The Company Christmas Party

As the leaves fall off the trees and winter sets in, thoughts turn to the annual Christmas work do. Many people view this party as the culmination of a year of hard work, a way to reward the team and show them that their hard work is valued. This is, after all, the one out-of-ours social event which employees look forward to all year round.

Although it is certainly a chance to throw the mother of all shindigs as a thank you to your team, it is also the perfect opportunity to build relationships and get to know the people you work with as individuals rather than employees defined only by their job descriptions. The right type of interaction outside of the office can have a lasting impact within it, by boosting morale and strengthening bonds. If you get the Christmas party just right, the after effects can last well into the New Year and beyond.

The alchemy of the perfect party is no easy science to master. As most party hosts can attest to, there are endless factors to consider in the run up to the big day. You need to create an environment in which all of the guests feel relaxed and comfortable, cater to everybody’s needs and tastes and, crucially, make sure that everyone has a good time. Luckily, there are events planners out there to organise this for us!

Practicalities aside, choosing the right entertainment can make or break a party. Many companies opt to go down the traditional route, plumping for a disco, live music or comedy. Accolade Corporate Events offer a wide range of more creative entertainment. The games, quizzes and other group participation activities available allow employees to break the ice, enjoy themselves and improve relationships in the process. Entertainment ideas such as Team Generation Game or the Company Fortunes Gameshow are ideal for this.

generation game 1

For a truly spectacular, theatrical performance the Crashing and Singing Waiters are an ideal choice. Wow your guests with servers who burst into song at any given moment and feel the buzz of excitement which erupts around the room!

Whatever your budget, venue or team, our specialised entertainment will have everyone talking around the water cooler until long after January. Talking for all of the right reasons, too, not because Janet from accounts had a few too many mulled wines and threw some questionable shapes on the dance floor. Reward your staff with a great time this Christmas by surprising them with unexpectedly brilliant entertainment, rather than the usual dull, uninspiring evening we have come to expect from corporate events.

Not only is it a great way to demonstrate how much they are appreciated as valued members of the company, but a shared experience which gets everybody laughing and working together is priceless when it comes to building better working relationship. Put on something a little bit special this year and make it the best Christmas party yet. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly.

A successful company today is one that continues to push the boundaries of innovation, remain at the front of technology, and provide stellar service to both the customer and the employee. Team building courses can deliver these results through the benefits of motivating your employees and creating personal spirit within.

Team building courses are an investment a company makes within their organization, but also in their personnel. This investment can look like a day of team building games, a weekend retreat, or Christmas themed party. The important thing about team building courses or a day of fun is that your workforce is getting away from the stress of “work” while having fun and learning a few things in the process.

Through different events, games, and activities any type of conference or retreat day can be turned into a learning experience. This learning experience is not only a time of bonding and strengthening working relationships, but also a time to allow your workforce to concentrate on vital workplace skills that may need some attention will help to vastly improve motivation and personal spirit.

In any team environment, whether it be in sports or business, there is the need for using certain skills which keep that motivations and spirit high. These include things like communicating together, leading others, solving problems that are outside the normal parameters of work, and thinking critically and creatively in many instance. Through all of this there is also the need for teams to like each other. Participating in team building courses, games and fun outdoor activities helps to forge these lasting relationships and creates a highly motivated and spirited individual.

Within a business environment morale and motivation can be tough to maintain through the day to day activities. With team building courses and games these things can be kept at a high level so that teams can reach corporate and personal goals.

 

Have you left it too late to book your workplace Christmas party this year?  Are struggling to find a suitable venue, caterers and entertainment that aren’t fully booked up in December?  If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’, then maybe you need to give this year’s Christmas party a rethink.

Instead of having a Corporate Christmas party in December, why not hold it in November instead?  Bringing the date of your Christmas party forwards a few weeks actually has a few advantages over December bookings, here’s why:

Better Choice of Venues

Generally speaking most venues will charge a premium in December, knowing that they will be able to book out their space very easily at this busy time of year.  You are more likely to be able to get the venue you want, or an even better venue, at a reasonable rate if you decide to hold your Christmas party in November instead.

You are also less likely to have to share your venue with other work’s Christmas parties, giving you more exclusivity.

