Off to your annual Christmas party for a delicious meal and some bubbly? Take a look at our quick checklist before the big day and make sure you haven’t missed any of the essentials!
If your party plans have changed or you really have just left it to the last-minute, give us a call on 08450 251 251 and we’ll do our best to find a magical Christmas party for you!
You’re a small company. You’ve got ten members of staff, some of them family, and you all work really hard. It’s now the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and well, you’ve got this nagging thought somewhere in the back of your mind – the Office Christmas Party.
Naturally, with a small but loyal workforce (not to mention suppliers who have become friends), you want to demonstrate your appreciation for the considerable effort that has been put into the business over the course of the year – but what to do? And even if you did know, then when have you got the time to organise it.
Last year, you had that rather lovely meal in that rather posh restaurant that everyone knows in the high street. Well, you like it there! In fact, you like it so much you’ve had your Christmas ‘do’ there for the past three years. It’s good value and it’s easy, but it’s not exactly pushing out the boat, and actually this year has been a tough one, so you’d really like to do something different, something that really catches the imagination, but something that still stays within your tax break concessions.
Well, if you really want a night to remember, then why not consider one of the hottest trends to appear in the corporate entertainment market, the themed, shared Christmas party. These parties combine festive fun, theatre with sheer spectacle and are fast becoming the party of choice by businesses great and small across the country.
Christmas Connections offers a wide range of innovative and fun parties, each of which offers something uniquely stunning. Parties on offer include Medieval, Moulin Rouge, Glam Rock, Abba, Murder Mystery, Putting on the Ritz, James Bond 007 amongst many others. Prices start from as little as £49.00pp and additional options include drinks packages and Limo transfers. Christmas Connections can also arrange suitable overnight accommodation. For further information and availability call Christmas Connections on 08450 251 251.
Christmas party organisers make or break reputations. As a whole, the event will either confirm negative held views of an organisation that have been building up over the course of a year, or embellish them and build upon existing positive attitudes.
The behaviour of staff members during the extravaganza can tilt careers to the stars (think of the positive networking opportunities) or turn it on its head, as a drunken five-minute indiscretion can bring about a year of embarrassment and humiliation!
Then there’s the reputation of the Christmas party organiser. Get it right and you’re the darling of the company, get it wrong, and management may well be questioning your professional capabilities. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that as the organiser you really have got all your bases covered.
We’ve compiled a definitive guide to help you organise an awesome Christmas party, that at worst will enhance your reputation – possibly making you one of the most popular people in your organisation, and at best help to manoeuvre you into a possible promotion situation.
There is a big difference between organising a corporate Christmas party and organising a social work event. While doubtless you’ll be thinking of what venue, food, entertainment and music you will be offering, there’s a whole host of ‘behind the scene’ issues to take into account.
Below, is some advice that we’ve compiled that will ensure that you, your company and employees are protected when it comes to creating the ultimate party, whether it’s a themed Christmas party a shared Christmas party or if you desire the stars and the moon at an exclusive and bespoke Christmas event.
Did you know that businesses can be held responsible for the behaviour of their staff at a work event that is held outside normal hours? So if you get into a situation at a Christmas Party where a colleague behaves inappropriately towards another member of staff, say in a sexually or violent way, the company can be liable.
Thus make sure that your company has all the correct procedures in place covering harassment and bullying, discipline and grievance and discrimination, otherwise it is quite possible that either you or a colleague will be representing the company in a tribunal possibly facing hefty compensation claims.
It’s also a good idea to produce a ‘Christmas party policy’. While this may seem a bit po’faced, it’s good insurance, as not only does it provide evidence that as an organisation you have taken steps to ensure against any misdemeanours, it sends out a very clear message to staff that inappropriate behaviour of any description is a disciplinary offence.
While you’re on a roll it’s also a good idea to carry out a risk assessment of the Christmas venue that you are planning to hire, before you hire it. Look out for potential hazards – maybe you want to avoid Christmas venues with lots of stairs or any that have outside lakes, ponds and fountains.
Maybe a dedicated party venue is a safer option, Christmas party organisers in London should make sure of policies and procedures have been thought through and are in place, venues such as London museums, art galleries, zoos and botanical gardens offer a unique Christmas venue, just double check first!
Make sure that managers are briefed fully on what subjects to avoid while nibbling on their canapés. Subjects such as wage rises and promotions should be avoided at all costs, and by the way any promises made could actually turn out to be contractually binding. So in all keep to the small talk! If you’re having a sit down meal, be sensitive about where you place staff to avoid any potential conflict, so get your managers onside to help you with place settings.
Free food and drink are always very appealing to staff, it’s often seen as a just reward for the year’s hard work. However, many conflicts and inappropriate situations can be avoided by controlling the amount of alcohol on offer. Make it clear in your party policy that drunken behaviour will not be tolerated, and make sure that along with the (limited) alcohol on offer you also provide soft drinks and hot beverages.
Make sure that staff can get home easily and that no one drives if they have been drinking. Free coaches and buses at the end of the night is a good idea, but if you can’t stretch to that then make sure you are holding the event in an accessible place and book local taxis fleets for the end of the evening. The welfare of staff is your responsibility, and you need to demonstrate that it has been considered.
Organise it in advance. You need to make it clear what you expect from staff the morning after the night before. Tolerance on late arrivals is one thing, but a no-show is quite another. Once again, these expectations need to be written into your party policy.
Enjoy yourself appropriately and remember that it’s your professional reputation at stake.Maybe the best advice is to use a Christmas party organiser – they have the knowledge of the best Christmas party venues, the best options and some unique insights on what will work for you and maybe even more important what would not work for you! But then we will say that – wouldn’t we!
Give us a call on 08450 251 251 for more advice and guidance on organising your Christmas Party in London or around the UK.
Having spent the last six months selling Christmas party tickets across the UK, it was only fitting that the staff at Christmas Connections had their own magical evening out. On the 10th December, we suited and glammed up, polished up the ol’ dancing shoes and headed off to a New York New York themed night in London, at Battersea Evolution.
A train journey up to London from Brighton may not have been as glamorous as jumping in a limo, but it was filled with extreme excitement for the night ahead. For some of the newer Christmas Connections members, this was their first experience of a mixed group Christmas party, and expectations were sky high after hearing how incredible the previous year’s party had been. Soon after departing the train, concerns arose over not eating enough food in advance to “perform” well throughout the duration of the night. So before jumping in to a London cab, we snacked on some cheeky slices of pizza, and pasties at Clapham Junction. Unknowingly, we made a big error in this decision, completely underestimating just how much mouth-tingling food we’d be exposed to in half an hours’ time…
Faces were lit, and smiles were beaming on arrival at Battersea Evolution. There were dozens of smartly dressed men in black suits, and women in their glad rags leading up to reception. We took a moment to take in the beautifully lit surroundings, and proceeded inside. The decorations in reception were dazzling, and elegant. There was an instant warm and welcoming atmosphere as we waited to have our coats collected and put in to the cloak room. Above the chatter of excitement, we could hear light jazz music through the subways (themed corridors) to the left, and right of us. Straightening our ties, and composing ourselves, we walked on through the venue and instantaneously were transported to a busy and thrilling New York scene.
Christmas Party at Battersea Evolution
Immediately after stepping through to the “mean streets”, we were greeted with tasty hot dogs, mini cheese burgers and deli sandwich canapés. Skilled bartenders were on hand to quench your thirsty needs. After getting a drink, it was time to truly take in the vibrant environment we were in. There were professional photographs taken next to an iconic yellow New York cab. Delicious and hot canapés were out by the hundreds (this is where we soon realised that the previous snacks at the station were definitely not going to be needed!) delivered by friendly, well dressed waiters/waitresses. Then out of nowhere, above the centre bar, hip-hop dancers dynamically entered the room with impressive and captivating body popping moves. (They continued to storm the stage and steal eyes every ten minutes).
After about 40 minutes of tasty canapés, sipping on cocktails and warming to the incredibly well themed entertainment area, there was one last appearance from the lively hip-hop dancers on the stage above. Something was different, tension was rising, the music seemed louder, and every single eye was following the performers. With their final moves, two small fireworks were lit left and right of the centre stage, and unexpectedly, two dark curtains that blended in with the scenery were lifted quickly in unison to reveal a large, gorgeous dining area under what looked like a starry night sky. Nobody moved for a good 15 seconds, everybody hypnotised by the scene ahead.
We took our seats about three tables back from the broadway themed stage at the front of the room. Tables were spacious and large, set with Christmas decorations, and bottles of ice cold beverages. Over the next hour and a half, we were wined and dined like kings, and queens with a set three course meal. In between each, spectacular performances took place at centre stage. Each course was presented exquisitely, that not only looked mouth-watering, but was cooked to perfection, and melted our taste buds. As for the setting, you only need look at the images in this blog…
A nice additional touch to get everyone interacting with each other was the use four large digital screens in corners of the room. New York diners were encouraged to tweet #smarterchristmas with their thoughts on the night so far, and all their Christmas song requests. We may have tweeted a rather funny looking picture of Justin (without him knowing) asking for Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney… it’s sure to say that this was a great additional touch, and added that extra laughable memory to the Christmas party.
With bellies satisfied and drinks in hand, it was time to finish off the night with a trip to the casino, followed by a good fashioned boogie on the dance floor. If that’s not enough to round off your night, you can always grab your colleagues and head over to the dodgems for some extreme bumping, and hearty laughs.
Every member of the Christmas Connections team had a night to remember at Battersea Evolution – it was an absolute treat! A truly magnificent setting where you almost forget you aren’t really 3500 miles across the sea. The food was exceptional (and plenty!) and the entertainers were extraordinary. We would more than happily return for a #smarterchristmas party again.
If you’d like to be kept up to date on the best Christmas parties around the UK, you can follow our Twitter account @xmas_parties, sign up to our mailing list, or visit our website Christmas Connections.