Skip to content

Corporate holiday parties

December 16, 2018

Last night was the Google Platforms & Ecosystem holiday party. Overall it was fun; they held it at the Exploratorium, so there were plenty of activities to keep attendees entertained (the Curious Contraptions exhibit was particularly cool). There was a blues band that was quite good, and the food was tasty (although we’d expected more of it; next time we’ll eat dinner beforehand). The party had a Candyland theme, so there was everything you’d need for a sugar rush. And they very conveniently provided bus transportation from the South Bay, so we didn’t have to worry about fighting traffic or finding parking up in the city.

Holiday party at the Exploratorium

I find it interesting to compare the different holiday parties I’ve been to and what they say about who the company thinks its employees are. The Google P&E party was geared toward engineers and scientists (it was held at the science museum, after all). Samsung Research held its holiday party (the only one they held in my six years there) at the San Jose Art Museum (which was a lot of fun, since it feels more natural to dress up for an art museum than for a science museum, and looking at the art was more of a change of pace then playing with science experiments). Samsung was on a big push to grow its User Experience Center, so it made sense to choose a venue that would appeal to people interested in art and design.

IBM Research’s holiday party, by contrast, was targeted squarely at families with young kids. They held it on a Saturday afternoon, kids could get their picture taken with Santa, and they had balloon artists, face painters, and caricaturists. Plus the kids could decorate cookies, and they usually had a variety of arts and crafts activities. Our daughter always loved it and looked forward to it every year; I was squarely in their expected demographic while I worked there.

While our daughter is old enough now that we can leave her on her own while we attend a holiday party, I’d personally enjoy it if Google’s party became a more family-oriented affair. But my impression of their expected audience is that they’re primarily targeting twenty-somethings who are either single or who don’t have kids, so I’m not holding my breath on that one.

From → Musings

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: