October 26, 2018
I was recently scrolling through Instagram when a meme popped up stating, “if Halloween is her favorite holiday she’s probably mentally unstable *cry laughing emoji*.” As Halloween is undoubtedly and unapologetically my favorite holiday, I thought, whoever wrote that must be so boring and lame. And while I normally wouldn’t spend more than half a second analyzing a sexist meme created by a stranger I’ll never have the privilege of knowing, it made me think how lucky I was to be surrounded by people of the same (apparently unstable) mentality.
Is it crazy to want to be someone or something else for a day? No @resting.bitchfacememes, it’s not. It’s FUN. Halloween is a day dedicated to creativity. It encourages wackiness, promotes rebellious behavior, and discourages any judgement or restrictions. Being a design agency, we can use this day as an outlet to express the buckets of creativity we carry however we’d like. No rules. No constraints. No catches. No brief. NO BRIEF.
Thus, the manifestation of the Halloween party. It just makes sense. It’s a living experience that not only reflects our creative and unique minds, but also gives us a chance to celebrate those qualities that make us different (not to sound too Hallmark-ey). Each year we bring our CBX creativity and talent to life through this experience, making it the most anticipated and popular event of the year. It’s an embodiment of our culture and brand values—bring people together, be all-inclusive, strive to be different, go all out. And each year it’s a success.
When the idea of the Halloween party was originally conceptualized, it was decided that it would be a “for the people, by the people” sort of gig. Partners would provide budget, and employees would had free reign (albeit a few parameters to avoid getting sued) to decide what this party would consist of and how it would be carried out. Again, NO BRIEF. This flexibility results in high company participation and endless possibility for an unmatched experience that our employees are proud and eager to produce.
“Every year [the party] takes on a life of its own with the theme, décor, events, games, and entertainment—it’s a good collaborative of the CBX spirit,” says Bill Walters, Creative Recourses Director and longtime Halloween party-attendee. “It embodies the creativity and creative sphere of this agency.”
When I asked a few of my co-workers what they loved most about the party, the general consensus, other than it being a “bitchin’ time” (direct quote from a CBXer), was seeing the theme come to life through the decorations and costumes. We take our costumes very seriously. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
And like costumes, the décor also reflects the creative spirit of this agency since we make most of the decorations in-house from scratch: life-size cutouts, floor-to-ceiling window decals, huge sign displays, and more. Yes, we use a lot of foam core. Yes, it takes a lot of hands. Yes, we have to entice our employees with pizza and beer the night before to help set up a display this large and detailed. But lucky for us, most people are happy to get their hands dirty and contribute—because this is “our” event. We all come together and get shit done.
And while it may be a lot of work to put this production on, the result is an incomparable experience that leaves an impact on each guest and enhances impressions of CBX as brand. “As working adults, you run into maybe one event a year (if you’re lucky) that is truly immersive,” says Senior Client Manager and 1-year party veteran, Dave Macari. “It’s not every day, week, or even month where we can dress up in costume and go to a themed party fully catered and with a stocked bar without paying an insane cover. This party is something that truly separates CBX from any company I’ve ever worked at.”
I promise we didn’t pay Dave to write that or feed him lines, but that’s the sort of response the party aims to receive from each guest. And based on feedback from friends and family who say they want to work at CBX after coming to the party (because I guess they think we don’t work and just party like this all the time?), as well as the number of past employees who return through our doors each year, we’ve been pretty successful in achieving that so far. Well, it’s either positive feedback like that or, “I’m pretty sure I had fun, but I don’t really remember.” That open bar is a bitch.