GigMasters Unwraps Christmas and Holiday Party Trends for 2009


Companies, in this uncertain economy, are forging ahead with their holiday party plans and focusing on what's important to their guests: food and entertainment. 66% of companies report that their holiday party budgets are staying the same or increasing over last year, with food and entertainment representing 74% of budgets, according to the first annual Company Holiday Party Survey conducted by (the Internet's #1 entertainment booking service

This holiday season, many companies are bringing the party to the office. says Kevin Kinyon, Co-Founder of With good catered food and great entertainment, you've got a party!

Where companies are spending

FOOD remains a top priority for holiday parties. The greatest portion of party budgets, 58%, is spent on food. Dinner buffets and "hors d'oeuvres & desserts" are the most popular offerings.

ENTERTAINMENT, representing 16% of party budgets, is on the rise, especially as more companies are hosting their parties at the office. GigMasters' entertainment bookings for corporate holiday parties are up 17% over last year. Companies spend an average of $652 on party entertainment; comedians, cover bands, balloon twisters, DJ's, impersonators and of course Santa Clauses are the most requested.

GUESTS are still welcome. 86% of companies invite their employee's spouses and significant others, and don't want to cut back on guests as a way to save money.

This year our holiday party is all about celebrating the season with our employees. With good food, fun activities and quality entertainment, we think this is going to be a fun event for everyone, says Katryna Martin, Corporate Recruiter at Red Roof Inns, Inc.We were able to save on costs by holding the event at a local banquet hall.

Where companies are cutting

VENUE & DECORATIONS, representing 25% of budgets, are often cited as the main areas in which companies are cutting back. To save on venue, companies are choosing "free" locations like the office or someone's home. Many are eliminating decorations all together, or are looking to re-use decorations from prior parties.

ALCOHOL is another area in which companies are saving. Having a cash bar or limiting the bar to wine and beer are cited as common ways to cut costs.

GIFTS & PRIZES Some companies that offered prizes or gifts in past years say that they are eliminating these extra's. Others are seeking vendors to donate the prizes and gifts.

About the data: Over 6,000 companies used to request entertainment for their holiday parties in 2008 and 2009. Further, a survey of 120 companies was conducted by in November 2009. The data points referenced herein are based on these two sources.

Companies / organizations that have used GigMasters to find their '09 holiday party entertainment: Home Depot, The Pepsi Bottling Group, Bank of America, U.S. Navy, Yamaha Motor Canada, Coca Cola, Red Roof Inn®, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GlaxoSmithKline, DeVry University, Walmart, United Steel Workers Union, Northwestern Mutual Financial, Staples Inc., CableOne, Booz Allen Hamilton, US Airways, McKesson, and Warner Bros. Studios.© is the #1 online entertainment booking service, guiding party planners and hosts to the right entertainment for every event. With the Internet's largest nationwide database of client-rated performers for live music and variety entertainment, this Redding, CT-based business boasts a database of over 6,500 performers including live bands, wedding musicians, party DJs, impersonators, hypnotists, stand-up comedians, jazz trios, balloon twisters, bagpipers, string quartets, soloists and more. has helped facilitate more than 80,000 bookings since its inception in 1997, including over 20,000 in 2009. The site, which was founded by Kevin Kinyon and Michael Caldwell, attracts 20,000 daily visitors*, throughout North America. is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, TRUSTe, and is also a VeriSign Secured website. For more information, please visit

*Source: Google Analytics