Corporate Events, Social Events, Weddings

Getting Your Guests Home Safe

by Julia Eddington

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Company holiday parties: a way for companies to show employee appreciation by offering loads of appetizers, festive decorations and music, and, often, an open bar. Company holiday parties are a way for employees of all levels to mingle, form bonds outside of the office, and see each other in a more relaxed light. But often attendees get a little too relaxed, and don’t hold themselves to the unwritten two-drink office party rule. In that case, party sponsors need a way to get their guests home safely.

In fact, social etiquette dictates that party hosts should have plans in place to ferry revelers safely home when the lights go down. The unfortunate truth is that, when left to their own devices (and an open bar), many guests are likely to get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t. And when those guests are your employees, it’s imperative to offer good, legal ways for guests to both enjoy the party and make it home afterwards.

Below, we’ve put together the best designated driver options for companies to help ensure their employees get home safely after enjoying a holiday party this season.


Often the best way for companies to ensure their employees’ safe travels is to organize transportation ahead of time–an even classier move is to foot the bill ahead of time, too. Enter: UberEvents.

At the beginning of November, Uber launched their latest venture, UberEvents, nationally–just in time for the holiday season. The new service offers companies the option of providing rides both to and from their holiday party, and it allows hosts to decide ahead of time how much they’ll pay for each guest’s ride.

Holiday party tip: Have a plan in place to get revelers safely home when the lights go down.

Before the big event, organizers “customize a guest pass with the date, time, and promo code.” Then, when guests request an UberX ride, all they have to do is enter the code. Companies can decide to cover all costs, or a portion of each ride for each employee. Not only can UberX cost much less than taxis, shuttles, and party buses, this option can reduce (or eliminate) the need for parking and valets at the event.

Taxi Vouchers

Many taxi companies and car services offer vouchers or coupons that can be purchased ahead of time and distributed to guests at the event. In this case, companies can let their employees know ahead of time that they will each receive a taxi coupon worth say, $20, at the end of the evening, and employees can plan accordingly. Depending on the service (and city) employers may even be able to negotiate a discount. Holiday party hosts can then either arrange to call cars and taxis in areas where they aren’t readily available on the street, or they can leave the details up to their guests. Either way, employees can plan to take a taxi home before the evening even begins which will help reduce unsafe driving.

You can arrange for your guests to get home safely before the party even starts with ride vouchers.

Public Transportation Passes

For companies located in large metropolitan areas with reliable public transportation, transit passes can be a good post-holiday party option. Companies can purchases metro and bus passes before the holiday party and then offer them to all guests. It might not be the most luxurious way to get home, but public transportation is a solid option for ensuring no guest drives when they’ve had too much (at the bar or on the dance floor).


AAA offers several options to help guests get home safely. While AAA is a national program, its services vary by state and region, so you’ll have to check options in your area ahead of time. Some of AAA’s best options (remember, they aren’t available everywhere):

Tow to go: AAA will pay to have a car towed to anywhere in a ten-mile radius, for free—and they’ll bring the owner home, too. The service is meant to be a last resort, so hosts can’t make an appointment ahead of time and shouldn’t plan for all guests to use the service, but it can be helpful in a pinch.

Holiday Safe Ride Program: many AAA clubs offer ride services over the holidays for both members and nonmembers. The program isn’t nationwide, but it is offered in many areas.

If all else fails, companies can always offer employees reimbursement for their travel expenses–covering either the entire bill, or a prearranged limit. Whether your holiday party will be an all-out extravaganza or a more low-key shindig in the office, planning for your employees to get home safely is the prudent thing to do this season.


Working with the new owner and staff at The Melody Event Center has been a great experience, and I know several other friends have had or attended events here over the years with nothing but positive things to say.
If you’re looking for a classic/historic venue for your wedding, rehearsal dinner, corporate event or charity function… this is a great place!


I’ve been to three events in the Melody thus far and for every one the building is looking beautiful and well maintained. bathrooms are always in working order, no concerns over maintenance anywhere. It’s a beautiful building, perfect for and adaptable to so many events. I look forward to going to many more events here.


The only times I’ve ever been to the Melody are the annual Vampire’s Masquerade Ball hosted by Lady Raven. Every year the venue outdoes itself with decor, lighting, performances, and bar selections.
The ballroom lends itself perfectly to a night of dark romance with big columns, high ceilings, and just enough space to make the masses comfortable.
I would love to recreate the looks I have seen for the Masquerade ball for a wedding.Haven’t been disappointed yet, and you better believe I’ll be
ack next year, and the year after!


We went to Melody Ballroom for some ping pong action after our nephew was rejected at Pips and Bounce even during under age hours. Melody was a fun atmosphere with some pro ping pong players. Little kids were even pros. It was great to watch and play. The service was so friendly…finally…just the way I heard Portland people to be. Was kind of losing hope in that rumor but Melody helped bring it back. Portland people can be friendly. We had a blast playing ping pong! Thanks Melody Ballroom! Leaving Portland today with some ping pong memories!


The melody ballroom was an amazing space to have a reception. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. It went so well, and we didn’t have anything go wrong! Dinner was talked about for days/weeks after, and Kevin was so amazing! He kept in contact with us a lot, and he made sure our big day was perfect! We were in the lower ballroom. Beautiful, funky, fun, and all around great! Wouldn’t have done it any other way. 🙂


We chose this venue for my daughter’s 15th and it was perfect, the staff was incredible. My event was magical I would highly recommend it..

Esme A.

Melanie K

Great place, nice people!
I wish to come back there some day!

Catalina N.

Had a great evening at the North by Northeast Community Health Clinic fundraiser. Staff was great, food great. The whole experience was so flawless. I would certainly consider them for a large event!


HANDS DOWN THE BEST EXPERIENCE WE EVER HAD! We were first introduced to Erin as the wedding coordinator back in Spring 2014 & really enjoyed her company and professionalism. We had a long 15-month engagement and was later introduced to Kevin who took over for Erin a few months into the planning process. We were actually quite nervous about this hand-off, but it was surprisingly seamless & painless.

Kate B.

We had our High School 45th reunion downstairs at the Melody Ballroom. Our event was successful. The food was awesome, Kevin at the Melody was so helpful. I would recommend this venue in a heartbeat.

Debbie B.