Coworkers in costume: behind the Halloween celebrations of 6 NYC tech companies

October 27, 2016

Halloween is a magical time of the year where ordinary people become superheroes and candy and booze become borderline acceptable to consume midday. It's that one time of the year when you can talk to clients dressed like squirrel. It's great. 

New York tech companies are notorious for promoting the holiday, encouraging employees to show up in costume and participate in festivities. We thought we'd throw back the curtains and see what really goes on at six NYC tech companies around Halloween. 

 

How does your team celebrate Halloween? Every year, the People Team hosts a Halloween Costume Contest. We amp up the energy weeks ahead of the big day, and everyone brings their A-game on the 31st. The contest has had categories like Most Hubtastic, Most Creative, Best Duo/Group, and Funniest. We vote as a floor for the winner of each category and the winners receive trophies at the end of the day.

What's the best costume you've seen? My favorite costume was Hillary Clinton. Our Senior Recruiter, Lauren Bates dressed up in a blue pantsuit, wore a wig, made hand gestures, and spoke like Hillary Clinton all day. She wouldn't break character.

Does any work get done the day of? Yes! I think dressing up actually drives energy on the floor and helps promote strong performance. As a team, we have fun, but we also work hard because we know how important it is for us fulfill our mission to help local business owners discover community.

 

How does your team celebrate Halloween: Yext starts its Halloween celebrations in the morning with fall treats like doughnuts and apple cider. Employees are encouraged to come to work in costume. At Manifesto, Yext's weekly company news meeting, there is a costume showdown with the winner chosen by applause. The winner gets a prize.

What's the best costume you've seen?  We've seen some very unusual costumes over the years, everything from 'Netflix & Chill,' to a burrito, to a Sriracha bottle. We also had a member of the marketing team dress up as Deflategator, wearing a Patriots t-shirt and an alligator costume. 

Does any work get done the day of? Yes, work still gets done, you just never know when you're going to walk into a meeting and find yourself sitting next to a panda, Darth Vader, and a banana.

 

How does your team celebrate Halloween? We take Halloween very seriously here at Bluecore. If you can't tell from the About Us section of our company website, we definitely have a goofy side. This Halloween, not only will be having our annual Costume Contest, but we will also be inviting the children of our fellow Bluecorians into the office for some trick or treating fun. Each department will have candy bowls in their areas, so we can take turns bringing smiles to all the children's faces.

What's the best costume you've seen?  Definitely our Market Development Reps. They all dressed up as M Dr.s. and wore scrubs or Dr.s outfits with big M's on the back. If anyone ever needs a Dr. of Pizza, you know where to come.

Does any work get done the day of? As much fun as we have, there is still a lot of work that gets done throughout the day. I know it is often overstated, but we certainly do our best to take 'work hard, play hard' to another level. 

 

How does your team celebrate Halloween? Stack Overflow likes to celebrate together with an in-office costume party/bev bash. We enjoy playing flip cup, beer pong, human-hungry hungry hippo, and vote on the top three costumes. 

What's the best costume you've seen?  One of the favorites from Halloween past was when the two office managers swapped. Adam turned into Jill and Jill turned into Adam. Nobody could tell the difference!

Does any work get done the day of? The morning is always meant for work. After 3, it's no holds barred!

 

How does your team celebrate Halloween? Having a company that's almost half remote, we try to make the day as fun and inclusive as possible. We create a slack channel for the day for both in-office and our remote employees to post pictures of them in costume. At the end of the day, we send out an email where everyone can vote on their favorite costume. In addition to the costume contest, we also have a happy hour after work where employees can bring their friends and celebrate the day. 

What's the best costume you've seen? Last year we had a tie between the two best costumes. Our Director of Employee Experience dressed up as dry cleaning and won the award for Most Creative costume. The award for Best Costume went to one of our Engineering Managers who dressed up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid. 

Does any work get done the day of? Aside from everyone being dressed up in costume, work carries on as usual. It's great to walk by a conference room and see everyone seated around the table having a serious conversation while dressed up. We even conduct interviews during the day as well, just because it's a great way for candidates to get a glimpse at our culture. Plus, having the interviewer dressed in silly costumes helps alleviate the pressure a little for the candidates. 

 

How does your team celebrate? We celebrate with all sorts of Halloween-themed goodies. There's a Halloween Breakfast with fresh toast & bagels and orange & black cream cheese, as well as seasonal fruit & apples with cinnamon! Then, we have a themed lunch with pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, butternut squash pasta, sweet potatoes, roasted pork. For desert, there's Vampire Donuts and Ample Hills ice cream.

We also have a costume contest and happy hour starting at 3 p.m. with themed drinks and seasonal brews.

What's the best costume you've seen? Last year a member of our sales team came as one of our products, the Digital Exam Room Wallboard. They definitely got brownie points for that one.

Does any work get done the day of? Of course! We've got ambitious plans so we need to keep working, although it's hilarious conducting business in costume. 

 

Have a news tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork

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