The annual Christmas party is a work tradition, and a great opportunity to raise everyone’s spirits. But what do you need to make it truly special? In this article The Brewery’s Creative Director, Simon Lockwood, explains how you could throw a festive do for your employees that will be remembered fondly all year long.
“The annual Christmas party is a reward for employees, so they need to feel like they are being treated to something special,” says Simon. “When guests enter a venue they need to be initially wowed by the décor and the entertainment.”
This is certainly the case at The Brewery. All of the historic venue’s rooms can be magically transformed into a theme of your choosing, complete with sound and lighting design, drapes, and bespoke table centres. There’s just one rule – no clichés!
“Your employees can visit a local restaurant or club anytime, so to make them feel truly valued you should choose a venue that offers something completely different to what they are used to and keep them talking about the party for the rest of the year.
“Choosing somewhere unique also gives the organiser an opportunity to build suspense amongst employees in the run up to the party, and then on the night really immerse themselves into the theme and the atmosphere.”
You’re in charge of organising the party, but you also have a job to do in your company. Therefore, party organisers shouldn’t have to take on a whole load of additional stress, as Simon explains.
“Choose a venue that includes everything in a package and offers a one-stop-shop for your Christmas party. This means you can just concentrate on their guests and enjoying the party on the night.”
A crucial part of the package is food and drink, and so it’s imperative this is excellent and goes way beyond expectations; leave this to a quality chef. Led by Executive Chef Tom Gore, The Brewery’s kitchen concoct menus worthy of Michelin-starred restaurants, let alone an office Christmas party. With new dishes designed every year, your guests are sure to be wowed.
No dull moments
Whether you’re stumped for ideas or you’re trying to fit entertainment around a theme, you needn’t brainstorm alone. It’s people who work at venues who can offer the best suggestions – after all, they’ve seen just about everything before, and so can help you take your party that one step further.
“We find that photo booths are always popular but we love a couple of variations on this,” says Simon. “There’s the Photo Studio, who come to The Brewery and create full immersive sets for guests to interact with, and Lucky Voice karaoke booths which allow everyone to sing and take photos at the same time.
“There’s also a huge mini golf movement in London at the moment, with venues like Birdies and Plonk opening up. We love the idea of building small crazy golf courses for clients to play on around the tables, making a real feature of it. You can even have Christmas themed courses.
“Finally we’re big fans of Luma. They have amazing products such as YrWall – a giant digital graffiti wall that guests can draw on, and also YrDesigner which allows guests to design and print off their own t-shirt designs.”
Naturally, you’ll also want music and dancing at your party. Every Christmas party at The Brewery includes a DJ, and you can even have a live band. This year, you could opt for a wickedly original Christmas party – the Apostles of Anonymity are coming to the London venue this Christmas. You can find out more about them here.
Now you have all you need to throw a truly special office Christmas party for your employees. At the end of the day, according to Simon the setting is everything. “The venue is responsible for the quality of all key touch points, so choosing the right venue is integral to the success of a Christmas party.”