10 things I learned from crashing an ad agency’s party

Want to create buzz and goodwill about your company? Throw a big party and give everyone free booze—along with nine other ideas.

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Recently, I attended (read: crashed) an ad agency party Chicago. Every year, Optimus, a big ad firm, throws a “block party” for its clients and employees.

I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of what it would be like to enter Don Draper’s world, 21st Century style. (Note: It involves a lot of plaid and aviator sunglasses.)

Waltzing into the party was easier than expected. After saying the name of my employer and getting my ID checked, I was given a wristband and was greeted by throngs of artsy-types: digital media directors, graphic designers, and copywriters. I watched them all checking out each other’s texting ability, color sense, and grammar, respectively.

But as it turns out, I wasn’t the only party crasher. Apparently, everybody else was, too. This party was open to the public—including a few tourists, who said they just happened to stumble into the party and had no idea what it was for.

Slightly disappointed that I didn’t technically crash a party, there was only one thing left I could do—report.

If you want to throw a kick-ass company party, here’s what I learned:

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