American Marketing Services Inc. is of the opinion that most people prefer their own kind. The $7-million manufacturer and retailer of promotional items, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., simultaneously throws three different Christmas parties for each type of professional it employs: telemarketing, production, and administration.

"It takes into account people's different sensibilities," says Ed Wiegman, vice-president of administration. "A soft-spoken, artistic production person might be intimidated by the aggressive, extroverted personality of a salesperson. But people are encouraged to go between parties, and some do."

Wiegman also notes that every manager has to buy a gift for each of his or her employees -- no cash allowed. "It personalizes the exchange," he says. "The manager has to think about what would be appropriate for each individual. That way, he has to learn something about them."

Published on: Dec 1, 1984