Bio: Mike James, an independent writer living in Brighton, working with celebrity florist Larry Walshe.
Most people will know that organising the corporate Christmas event takes precision planning. Selecting the date and booking the venue, choosing menus, selecting themes and booking any entertainment should all be in hand by now. With so much to plan and organise it’s easy to have your eye on the bigger picture and forget about the details.
Taking time to add in the extras can make all the difference in bringing some wow factor to the party. A lot of the extra-mile accessories don’t necessarily need to be at the top of the list in the time line. There are a whole host of little extras that will make your corporate event just that little bit crazier, more elegant and stylish, or give it that extra buzz.
Most employees look forward to the Christmas party. They’ve worked hard all year and the Christmas party is usually a time for staff to let their hair down. Office Christmas parties have a mixed reputation. Not everyone looks forward to them. If the party’s cheap and soulless it’s no wonder employees resent going. Making the corporate event of the year a sophisticated affair is more likely to tickle your employees’ taste buds.
We’ve put together some top tips for upstyling your corporate Christmas do. You certainly don’t need to do it all. Mix and match the best ideas for your event, then sit back and watch the oohs and ahs of appreciation as the event unfolds.
Playful Baroque opulence
Spending money on expensive flower arrangements may seem a little extravagant for one night only, but there’s good reason to. The more luxury and bespoke the arrangements are, the greater the impact. Not only will table centre pieces help you to create an enchanting event space, they double up as gifts of appreciation for the most helpful/hardworking/innovative employee.
You could even get other employees to vote in the weeks leading up to the event and announce award winners on the night. It’s perfectly acceptable as a gift of choice for men too. Though, if you’ve gone all pink and frilly you might need some standby cufflinks.
Think Edward Scissorhands if you want a dramatic display and get a pro to create something incredible. Flowers can really bring a Christmassy feel to your event. Whether it’s just a single huge centrepiece or a whole Christmas woodland theme, flowers will create a fabulous ambiance. Intertwined with luxurious ribbons and stylish baubles, floral displays can transform your venue from frumpy to flamboyant.
Corporate Christmas – a time for giving
A table gift for staff is a great way to show appreciation, and even better if it’s personalised. Staff will love the fact that some thought has gone into selecting a gift for them. Here are a few ideas, including practical, fun, low-cost and luxury options:
- Luxury chocolates
- Porcelain tree decorations
- Retro sweet selection box
- Gourmet foodie gift bag or hamper
- Fine wine
- Stylish leather purses and wallets, or luggage tags
- Cashmere gloves or scarves
- Gift cards
- Experience days (from spa days to sky diving)
- Unexpected bonus
- Head Phones, smart phone charging docks, travel phone chargers
- Theatre vouchers
- Gym membership, National Trust membership, Museum membership
- Fine tea and coffee gifts (glass tea and coffee pots, espresso cups, fine loose leaf teas or crafted single estate coffees).
Say cheese with Christmas spirit
Are photo booths yesteryear? The jury’s out, but they do bring some fun to the party. After the drinks start flowing, staff will love getting snapped with festive holiday props. Make it as glamourous or as kitsch as you like. There are all sorts of booths to choose from – sleek Perspex to branded vinyl. Stand alone, bespoke selfie pods are always a crowd pleaser. And your staff don’t leave empty handed if you’ve arranged for printing on-site.
Making a grand entrance
Who doesn’t want to walk down a clean, crisp beautiful red carpet? It’s an iconic image and a great photo opportunity. Mocked up Magazine covers with staff photos in can be created after the event (or on-site if you’ve organised an event photographer). Champagne and canopies on arrival are a must.
Cool ideas for the little extras
Making your venue look beautiful doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you’re on a budget, here are some great ideas to help bring a little extra to the party.
- Hand drawn table signs with little motivating messages or recognition of people’s work are a nice touch. It’s worth hiring a professional illustrator, or making use of an artistic employee.
- Bunting in the vintage sense is starting to feel a tad overdone, but blinging up the bunting in sparkling silver or gold will bring a bit of Christmas and disco shimmer to the party.
- Balloons are the new bunting. Done stylishly, balloons can add something stylish and cool to the decor. Adding smart tassels to elegant, opaque balloons so they float above the tables really does look cool.
- Mason jars with portable fairy lights are a great alternative to candles in jam jars and really set the Christmas scene.
- Festoon lights are definitely the new fairy lights. Be bold, be brave and get creative.
Until Next Time… Charlotte x