for glitter, too)! Typically, Santa does not eat publicly at an event but a to-go plate of food may put someone on the Nice List.
- Taking care of the guests. For adults-only events, if you serve alcohol, assign a team member to deal with any participants who have had too much to drink. Your Santa will not drink on the job and should not be pressured or asked to do so. And remember, performers are not babysitters. Always have two adults in the room with children for liability purposes.
- Taking care of Santa. Consider how and when Santa will arrive at your event. Have a nearby parking spot reserved for Santa, or arrange for him to park valet. Plan for your Santa’s entrance to be approximately 30 minutes after everyone has arrived, or just after the end of the main course. Confirm before your event that your Santa has the proper address of your event location as well as the correct travel time to the venue.
- Before the event. Set up your tableau for Christmas photos! Be sure that it’s well air-conditioned and not against glass surfaces that could reflect flash photography. Provide a sturdy chair or bench that allows Santa to keep his feet flat on the floor. If you have assigned photographers, they should frame both of Santa’s hands in the picture, ensure he is smiling, check that his beard looks good, and his suit is not rumpled. Santa can’t see if he needs to fix anything, so the photographers can help. Have a separate table where guests can place food, drinks, or coats. A nearby mirror is helpful for guests to ensure they are photo-ready.
Planning a home visit from Santa? Check out this article for even more handy tips. Also, if you really enjoyed your Christmas performer’s visit, please send them a great review and give referrals. And when possible, send them any photos that can be shared. If you want them to return next year, book them immediately in January. Thank you for helping make Christmas magic possible!
Santa True has over 25+ years of storytelling experience and loves making folks smile with his singing, storytelling, and truly interactive style. Thank you for the great tips, Santa True!