Better Menu Variety

Whilst many people love a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, many find that once a year (on Christmas Day) is enough.  In December most restaurants and hotels will only serve Christmas fare, so a November party could mean that you can choose from the normal menu they offer, or you could speak to the venue to provide a themed dinner of your choice without a mince pie in sight.

Christmas Overload

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By getting in there first with your Christmas party you can avoid Christmas overload.  Usually by mid-December many people are pretty fed up with having Christmas forced upon them, so you can be sure that the novelty is still there when you host your event.

Also, you could avoid the Christmas theme altogether, this works particularly well if you employ staff who don’t celebrate Christmas.

Better Choice of Entertainment

A Christmas party, whether it’s held in December or November, should ideally have entertainment. This brings the whole party together, helping to break the ice and introduce new colleagues to each other in a fun and informal way.

However, like venues, any entertainer who is worth their weight in salt will be fully booked up months in advance for the Christmas period.  You have a much better chance booking that top DJ, band or magician if you move your Christmas party forwards to November.

With the economic situation continuing to drag its heels and recovery seemingly still a long way off, many companies are wondering whether they should still host their annual Christmas party.   Some companies also give their staff a Christmas bonus in addition to a party each year, so it comes as no surprise to us that many are considering stopping either the Christmas party or the bonus in a bid to save money.

Whilst you’d be hard pressed to find a person who wouldn’t appreciate a few extra pounds in their pay packet at Christmas, you have to ask yourself whether this represents good value for money against a Christmas party.

For return on investment it makes more sense to host a Christmas party if you need to choose between the two.    Yes, a cash bonus will be showing your appreciation, but it won’t necessarily raise morale or increase motivation in the workplace.  On the other hand, a Christmas party will help to unite a team, something that is especially important if your company has undergone changes in personnel or management or you’ve had a particularly difficult year in terms of orders and sales.

By integrating other aspects into your annual office Christmas party, such as a team building events or energizers, you can also help to hone vital workplace skills such as communication, working together and trust.   In addition, depending on the type of team building events or energizers you choose, you can focus on areas that you feel need addressing such as listening skills, time management and decision making – all whilst having great fun!

Even if you decide to keep your Christmas party purely social and don’t include any business elements into it, your team will be able to bond, meet new colleagues and network which will in turn create a stronger and more dynamic team who are more willing to help each other and the company to strive forwards in 2014.

Christmas parties don’t have to be extravagant and expensive affairs, indeed if your company has gone through major restructuring and has had to make people redundant then it may be wise to pare down your festivities this year.  You could consider looking at cheaper and smaller venues than you would normally choose, or opt for a finger buffet rather than a sit down meal.   Could you hold your Christmas party on site to save money and increase the entertainment budget to really make it a night to remember?

Ultimately, treating your staff to a good night out regardless of what you choose to do, will be remembered and talked about much more than a cash bonus would be.

 

Evening Corporate Events

Corporate event entertainment – Why it matters and how to get it right

Your annual corporate event – it’s taken blood, sweat and tears to get here – many phone calls, even more emails and lots of paperwork. As for the corporate entertainment, you booked them, months ago. Now? It’s a matter of hoping that they’re as good as they said they were. Yet wishing and hoping isn’t quite the approach we’d recommend. Forget holding your breath and crossing your fingers, here’s how to ensure the corporate entertainment you choose is the right type, and of the right quality.

 First things first: Corporate entertainment is capable of incredible things…

Things such as…

Boosting staff morale and breaking the ice between departments that don’t often mix
Rewarding staff performance
Forging stronger relationships with your existing clientele
Introducing new staff intakes to one another and allowing them to bond in an informal atmosphere
Bringing a conference to a close – on a high and completing the day’s core messages
Celebrating the year’s achievements at the Annual General Meeting
Generating footfall into your event – such as your product launch or client party
Stirring up new business and winning new contracts
Strengthening and communicating your brand values

As you can see, your choice of corporate entertainment can make or break an entire event – get it right, and your event could power business growth for the coming 12 months. Get it wrong however and you run the risk of associating your brand with cheesy entertainment that falls flat and causes nothing but an hour’s worth of awkward moments.

 A firm foundation: Picking the right type of corporate events entertainment

Company Festival Corporate Event

The type of event entertainment that’s right for your audience will be determined by four core factors: Age, gender, social background and interests. This is made slightly more complex if you have layer after layer of management – where entry level positions (and the people in them) contrast significantly against those in upper management.

