Fun: Bermuda Rentals can help you turn a routine party into an unforgettable event.
PHOTOS SUPPLIED Fun: Bermuda Rentals can help you turn a routine party into an unforgettable event.

In these austere times, blighted by job losses and insecurity, the company party is usually one of the first casualties to get the chop.

Businesses wanting to reduce costs will scrap this year’s party in order to tighten their belts.

But — at a time when people are working harder than ever to survive — it doesn’t do much for staff morale and camaraderie.

And shouldn’t you be thanking your staff for pulling out the stops to keep your company afloat?

It needn’t cost the Earth to throw a party to thank your employees for going the extra mile. And at Bermuda Rentals Ltd, owner Douglas Howe can help you plan some creative options to keep the costs down.

Mr Howe said: “We’re now in the fourth year of financial contraction and some businesses want to show their staff and the general public some kind of appreciation, to say ‘thanks for sticking by us’.

“People want to do something for their staff but don’t want to break the bank.

“These are tough times and gone are the days when you could have a huge event and pay thousands of dollars for drinks and so on. We don’t have that anymore with companies having to shrink back, so they’re now looking for creative ways to thank their staff and the general public for staying with them.

“It doesn’t take a lot of money to do this but it really goes a long way. It’s letting them know you’re still here, and you could call it ‘customer appreciation’ or ‘open house’. I guess you could call this ‘branding’.

“Or you could have a product promotion to showcase a new product, and get a dunk tank and a barbecue, to help drum up business.

“You could do it in-house, doing your own food, picking up the hire items and then returning them. That way you can control the costs and it won’t cost thousands of dollars.

“One company used to do a corporate event and has had to dial it back and retool. This time they realized that just by doing a few simple things themselves could save them up to 20 per cent of the costs.

“Hiring staff and putting tents up is an expensive part of any event, together with food and drink.

“So if you put up your own tent, bake your own brownies, flip your burgers and have the general manager MC the events and games, you can save yourselves quite a bit of change.

“You could also hold the party at someone’s home or at a public park on the weekend, if you get a permit.”

Bermuda Rentals Ltd hires out: Party items; tables and chairs; fun castles; marquee and canopy tents; lighting; inflatables; china and flatware; fun foods (cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones); chocolate fountains; costumes; and catering equipment. It also has generators, freezers, fridges, ice chests, soup kettles, grills and greaseless fryers for hire.

Party items include: Bubble and fog machines; dunk tanks; ring toss; ball toss; Downpour Derby; wheel of fortune; Batter Up Benny; raffle drum; Frog Ride; volleyball set; He Man Striker; Spin Art; Pitch Burst; and Boom Burst.

Mr Howe added: “At Bermuda Rentals, our event planners are free. We can put together a great price for you, and it will be a lot of fun without breaking the bank.

“You could have melon or pie eating contests, egg tosses, tug-o-war, fun castles and other fun games.”

“You can coordinate the food and get the liquor yourselves, or get a chef on-site and hire the bar and catering. You can keep a party to under $5,000 but if you can do a lot of the organizing and supplies on your own, you could throw a party for less than $2,000.

“Why not hold a staff picnic or party? You can give employees different tasks, such as bringing different items.

“The variables are the number of people, the time and the amount of liquor.

“Throwing a party can help camaraderie. Our target market is the smaller companies who just want to say ‘thank you’ to their staff for sticking with them. Times have been hard and we’re still not out of the woods.

“Staff are worried about their jobs but this is a sign of appreciation for them.”

However, he added a note of optimism for the future of the island’s economy.

“We hope 2013 will be better but the reality is it will be 2014 before we get to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

“But things are getting better and it’s okay to have a bit of a party.

“It’s okay to feel good and to have a bit of a party. You don’t have to go out and blow the wad, you can just have a little bit of fun.”

Bermuda Rentals Ltd, 25 Serpentine Road, Pembroke. Call 292-7172 or e-mail