An insider’s guide: why larger Christmas parties are the way forward

A look into why the larger Christmas parties are as important as ever – by Celia Scholtz, Operations Director. 

Last week Thursday we held our first Christmas party of the season. This was a full staff Christmas party for 600 employees. The venue was the Kensington Roof Gardens with its stunning gardens and versatile clubhouse. Of all the Christmas parties we are organising on behalf of clients this year, this one will be the one that stands out. Why? Other than having been a huge success and great fun for all the guests it is also the only Christmas party we are organising which is for the company as a whole.

All the other parties are for a department or team within a company. And it seems this is still very much management preference, to have smaller parties rather than a single party for the company. There are some companies who do both, however these are far and few between. Most opt for the department Christmas lunch or drinks.

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Thursday at the Roof Gardens was fascinating to watch 600 people get together and share in some festive fun. Witnessing people catch up with colleagues they hadn’t seen in a while as they work in different departments or sometimes even just being able to put a face to a name.

I understand why many companies have culled the Christmas party. My question is do most companies compare the cost of having many departmental Christmas parties versus the one office Christmas party. Many venues are aware of tighter budgets and people looking for more for less, so there are always good deals to be had.

I believe that spending a little bit more at Christmas can go a long way in terms of staff motivation, retention and appreciation. Also, it can have a huge positive impact on the culture as everyone shares the same experience together.

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In today’s hyper-connected, always-on working culture, having a period for reflection and assessment is incredibly important. Often, employees will focus on what went wrong throughout the year and the challenges that they faced or the long hours they have worked. However, a pragmatic employer will build in to the Christmas party a significant element of reward, highlighting the hard work of their staff and business success that has been won in the previous 12 months.

It’s through smartphones, tablets, the multiple social media platforms that we keep updated and all the messaging software to make sure we don’t miss anything; our life is spent in front of a screen! I am guilty of this myself and often find myself sending a colleague a message rather than actually speaking to them face to face. The personal and physical communication is quickly disappearing. This is another important factor why a company wide Christmas party is more important today than ever.

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Our client on Thursday made the most of having 600 of their staff gathered together to thank everyone for their hard work as well as get some key messages across. Staff thoroughly enjoyed having a drink and letting their hair down with their managers and the new MD of the company.

Being able to socialise in a non-work environment can lead to better communication and working relationships within a company.

When done right, with the correct message, suitable venue and entertainment a company Christmas party could be the best staff investment a company makes all year… even Scrooge would agree.

So although we are in full festive season, start thinking about next year and how you can ensure your company throws the best Christmas party of 2018. Remember, I am here to help if you need some glitter and sparkle, and a stress free party.

Find out more on Villiers’ free venue finding service today – or speak to a member of our team today to start planning your next event.

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