If there’s a huge disparity between your audience, go for unfailing winners – such as magicians, comedians or dancers.

Corporate entertainment – Our four top tips

Plan WELL ahead of time: The best of entertainment acts book up well in advance (we’re talking full diaries for 6 months or more). As such, this task should feature right at the top of your list as soon as you’ve set the date. Arranging your entertainment as one of the first tasks also allows you to organise other elements of your event – such as the seating plan, room layout, schedule for the day and so on.

Set your budget (and appreciate that, in this industry, you really do get what you pay for)Is your event entertainer promising a price that seems too good to be true? If so deafening warning bells should be sounding. In this line of work, you truly do get what you pay for – for better or for worse.

When researching event entertainers you should also confirm what, exactly, is included in their fee – will they want travel expenses, an overnight room, food and drink – these are just some examples of extras that can add onto the final bill.

Questions? Ask away: Don’t be afraid to ask questions of any potential entertainer, especially in relation to their experience and ‘typical’ gigs. Here are some key questions you may want to consider:

Have you performed at many events such as this one?
How long have you been performing?
Do you foresee any challenges, and if so is there anything I can do to help?

Experience – It’s the simplest way to be certain of a great show: Choosing an entertainer that’s got an excellent track record with your exact type of event is the easiest way of taking the guesswork out of whether your event will be a success.

Company Christmas Party

Take our Team Generation Game entertainment – that’s always a winner for wrapping up a conference, or The Haka Evening Event, which makes for one exceptional ice breaker. Finally, our diverse party entertainers have worked almost every type of event – from shareholder and VIP evenings, to sparkling Christmas parties.

The importance of your corporate event entertainment is not to be underestimated. When you understand the benefits of event entertainment, and you get to grips with your audience and exactly what’s available, you hand yourself the best possible chance of acing your event organisation. Of course, you could just forget about leaving anything to chance, and bring in the professionals. Such as our good selves. So, maybe it was time we talked? 0800 083 1172

The Office Christmas Party is usually something everyone looks forward to. By and large, most office Christmas parties tend to be the same.  They usually comprise of a turkey based sit down meal and then a disco or pub crawl around the local town.  It’s no surprise to us that many employees would rather forego this annual event and stay in with their feet up in front of the TV.  However, with a little bit of forward planning you can ensure that your team will thoroughly enjoy rather than endure this year’s festivities.

Most businesses have a wide spread of ages within their company so it is important that they choose ideas for their Christmas party that will suit everybody.  Having a pub crawl or a disco may well please the younger crowd, but it is equally likely to bring torment and dread to older workers if they can’t escape, so you need to strike a balance and aim to please as many people as possible.

Consider separate entertainment

There are people who love to strut their stuff on the dance floor, and there are people who would rather gouge their eyes out with rusty spoons.  It is easy to please both sets, simply provide alternative entertainment for those who don’t want to get down with Beyoncé.  Simple ideas such as casino tables or game shows.

Don’t make it too Christmassy

Usually by December most people have had their fill of cheesy Christmas songs, mince pies and tinsel. Go against the grain and opt for a non-Christmas menu, or better still give your party an unseasonal theme where people can get dressed up if they like and the food and music can be matched to the theme (and not have to listen to East 17’s ‘Stay Now’).

By avoiding the Christmas theme altogether, you will also have the added bonus of not alienating employees of other religions or beliefs.

Make it a +1 event

Most office Christmas parties are for employees only, and whilst this may suit many people, there will also be a few employees who would rather have their partner by their side.  Whether it is because they would like to introduce their significant other to their colleagues or because they are a little bit introverted and prefer to stick to themselves, inviting partners changes the dynamics of the Christmas party and tends to make people more inclusive.

It is also more unlikely that any regrettable drink-fuelled incidents will take place.

Include a Team Building Event

Why not kill two birds with one stone this Christmas?  Incorporating a fun and informal team building event into your Christmas party can help colleagues to bond and interact whilst improving upon vital workplace skills such as communication, trust, time management and decision making.

You can either choose a business related team building event such as Team Apprentice or you could go for a non-business related event such as It’s a Knockout or Crystal Maze.  Either way, your employees will enjoy the challenge and get to know some of their workmates better.

Winter Wonderland Christmas Party

Believe it or not, if you want to have the best Christmas party this year you need to start acting now!  The best venues, entertainment, and caterers get booked up very quickly each year so it is imperative that you start to make some decisions.

