It's the season for holiday parties, and this year many workplaces are changing how they plan these events, amid numerous reports of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
From venues to the amount of booze served, there is a big push to keep things professional this year, but event planners say that does not mean the parties are off.
DPI Events, a Boston based planning company, is flooded with festivities for corporate clients. While workplace scandal has not been a part of their planning conversations, they have noticed a trend this season.
"I will say we are doing less open bars and more drink tickets, like maybe two drinks per person," Cara Pratt, vice president of business development at DPI Events said.
Pratt has also noticed more companies looking for creative activities that take the focus off of alcohol, such as scavenger hunts and casino nights. She says many are also choosing to host their celebrations in the office, instead of an outside location.
"It helps to keep it in an environment people are comfortable in and have it really be a holiday party about them," Pratt said.
According to a survey done by Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc., 49 percent of companies plan to offer an open bar this year, which is down from 62 percent in 2016.
"I think that’s a smart idea," Katie Callahan of Boston said. "Because you don’t have to worry about alcohol and things getting inappropriate."
The Northeast Human Resources Association said it is good to see companies taking a hard look at holiday parties, but alcohol is not an excuse for inappropriate behavior and a zero-tolerance culture that should be in place all year round.