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Tips for surviving office parties

Nearly 100 Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce members and associates attended the chamber's second annual Office Party earlier this month, learning tips for hosting safe and healthy celebrations.

"Our annual Office Party events provide opportunities for Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce members to network while learning helpful tips for hosting safe and healthy events of their own," said Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Workplace Well-Being Committee Chair and Health Care Service Corporation Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Handel.  "At the event, attendees experienced first-hand how they can create exceptional, safe events with interesting food and non-alcoholic beverage options."

The Chicagoland chamber's Office Party featured a beverage station that served alcohol-removed wines, non-alcohol beers, sparkling waters, exotic teas, and sodas. In addition, a self-service beverage station featured aqua frescas made from local seasonal fruits.

Food stations were strategically placed in each room so guests could enjoy healthy finger foods, including Mediterranean mezze platters, vegetable crudites, kabobs, and sweets of fruits and yogurts.

To demonstrate tips for safe and healthy celebrations at the Office Party, the chamber's lobby and conference rooms were transformed from their everyday look and feel through the use of festive decor, linens, and accents sprinkled with glitter. 

"In addition to demonstrating healthy and safe food and beverage options, we also emphasized that guests work to transform their everyday spaces to reflect the ambience of their special occasion," said Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Education and Workforce Development Peggy Luce. "We also promoted that guests 'dress for their day,' showing how allowing attendees to 'come as they are' – either in power suits or business casual – may help facilitate a stress-free event.  The message is to enjoy events with safe and healthy refreshments, leaving ready for your evening activities after the party."

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Workplace Well-Being Committee is partially supported by funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Program. The committee encourages Chicago area companies to take positive action toward workforce substance abuse prevention by supporting a workplace culture without stigmas about behavioral health issues; providing employee education, awareness, and resources regarding substance misuse, abuse, and addiction; and adopting an integrated approach to the delivery of healthcare benefits, wellness programs, health risk assessments,, disability coverage, workers compensation, and employee assistance programs. 

Kapow Events offers the "Top 5 Must Do's" for getting through and even enjoying your company's holiday party this season.

1. If you're bringing a spouse or guest, send them a quick email the day of the party that includes: Who will be there so they are familiar with people's names, and at least one big project happening at the office so they can chat with others if left alone.

2. If there's a Secret Santa office gift, spend a little extra so that whoever gets your gift is happy and doesn't feel cheated.

3. Bring mints and floss to keep your pearly whites free of food, and your breath smelling fresh.

4. Clear your schedule for that evening. Don't be too busy to socialize with your work peers and never be the first or the last to leave.

5. Show up for work the next day regardless of how you feel and regardless of what happened at the event.

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