Christmas Party Trends
Corporate holiday parties have undergone some changes in recent years, in response to the global recession that hit many businesses in 2008, when many stopped spending out large sums for Christmas staff parties. Here are some of the Christmas party trends we’re seeing.
Although many companies are once again opting to host an event in order to celebrate the hard work of employees, the holiday office party has changed in many ways.
Last Minute Affair
Tis’ almost the season to be jolly, although if you are planning a last minute corporate Christmas party there may not be a lot to be jolly about. It seems that the majority of businesses are now leaving the planning and booking of their holiday parties as late as possible, giving many an event planner a very stressful run up to Christmas!
In the good old days, businesses would have organised and paid for their Christmas parties before the end of the summer, ensuring plenty of time to book the venue, entertainment and caterers of choice (as well as leaving plenty of time to remedy any issues!).
These days it is all very last minute, despite the fact that the importance of holiday office parties hasn’t diminished.
Many event planners state that plans are not confirmed until well in to November, or even early December, because budgets are not confirmed or because venues have been changed due to numbers. This could be down to bosses waiting to see if the year is a success, financially, or perhaps a change in staff numbers because of new appointments etc.
Some organisers also hold out as long as they can before booking venues or entertainment to see if they can bag a last minute deal. The problem with opting to do this is that you risk finding that your venue or band of choice is fully booked!
Are Christmas Parties Still Important?
Companies still want to recognise the hard work of staff by throwing an end of year party. Most bosses also know the importance of a Christmas staff party, in helping to boost morale and staff relations, as well as network and thank customers in the case of a B2B event. According to US company Punchbowl, one of the leading celebrations sites in the world, “9 in 10 companies hosted a holiday party in 2012.”
This is positive news for event planners, who have finally seen a rise in the number of corporate Christmas parties being held.
Since the recession really hit in 2008, many companies have seriously reduced or scrapped staff Christmas bonuses. According to UK firm Workplace Savings and Benefits, “only 30% of employees received a Christmas reward in 2012.”
So Christmas parties are more important than ever, particularly for making staff feel that they are appreciated. The Canadian paper, Kamloops Daily News, states that; “A survey by GloboForce indicates 78 per cent of employees feel that being recognized motivates them on the job, and 70 per cent said they would work harder if they were recognized.” A statistic that employers should take note of when deciding whether or not to throw an office party!
Share the cost
This is a concept that started with smaller companies that didn’t have the budget to incur all the costs associated with organising a private corporate Christmas party. The trend has grown further, with many firms now opting for a ‘joint holiday party’ to share the cost, as well as add to the dynamics of the event.
Shared office parties have the added bonus that more lavish options and themes can be provided because the costs are split between those businesses that are attending. This has led to an enormous array of Christmas party themes for events; masquerade balls, murder mystery, casino nights and more!
Christmas Party Trends for 2013
So what are the big Christmas party trends for 2013? Well, it will come as no great surprise to Event Planners that the 1920s has been huge this year – what with the release of the Great Gatsby – and it’s no exception for office Holiday party themes.
It helps that The Great Gatsby/1920s is a great theme, thanks to the lovely vintage outfits, stunning art deco props, lavish food and abundance of hugely talented 1920s themed entertainers and shows. The 1920s tops the list for the most requested event theme for Christmas corporate events in 2013 (by a massive majority!), followed by the traditional Winter Wonderland theme, Bavarian and Parisian themes.
2013 is definitely a good year for the corporate Christmas party. The majority of companies are now opting to host an office holiday party, although there has been a marked increase in the number of festive events booked last minute.
The importance of corporate Christmas parties hasn’t diminished as bosses look to recognise the hard work of staff and reward loyal customers, and the trend for shared Christmas parties is growing as it gives companies the option to spread the cost and host a more lavish affair.
Those organisers still looking to book a corporate Christmas party had better hurry up, as this is the busiest party season for venues, caterers and entertainment. Although those looking for inspiration for their party theme will be pleased to know that The Great Gatsby has dominated this year’s corporate Christmas event scene.
Whatever your office holiday party or Christmas corporate celebration, have fun, and have a great 2014!
This is a guest post by Amy Capron, media manager for Scarlett Entertainment, the destination entertainment specialists. Amy is passionate about events and you can keep up to date on the latest event and entertainment trends by following her on twitter.
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