Tech or treat: Check out the Halloween parties these 9 Chicago tech companies threw

by Alton Zenon III
November 1, 2018

Halloween celebrations are opportunities to express interests and creativity in a fun and engaging way. In the workplace, they’re also a great way for coworkers to bond.

We spoke to nine companies about their Halloween festivities this year, and how the festivities help them balance work and play. 

 

Relativity team posing in Halloween costumes
image via relativity
Relativity team posing for photo during Halloween party
image via Relativity

Relativity uses cloud-based solutions to help governments, law firms and a variety of other businesses analyze and sort information found in legal documents. Dorie Blesoff, chief people officer, said Halloween parties are great ways for staff to express themselves and surprise one another.

 

What did you do to celebrate? 

This year, Relativians participated in our annual department-themed Halloween decoration competition. From Stephen King’s “IT,” to “Tron,” to “Night of the Living Data,” employees from across departments showcased their creative abilities in new ways in pursuit of a spooky prize and some serious bragging rights.

The Halloween celebration allows us to embrace the creativity of our colleagues and peers in a fun way.”

 

Why are these celebrations important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

The Halloween celebration allows us to embrace the creativity of our colleagues and peers in a fun way and exceed their expectations through some friendly competition.

 

Collage of photos from IMC Trading's Halloween party
image via Imc trading
A collage of photos from IMC Trading's Halloween party
image via imc trading

IMC Trading is a tech-driven market maker that trades on over 100 global stock exchanges. Mid-office Team Lead Patti Minich said the company’s costume contest had a variety of winners across multiple categories.

 

What did you do to celebrate? 

We launched our celebration with a ‘13 Days of Halloween’ trivia contest, creepy decor, and a coloring contest for the children of employees. The celebration hit its high point last Friday with a themed happy hour: we invited a palm reader and ran a costume contest with awards for best team, best individual, funniest, scariest, best overall and worst. A lot of employees dressed up for the entire day, and the competition was strong.

Halloween is a great holiday for encouraging play and building camaraderie.”

 

Why are these celebrations important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

One of our core values is to have fun! Halloween is a great holiday for encouraging play and building camaraderie — there’s nothing like a team costume contest to get everyone rallying around a common purpose.

 

Collage of photos from Solstice's Halloween party
image via solstice
Halloween decorations in Solstice office kitchen
image via solstice

With a specialty in emerging technologies, Solstice develops custom digital solutions for its Fortune 500 client base. Client Principal Andrea Miller said the company combines costume parties across two continents for some friendly competition.

 

What did you do to celebrate?

Solstice hosted its fifth annual Halloween party in both the Chicago and Buenos Aires offices. Solsties wear their costumes to the office and compete in individual and team costume contests. The social committee in Chicago judges the best Buenos Aires costumes, and vice versa. We end the day with a party that includes significant others, kids, games, pizza and beverages. 

The friendly competition within and between the offices creates bonds that make working together more fun.”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive, culture? 

The friendly competition within and between the offices creates bonds that make working together more fun. Additionally, the party is a great opportunity for teams to meet their teammates’ families and for the families to see the office. It’s a lot of fun to see the kids interact with our robots, VR equipment and whiteboard walls.

 

Collage of photos from Built In Chicago's Halloween celebration
image via built in chicago
Collage of photos from Built In's Halloween party
image via built in


We had our own celebration here at Built In Chicago, complete with creepy kitchen decor. Head of People Catalina Andrade said having fun together is a key part of building trust among hard-working colleagues — and we agree.

 

What did you do to celebrate?

We’re big on collaboration, so we had a team costume contest. Notable entries included The Addams Family, Built In Canada, Jurassic Park and the Real Housewives of Built In. In the afternoon, we bobbed for apples and had tarot card readings in our spooktacular kitchen.

It’s impossible to organically build relationships and trust without having some fun along the way!”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

Our employees are so passionate about what we do, and trust is an integral part of high-performing teams. It’s impossible to organically build relationships and trust without having some fun along the way!

 

Collage of photos from Reverb's Halloween party
image via reverb.com
Two Reverb employees in costume posing
image via reverb.com

Reverb.com is a marketplace for new and used musical equipment of all kinds. The company also operates Reverb LP — a platform for the exchange of physical music. Heather Farr Edwards, PR and communications manager, said their Halloween celebration is a high-level, competitive karaoke session.

 

What did you do to celebrate?