First, let’s take a look at the different office Christmas party ideas we have for your company!

office Christmas party ideas

Themed party’s: Christmas is an ideal time to throw a party and thing about our themed party nights are that we can just give your room a light sprinkling of a theme or go the whole hog! In addition to the wintery Christmas theme, our corporate clients also like to host something different last year we hosted a Back to the 80’s theme and a Venetian Masked Ball – call us for more theme ideas or fill in our quick contact form and we’ll call you.

Singing Policemen

Unique corporate entertainment: We offer a range of unique and inspirational office Christmas party ideas. Imagine the stir created when your guests notice that the police have arrived in your room – what’s going on? After patrolling the room searching for their suspect they suddenly burst into song and stun your guests! An incredible event that guests always love!

Christmas party band

Bands and Entertainers: There’s nothing like live entertainment at your office Christmas party and we’ve lots of different ideas and genres for you to choose from. From tribute bands to the real deal, we can help you. Magicians, illusionist, mind readers, stilt walkers, fire eaters – you name it, we’ve got it – please just ask us for details!

Masquerade Ball

So let’s talk about why you should host your party.Perhaps you’re wondering if you could forego the annual Christmas party this year, maybe you’re concerned about the economic climate, maybe your company has undergone major restructuring or had to make people redundant and you feel that it may not be appropriate.  If this is the case then we ask that you continue reading for reasons why you should host a Christmas party.

Office Christmas Party Ideas

Christmas team events

First and foremost, the Christmas party is a chance for the management of a company to express their gratitude to their staff for all their hard work over the year.  Any business success depends on the hard work of its employees, and those employees need to feel that their work is appreciated.

Holding a Christmas party will ensure that all employees realise that their efforts are appreciated and in return they will want to continue to do their best.  A well-organised Christmas party will help to raise morale in the workplace and motivate the team to continue with their good work through into the next year.

Showgirls

By not having a Christmas party, you’re sending out the message that you don’t appreciate their hard work or care about them.  This is even more so if your company has undergone major changes.  Staff need reassurances and this is one way of giving them some confidence in the company.

There is no need to spend big

If you feel that a large and lavish Christmas party would be inappropriate or unaffordable then you should consider scaling down your plans rather than abandoning them altogether and we’ve got a huge range of office Christmas party ideas to suit all different budgets

Christmas team events

Holding your Christmas party in-house or holding it at a venue at lunchtime instead of evening will considerably cut costs.  It will also have the added benefit of more people attending if they don’t have to travel to an event or it is on company time.

Another option to keep costs down is to hold your Christmas party either before or after December.  Not only will venues, caterers and entertainment generally be cheaper at these times, you will probably be able to pick better choices for your money as they won’t be booked up.

Remember that there are tax benefits to having a Christmas party!

Staff Christmas party

Incorporate it into another event

If you’re planning on having a conference or holding a team building event you could tack the Christmas party on to it.  Merging corporate events means that you will save money and be assured of a high turnout.

By following a serious corporate event with a fun Christmas party, you will help people to network, improve communication skills and allow everyone to get to know their colleagues better in a relaxed environment.

If you need quality office party ideas then please get in touch – call on 0800 083 1172 or fill in our quick contact form and we’ll be in touch.

outdoor team building events

Outdoor team building events can breathe life into your teams! Getting outside, moving around and having fun while working as a team works wonders for team morale. We are experts in outdoor team building events, take a look at our Outdoor Events section or if you prefer to speak to one of our events team then call on 0800 083 1172 or fill in our very quick contact form and we’ll contact you at a suitable time.

Let’s take a look at three very popular outdoor team building events!

Corporate School Sports Day

School Sports day: There’s nothing like our School Sports Day to give your team the opportunity to let their hair down and have some good old fashioned fun – with the hidden benefit of team bonding and an injection of energy.

Crystal maze team building events

The Crystal Maze: Popular for the event’s organiser wants their team outdoors but still a hands on problem-solving and communication improving event. With our superb finale taking place in our inflatable Crystal Maze dome, it’s a fantastic event that everyone has fun with.

 

Game of Knights; With the Game of Thrones riding high as one of the most popular TV shows ever, our Game of Knights gives your teams the chance to get their hands dirty and see if they can complete a series of noble challenges.

