Talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, which represents acting and music heavyweights including Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and Kanye West, will treat 1,200 employees and guests from the Los Angeles office to a holiday dinner at the Bazaar, an upscale restaurant in Beverly Hills.
Revelers at this year's William Morris event, taking place Thursday, can look forward to a photo booth, movie karaoke (sort of like normal karaoke, but players act out scenes from famous films) and possibly a return of last year's foie gras wrapped in cotton candy.
And the Montage resort in Laguna Beach expects to welcome more than 1,000 of its employees and their families this Sunday to a breakfast with Santa, an annual party with an elaborate buffet, a photographer and a Santa Claus hired for the occasion.
"It's a way to thank our associates, many of whom work during the holidays," general manager Todd Orlich said. "It's only gotten bigger. In spite of everything else that has touched the economy, we always want to outdo ourselves every year."
John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., said it's just a matter of time before corporate holiday soirees make a comeback.
"The corporate holiday party scene is going to vary greatly across the country and in different industries," he said. "But, overall, we are probably still a year or more away from a widespread return to the types of festivities held prior to the recession."