We celebrated Halloween in true Reverb fashion — with a mini concert! Several members of the team took the stage to perform PG versions of holiday-appropriate hits like ‘Halloween,’ ‘I Turned Into a Martian,’ and ‘We are 138.’

We also held our annual costume contest. Last year’s winners dressed like ZZ Top, and this year, they defended their title by recruiting three other employees to help them be the Spice Girls. Of course, we also had snacks, like pumpkin guts, vampire stakes and swamp thing tentacles.

Last year’s winners dressed like ZZ Top, and this year, they defended their title by recruiting three other employees to help them be the Spice Girls.”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

Our annual Halloween party is a fun way to take a break from work and show off our creativity, whether it’s through a costume or a Halloween-inspired musical performance.

 

Codifyd staff posing during Halloween party
image via Codifyd
Codifyd office in Halloween decorations
image via Codifyd

Codifyd provides e-commerce and B2B tech companies with software that allows them to enhance their customer’s online experiences. Joanna Niezgoda, vice president of business operations, said allowing people to participate in festivities when it worked best for them was key this year.

 

What did you do to celebrate?

Since Halloween fell on a Wednesday, we hosted a celebration Codifyders could enjoy around their mid-week commitments. Festivities included decorations, snacks and a costume contest. We voted for the winner, first place walked away with a gift card for some coffee and the privilege of keeping our rotating trophy at their desk for two weeks.

When working with people who are passionate about their jobs, it’s important to take the time to celebrate things like Halloween.”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

In a business that is focused on exceptional results for the client, we spend a lot of time heads down, working to deliver. When working with people who are passionate about their jobs, it’s important to take the time to celebrate things like Halloween, while not disturbing what someone is doing. Our flexible ‘open-house’ type celebration fit the bill nicely. 

 

Neighborhoods.com staff posing during their Halloween party
image via Neighborhoods.com 
Collage of Neighborhoods.com photos from their Halloween party
Imge via Neighborhoods.com

Neighborhoods.com is a content-driven platform that allows prospective home buyers to get a detailed picture of the neighborhood they could be moving to. Chief Operating Officer Danny Goodman said the company takes Halloween seriously because celebrating it has been an early tradition.

 

What did you do to celebrate?

Halloween is a big deal at neighborhoods.com! We’ve been dressing up and having a costume contest since the company was only six people. It’s really great that everybody participates.

Having a day where we can just be kids and celebrate our creativity allows us to build strong relationships.”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

We think that having a day where we can just be kids and celebrate our creativity allows us to build the strong relationships that are the foundation of our culture.

 

Collage of photos from Sittercity Halloween party
image via sittercity
Sittercity staff in kitchen during Halloween party
imag via sittercity

Sittercity is an online platform that connects parents in need of caregivers for their children with professionals in that field. Office Manager Jordan Sirkin said the Halloween party allows people to break out of their shells and engage with other staff. 

 

What did you do to celebrate?

We threw an epic spooktacular Sittercity Halloween bash, complete with a scary catered lunch, costume contest and a desk decorating competition. Favorite costumes included Wilson from Home Improvement, the Sanderson Sisters, FBI agents and a unicorn.

It really re-energizes the office environment, and offers a conversation starter for colleagues.”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

Halloween gives people a chance to show off a fun, creative side with costumes, and encourages people to reach out to other departments to put together group costumes. It really re-energizes the office environment, and offers a conversation starter for colleagues.

 

UrbanBound team photo from Halloween party
image via UrbanBound
Collage of photos from UrbanBound's Halloween party
image via UrbanBound

UrbanBound provides companies with digital relocation management tools that help staff members transition to living in a new city. Co-founder and CEO Michael Krasman said taking opportunities to have fun together helps staff bond with one another.

 

What did you do to celebrate?

Every year, UrbanBound celebrates Halloween with an in-office party called UrbanBoo. Employees and their families are encouraged to come dressed up. This year, we had a costume competition with a cash prize, unlimited candy, cookie-decorating and Lou Malnati’s pizza!

Inviting employees’ families to certain company events helps our team get to know each other on a more personal level and build respect.”

 

Why are these important to maintaining a fun, yet productive culture?

One of our core values is to ‘build a positive team and family spirit.’ We’ve found that the best way to do this is to take a break every once in a while and have some fun. Plus, inviting employees’ families to certain company events helps our team get to know each other on a more personal level and build respect.

 

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