If you’d like more information on any of these events or if you’re not sure what would work for your team then please just give our events team a call and we’ll be happy to give you some impartial advice. Call on 0800 083 1172 or complete our contact form and we’ll be in contact within the hour.

Fun Outdoor Team Building Events can have a Lasting Impact on Team Morale and Performance

Team Motivation

Team building events can sometimes be regarded with caution, often thought of as a waste of time or simply a chance to get out of the office, we wholeheartedly disagree.  Team building events can be used for a variety of reasons and with forethought and the right event, your team can benefit hugely from attending. Here are some of the top reasons to host a team building event for your staff:

Following a business restructure

Change management, redundancies, takeovers and mergers all have an effect on staff.  Morale tends to be quite low when companies undergo major restructuring and many members of the workforce can feel quite mistrustful of their new leaders and even workers on the same level as them.

Outdoor teambuilding

A team building event is a great way to introduce new and old staff.  It allows people to get to know each other in a relaxed and informal setting while showcasing their skill sets to the new management.

Old rivalries can be put aside as everyone has to work together to accomplish the goal set in the team building event, which in turn will help to quickly establish trust.

Bringing field employees together

In some large firms, there may be teams where the individuals haven’t actually met each other due to the geographical locations they work in.  A team building event is a great way to bring these colleagues together so they can finally put a face to the name they’ve been emailing all these years.

As well as being fun and proactive, a team building event will help these colleagues share their best working practices and ideas and improve their networking skills.

Fun team activities

Adding on to another corporate event

A corporate event such as a conference or seminar can be long drawn out days where from time to time, even the best speaker may find that they are losing the attention of the delegates.   Interspersing the day with some short, fun and informal team building events will help to keep everyone energised, interested and help to break the ice between different delegates.  These types of add-on team building events can be tailored to your exact business needs to reinforce your company message or mission statement, or simply be an element of fun to lift spirits.

Forge better working relationships between departments

Often teams only concentrate on their own roles and targets, forgetting that a successful company requires different teams and departments to work together.  A team building event can be an extremely useful tool to improve communication and aid inter-departmental relationships.

World Cup Team Events

To reward staff

Whether it is a Christmas party to remember or to reward your team for a job well done, a team building event can be a fantastic way to thank your staff.

Family fun days and summer outdoor team building events are great fun and are great ways of raising morale and allowing everyone to let their hair down.

Call us today on 0800 083 1172 or fill in our contact form and let’s start planning your next successful and fun outdoor event.

While it may seem a little bit too early to think about Christmas, and more specifically office Christmas parties, it is actually the perfect time if you want to bag yourself the best venue, entertainment and catering.

To make sure your office Christmas party goes down as a truly memorable experience, we’ve come up with some checkpoints to follow.

Set a budget

Setting a budget obviously makes good financial sense and allows you to accurately plan your office Christmas party. This will help you to determine how best that budget should be spent to give you the maximum amount of value and the best party possible.

Decide on a venue

Do you want your office Christmas party to be on-site or at another venue.  If you have a large workforce spread across the country, decide where the best town or city will be for hosting your event.  Try to aim for a central location for your employees, so the distance people need to travel can be cut down, although obviously if you have the majority of employees in one location then it makes sense for the venue to be nearby.

Ideally your host city should have good transport networks, or fairly near an airport if you have guests coming from overseas.  Decide if you require car parking or hotel accommodation for guests.

xmas 5

Prepare an entertainment wish list

If you want something other than a standard meal out for employees, then now is a good time to plan exactly what you do want at your office Christmas party.   What type of entertainment would best suit your employee mix?  A DJ or up and coming band may suit a young core of staff, but a mix of entertainment would better suit different age groups.

Would you like ice-breakers or small team building activities included in the event?  These work particularly well with large office Christmas parties where mixed tables mean that guests may never have met each other before and help everyone to get to know each other quickly in a fun way.

Book Early

All the best venues—particularly the larger ones—tend to get booked up months in advance, so booking in June makes good sense.   Take advantage of our free venue finding service.

It isn’t just venues that get booked up quickly for office Christmas parties; DJs, vocalists, bands and other types of entertainers will also be filling up their diaries pretty quickly around this time.  If you want to get the best in the business you need to act fast.

The same goes for catering companies, if you want to host your office Christmas party in a marquee or venue that doesn’t provide on-site catering then you need to pin down your preferred choice now.