December is such a magical month. Love and giving are in the air. Most are wishing colleagues, friends and loved ones happy greetings. It’s no different here at Flow Tech. We all love to celebrate. So, celebrating a time of joy and happiness makes it even more enjoyable for us. Luckily we have a leader who feels the same way. Every year he shows us his appreciation for our hard work with some yuletide cheer at our annual holiday party, and more recently our 3rd annual Yankee Swap. Today’s post gives you a glimpse of how we like to celebrate at Flow Tech…
This year’s holiday party was held on Saturday, December 10th at the Hartford Canoe Club in East Hartford. The Canoe Club is a private club located on Riverside Drive and is positioned right on the Connecticut River. Fortunately, for us, they rent out the facility for private functions on nights and weekends when the members are not in need of it. We actually tried to reserve this venue for our party last year, but the date was snagged before we were able to reserve it. We made sure to secure it early this year.
The Canoe Club is a long-standing club for boating, fishing and game and the atmosphere is one of tradition with uniquely-rustic touches woven throughout. If taxidermy displays are not your thing, I wouldn’t suggest this venue, yet, they decorated for the season magically! Upon one of our pre-party visits they told us how they get a big Christmas tree and place decorations all around the facility. That was a serious understatement! The ambiance that they created for us was stunning. A fire was blazing in the hearth, the tree was giant and gorgeously decorated. They also took care of all of the table center pieces which went beautifully with the winter woodland theme of the party. The club also featured some hidden humor which we all appreciated. The staff was eager to explain about long-standing traditions kept due to club members’ past experiences.
The decorations and vibe weren’t the only thing they nailed. The food was out-of-this-world. Unlike a typical banquet facility with cookie cutter menus, the Canoe Club’s manager, Sarah, sat down with us before the party to go over our budget and the type of food our crowd would love. Together we came up with gourmet hors d’ oeuvres and a 4-course plated menu that left everyone full and satisfied.
As with our own Flow Tech tradition, Rich Harper, Owner and President, prepared a special “speech” for our hearing pleasure. We use the term “speech” very loosely, because on any given year it can be a song, poem, or even a rap in which he incorporates every employee and the job that they do. This year’s poem was recited to the rhythm of the Night Before Christmas and left everyone smiling from ear to ear.
Rich wasn’t the only one with a surprise up his sleeve. Nichole, Director of Marketing, made a splash with her seemingly innocent slideshow. She started the show off with some quiet music and nice pictures of everyone and their spouses at past holiday parties, which led into other work functions throughout the year, like Flowtoberfest. Suddenly the music stopped and “Warning some content might not be suitable. Viewer discretion is advised.” popped on the screen. The music instantly changed to a Mad Russian’s Christmas and the slideshow went into a hilarious blooper real of all Flow Tech employees. From candid shots gone a rye to embarrassing college yearbook pictures, she managed to dig up some dirt on everyone. The crowed was left in tears and demanded to see the slideshow again. It was definitely a fun surprise that spiced things up a bit.
After the slideshow was over dessert and cordials were served. Everyone enjoyed themselves so much that they stayed chatting until almost midnight! By that time we realized we needed to get out of there so the staff could go home themselves. Some of us weren’t quite done with the night and it was decided to continue the party at McLaddens in West Hartford. Once at McLaddens we all enjoyed a few more holiday spirits while listening and dancing to the live band. It was quite the night- truly magical!
We didn’t end the festivities with the holiday party. In 2014 we started another tradition to celebrate the season with an office Yankee Swap (a.k.a. Chinese Auction, White Elephant Exchange, Grab Bag, etc.). This year we decided to have it on the Thursday before we broke for the Christmas holiday, December 22nd. We hosted it in the conference room around lunch time and served food and libations for anyone that wanted to participate.
Some debate broke out about changing the rules this year, but we decided to keep them the same and discuss it before next year. Everyone was impressed with the creative $20 gift ideas. From a Himalayan Pink Salt Cooking Slab and specialty beer to an office basket ball hoop and mini drone – there was something for everyone. Of course after the mini drone was opened everyone had to try it out. Just as a mini basketball game broke out too. We definitely know how to unwind here at Flow Tech. All of which wouldn’t be possible without an amazing leader who trusts us to work hard so we can play hard.
We hope that you and your families had a safe and happy holiday, or are continuing to celebrate whatever holiday your recognize. We look forward to the New Year to welcome in 2017! For more information about any of the party details including a contact for the Hartford Canoe Club feel free to reach out to Nichole Petersen. Also, if you feel Flow Tech may be the place for you to start or continue your career contact Nichole again. For general information about our products and services you can always contact us and visit out website. Don’t forget to show us some love by following us on social media too:Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube!