Improving the Christmas Party

Christmas parties are, for many, an annual tradition; they can often be as important as the presents or Christmas tree.

Yet, not every Christmas party is that successful. Like any party, there are certain factors that need to be taken into account to help improve any party. More than just the guests, there are a few things you can do to create the right atmosphere and encourage people to have fun.

Food and Drink

Most parties need food and drink. The longer the party is, the more people are going to be thirsty and hungry. These two factors can severely influence any party. As far as food is concerned, though, you can’t go wrong with a buffet or spread. This allows you to spend a small amount of money on affordable food. In this form, people can pick what they want, when they want. This adds to the casual and social nature of the event, as people usually end up talking at the food table.

As for drinks, this is one of the areas where any party can often get expensive. Depending on your budget, you might ask everyone to make a small contribution. Whilst the best parties might offer champagne, there’s no need to go overboard. Wine is perfectly acceptable, and can come in many prices and flavours to suit both your needs and budget.

Party Atmosphere

Any decent party needs to look the part. Whether it’s held at home or an office event, any normal room needs a little decoration before you can have a successful party. A few affordable decorations in the right places can greatly suggest a much more lively and festive occasion.

Regardless of its function, a party just isn’t a party without balloons. These always suggest the right atmosphere, demonstrating a fun and relaxed social event. A Balloon in a box or two will go to great lengths to achieve this, providing simple yet effective decorations that can be placed wherever you need them.

The Festive Touch

In addition to normal decorations, there are a few festive items that can add a touch of the winter festivities. Tinsel, for instance, is relatively cheap but adds plenty of atmosphere and Christmas flavour. Decorating the walls of any room will easily achieve this effect.

If you can afford it, a Christmas tree is an obvious inclusion. Even a small tree will work. The ultimate symbol of Christmas, the tree is instantly recognisable as a sign of the occasion.

Furthermore, there are other, non-decorative things you can do. Christmas-themed activities, such as secret Santa, help to bring people together under the Christmas theme. Likewise, if you can stand it, Christmas music can often make for a fun occasion. Everyone has their favourite Christmas classic, and music is usually a good way to get people socialising.

In short, whether it’s through simple decorations, or making sure the location looks and feels festive, there are plenty of effective yet affordable ways to make any Christmas party successful and memorable.

Why celebrate with a Christmas Party?

The annual office Christmas party is something of legend; talked about for the entirety of the following year and a never-ending source of anecdotes to laugh about at the water cooler.

But over the last few years, the corporate Christmas party has been put under scrutiny, with the numbers of hard-working employees partying hard across the UK diminishing significantly. The recession has been a huge factor in the decision for many managers choosing to skip the company’s festive fun, but the office Christmas party is so much more than just a place for people to drink a little too much.

Yes, the work Christmas party is renowned for featuring some ‘unusual’ situations, but with the recent economic climate hanging in the air it’s more important than ever in order to boost staff morale and provide some welcome downtime for hard working employees.

There is a reason why the party is discussed for months to come; by creating positive shared memories, colleagues are automatically brought closer together, thus strengthening bonds between employees and creating a sense of familiarity – two crucial aspects of team building.

The office Christmas party is also a perfect opportunity to recognize employee’s achievements over the past year and celebrate any successes. Rewarding workers for their accomplishments will ensure that they feel appreciated, and encourage increased performance in the future.

Many employers believe that the benefits of having a Christmas party far outweigh the cost, so let your hair down this December and have some festive fun!

Wyboston Lakes Christmas Parties – from James Bond to Elvis

Throughout December the Party to a Party disco nights for groups of 10 or more at Wyboston Lakes Hotel (near St Neots on the border of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire) will have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree for just £35.95 per person including a delicious three-course dinner.

Whether you’re a fan of soul music or Elvis, there’s a tribute event for you on 2nd December and you can feel the Abba Fever or enjoy the Motown disco on Thursday 15th December.

Take a journey through pop history with tribute band Hairbrush and get into the groove on 9th December at the 80s to present day event.

A special James Bond evening will take place on 10th December complete with casino, Tom Jones tribute act and a black and white dress code or you can get funky at the 70s and 80s themed disco on 17th December.

Comforting Christmas fare will be on the menus at the award-winning AA rosette Waterfront Restaurant and Bar from 1st to 24th December, with options including terrine of duck and cranberries with baby leaf salad and walnut bread to start and roast breast of turkey stuffed with sage and apricots with glazed winter vegetables, château potatoes and natural gravy for the main course.

Delicious desserts include the chef’s Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, satsuma brûlée with warm chocolate cake and toffee meringue délice with roasted banana ice cream.

Alasdair Swan, General Manager, said: “Christmas is a time of year for celebrating and what better way to do that than to enjoy a fantastic meal or one of our special events with friends and family.  We have a great overnight deal on offer and you can bag a bargain on our Christmas menu with two courses for just £19.50 or three for £23.50! Wyboston Lakes has everything you need to make this Christmas the best one yet.”

Why not stay overnight? Take advantage of the special Christmas overnight package for just

£60 (£55 if pre-booked before 30thSeptember) for a double/twin en suite bedroom and a full English or continental breakfast for two.

For more information, please visit www.wybostonlakes.co.uk or call 0333 7007 666.

Worst thing you have ever seen at the Office Christmas Party

“It would have to be someone swiping a supermarket club card in another person’s derrière?” or perhaps “A colleague’s request to the DJ to reduce the music volume, whilst he stood on top of the dinner table to propose to a member of staff that he was dating…only to be shot down in flames with a ‘NO’ from the object of his affection?”

With Christmas fast approaching the capital’s dedicated party planners, Late Night London, commissioned a festive survey to find out what their customers would class as the ‘ultimate’ Xmas party, with some surprising results.   What is the worst thing you have witnessed at your office Christmas party…?

Amongst the list of responses to the question ‘what is the worst thing you have witnessed at your office Christmas party’ were tales of extramarital trysts, inexcusable ‘dad’ dancing and long inappropriate speeches from senior management as well as other more common well-oiled antics.

A total of 1,480 people completed the survey with 16% of people admitting that their company didn’t actually hold a Christmas party. To counteract this 14% of people surveyed admitted that their company bucked the scrooge mentality brought on by the recession by budgeting a generous £6,000+ to their annual festivities.

Weeknights proved to be the most popular time to host office parties; with 64% of respondents preferring it to be held on a Friday night so that they would not need to struggle through the next day at work. 57% of people felt that a disco was an integral part of the evening’s entertainment and 85% preferred to dance the night away in their Little Black DressesLate or smart/formal wear rather than casual attire.

The survey also shed light into people’s working relationships with 90% regularly socialising with their colleagues outside of office hours and 30% experiencing the start of an office romance at their Christmas party.

Respondents were also given the chance to experiment with quirky ingredients to create their ‘ultimate’ festive cocktail; with many people concocting Christmas pudding inspired tipples. Strangely over 10% people nodded towards turkey and mince pie flavoured drinks with even stranger concoctions coming from respondents who preferred to quench their thirst with the taste of roast beef and brussel sprouts. 34% of people surveyed went for more traditional cocktails such as champagne, baileys, wine and daiquiri’s.

Nottingham Christmas Parties for 2011

Eventa, providers of Christmas parties to groups and organisations across the United Kingdom, have unveiled what they are dubbing Christmas parties Nottingham, their portfolio of corporate Christmas parties to be held in the East Midlands city across the 2011 festive season. The company have indicated that this year could be their busiest since their 2009 inception as well as being the busiest across the industry as a whole. They have cited the wide variety of parties on offer to groups and price freeze across the board this year as being key factors in determining this trend.

“Right across the UK Christmas party scene we are seeing prices staying at 2010 levels and venues seemingly keener to host more imaginative parties, as well as a wider range of choice,” says Rob Hill, Eventa Managing Director.

In line with the association between Nottingham and Robin Hood, Eventa have begun to promote two Christmas parties which reflect the city’s historical roots: The Medieval Banquet and The Sheriff’s Banquet. Both events will feature live medieval entertainment, historically themed venues and mugs of ale for guests.

Elsewhere across the city the contemporary touch is most certainly in effect, with Lenton’s Festive & Fabulous event promising stilt-walkers, aerial trapeze artists and a three-bird roast, all under the roof of a purpose-built Christmas party big-top.

Hill continues: “Anybody can put on a standard dinner and dance, so this year venues are really going the extra mile, with plenty of theming, entertainment and wonderful food as well.”

In addition to their Nottingham Christmas parties, Eventa will also be promoting evening and lunchtime events in Birmingham, Derby, Warwick and a number of other towns and cities across the Midlands.

Theme Traders overcome London student protests to ensure clients Christmas parties went ahead

Marilyn Monroe StatueTheme Traders party planners sent emergency crews to central London yesterday to ensure ‘the party must go on’ when the street and all surrounding streets in The Strand were closed off. The closures threatened to prevent them setting up a corporate Hollywood Christmas party for their client.

The well known party planning and props company undertook the task of ferrying, by foot, Marilyn statues, Humphrey Bogart statues, clapperboards, giant martini glasses and other fabulous Hollywood props to the hotel venue from the nearest place they were allowed to park, namely Trafalgar Square.

Forunately, all the deadlines were met and the party was a great success.

Those working in marketing enjoy their office Christmas parties most

Recruitment and marketing departments enjoy their office Christmas parties more than any other group, according to a survey on UK office life by Business Environment (BE), the UK serviced office provider.

The survey revealed that 51% of marketing staff and 46% of recruiters thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas party, seeing it as a great way to catch up with colleagues and get to know newer staff members.

Whilst these departments enjoyed themselves, the survey also showed that not everyone shares their enthusiasm for office celebrations – almost 40% of charity workers said they didn’t stay long because they don’t enjoy socialising with work colleagues. Retailer staff were the most likely to avoid the party altogether: almost a quarter (24%) said they made an excuse so they didn’t have to go at all!

Asked about the traditional “secret santa”, most workers were prepared to spend £5.50 on their colleagues. Graduate trainees were the most generous, with more than 25% being prepared to contribute over £10, whilst 32% of construction workers and almost 25% of IT workers said they’d prefer to pay nothing.

Can a Christmas party mishap damage your career?

50% of the UK’s workforce think that festive party mishaps can have career damaging results according to a Christmas dating study by Singles365.com.

The study of over 1,000 people from across the UK found that although a minority of people (5%) thought innappropriate office party behaviour should be encouraged, over half said it was potentially career damaging and should be avoided at all costs.

Innappropriate behaviour cited as being the worst included, being sick in front of your boss (47%), telling the boss what you really think of him (46%) and becoming drunk and emotional (40%), with some old favourites such as drunkenly resigning (37%) and photocopying a part of your anatomy (30%) also ranking highly.

Furthermore, results revealed that men cite telling your boss what you really think of him/her as the worst party faux pas whereas women rank being sick in front of your boss as the most potentially career damaging behaviour.

However, although it is universally agreed that innappropriate office party behaviour is damaging there is a difference of opinion across the UK. Workers in Northern Ireland are most anti bad party behaviour with 64% saying it is career damaging, 57% of Scottish workers agreed as did 55% of North Easterners however, Welsh workers said that although bad office party ettiquete should not be encouraged 39% said it was just harmless fun.

Louise English, Marketing Director from Singles365.com commented: “We put this research together to really find out what workers worries and fears were approaching the party season and the results clearly show what the hazards can be at a Christmas party. As expected being too drunk and emotional is high on the list however, it was interesting to see that people generally were worried about telling the boss what they really think!”


Christmas Gold Parties – have fun and get some cash

Christmas GoldFormer gold commodities trader turned Entrepreneur Krista Waddell is the world’s biggest gold party organiser, taking advantage of people raising capital for Christmas by trading in their unwanted jewellery.

With the price of gold is at an all-time high, record numbers of Brits are selling unwanted bits of earrings and broken necklances at Ounces to Pounds (www.ounces2pounds.com) gold parties across the country.

Currently more than 150 are hosted each month, with Britons have been selling over £75,000 a week of their ’old gold’ at gold parties at private residences across Britain organised by Ounces to Pounds Ltd. The difference being, they come home with money rather than spending it. The increase in volume is attributed to the “rush for cash at Christmas” according to Krista Waddell.

“We have seen a significant up curve in the volume of parties being hosted as we get closer to Christmas,” says Krista, “infact a 30% increase in the last month.”

Ounces to Pounds have purchased over £1.2m worth of Brit’s junk jewellery since launching in March 2009. They anticipate there is still over £2bn worth of junk jewellery lost in people’s households waiting to be exchanged for cash.

Top tips for Christmas Party romance

Christmas parties are incredible for meeting women. Try to go to as many as possible, simply because they are so much fun. People seem to be high on happiness and joy and full of festive excitement. Single women often get into the mood and feel like having a bit of romance under the mistletoe, so it’s a great excuse to get flirty with people and have fun!

Top 10 tips for pulling at Christmas Parties from Love Systems Instructor Jeremy Soul

1. Get involved as much as possible

The more you’re an integral part of the event, the more you’ll get a chance to meet and be seen talking to a lot of people, which elevates your social status at the party and makes you someone women would want to talk to.

2. Don’t leer at all the single ladies

Most single guys are on the prowl and checking out the possible “options” as soon as they walk in. Don’t be most guys – that’s a surefire way to ruin your pulling chances.

3. Don’t get drunk

Most men feel the need to have a few drinks before they start talking to women – especially ones they find really attractive. One or two drinks aren’t too bad, but once that snowballs into being drunk by the end of the night, it’s a real turn-off for women.

4. Introduce yourself to everyone early on

At parties, you have an automatic excuse to talk to people. It’s not like being at a random bar or nightclub where it requires some kind of creative or ballsy opening line to go talk to a stranger.

All you need to say is, “Hi, I’m Jeremy,” shake their hand and ask them what they’re up to over Christmas. You want to do this early on in the evening, you have a ton of people you’ve already talked with and can re-initiate contact with.

5. Introduce groups of friends to each other

As things progress throughout the night, introduce groups of people you know to each other. Being seen as a social connector and someone who knows everyone at the party will build huge amounts of attraction with the women there.

Introducing your friends to the friends of a woman you like can also be useful because it can allow you to have a more private conversation with her while your friends engage her friends.

6. Re-initiate contact with the women you like

Keep being the social guy, talking to lots of different people, but at some point re-engage the woman you find the most attractive. At this point, you’ve already talked with her, it’s natural to re-initiate conversation by asking her something simple like, “how are you enjoying the party?”

7. Connect with her emotionally

Get more personal with her, find out who she is and what makes her tick, and let her know more about yourself. The key to attraction with women is showing yourself to be an interesting person (by talking about things that are important to you and you are passionate about) and to be interested in who she is as a person.

8. Take her somewhere more private

A woman might become attracted to you when she has a good conversation with you, but she’s unlikely to act on that by kissing you or otherwise blatantly flirting with you in front of her friends and family.

So come up with an excuse to move her somewhere away from other people. It can as simple as, “Do you fancy going out for some air?” or “Hey, want to grab a drink at the bar?” Anything that gets you some more alone time with her.

9. Suggest staying in touch

You may want to spend more time with the woman you’ve been talking to immediately, maybe even try to take her home that night.

However, this won’t always be possible depending on who she came with, whether she has to get up early the next morning, which friends she is there with etc. There’s also the chance that for whatever reason, you’ll lose her at some point in the crowd.

So it’s a good idea after talking with her for a while to suggest exchanging contact details and staying in touch. That way, if she does disappear at some point, at least you have a phone number to follow up on.

10. Manage logistics

If you are going for the full pull that evening, you need to focus on getting her away from people that might judge her for going home with you. Discretion is paramount. Don’t make any obvious moves on her physically when anyone else is around.

Either find a secluded room somewhere, or ask her if she wants to come back to your place. If you go for the latter, make sure you both have a discreet way of getting away from the party without people knowing that you’re going home together, e.g. offering to give her a lift home.