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Insider’s tips for kicking off the year of the ram 2015

Insider’s tips for kicking off the year of the ram 2015

Are you tired of planning the same old boring office parties? Studies show that nine out of 10 employees say that synergic team dynamics are directly correlated with positive interactions made at company celebrations.

With the 2015 lunar New Year fast approaching--on Feb. 19--many Asian-American businesses are likely rewarding their hardworking employees with group karaoke while eating copious amounts of roast duck, courtesy of the company. Sounds like fun times, but maybe you already did that last year…and the year before that.  What now?

Producing a buzzworthy lunar New Year celebration is about marrying traditional concepts with modern accents.

Symbolizing good fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture, the combination of red and gold that is synonymous with the Lunar New Year can be given an updated, sophisticated look by using bold shades. Skip the standard Crayola red tablecloth in favor of a crinkle taffeta tablecloth in a dynamic lava tone. Gold lacquered chargers and chiavari chairs make your table setting look chic and modern.

Keeping with the same color palette, red and yellow peonies, such as Kansas and Bartzella, as decor are great conversation starters. As China’s national flower and a symbol of wealth and beauty, peonies can do double decor duty as festive, low-lying centerpieces or as an echo of the table setting and overhanging lanterns.

No budget or patience for flora? Use lighting as decor by washing the room in bold red and warm amber tones. Adding just a few uplights can completely transform an ordinary space to create the “wow” factor.

Of course, no celebration would be complete without mouth-watering food and lots of it.

Instead of tray-passed appetizers, transport your guests to the hustle-and-bustle of dim sum on a Sunday afternoon with assorted bites served from push carts meandering through the crowd. Dim sum is not only ubiquitously enjoyed, but are simultaneously trendy and nostalgically reminiscent of the ingot-shaped pot stickers that families stuff and pleat together on Lunar New Year. For those looking for a non-traditional main course, start off the Year of the Ram with roasted rack of lamb or spicy lamb skewers.

If the Human Resources Department needs a reprieve, consult these professional tips to breathe fresh ideas and energy into your company’s lunar New Year celebration or brand activations.

Amanda Ma is CEO of Innovate Marketing Group, an event marketing and management agency in Pasadena, Calif.

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