Employees ready to spend for corporate Christmas parties

Just under half of UK workers expect to attend corporate Christmas parties organised by the employers this year, according to a survey of 3,000 workers by VoucherCodes.co.uk.

As reported by People Management, employees across the UK are looking forward to visiting venues for hire for their annual company celebrations – and many are willing to splash out in preparation. On average, male workers expect to spend some £21 on grooming and clothing for their corporate Christmas party; perhaps unsurprisingly, female workers will spend even more with an average of £40 on pampering and clothes for the big event.

The main reason behind this discrepancy in spending is that many more women are likely to purchase a new wardrobe for their parties. Nearly three quarters (75%) said they would buy new clothes specifically for their work party, with 55% expressly intending to buy new shoes. In comparison, just 41% of men said they would be buying new clothes.

However women are also far more likely to splash out on pampering and preparations for their company ‘do. Nearly half (46%) said they would get a haircut specifically for the day, in comparison to 38% of men. Furthermore a small minority of women said they would spend in more specialised ways, such as with fake tan (17%) or a manicure (17%).

 

Potential 3D broadcast for the Royal wedding

Sky, the broadcast channel of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has announced plans to televise the Royal wedding in 3D, Reuters reports.

“This is the kind of big-event TV that would definitely be a contender for our strategy of offering 3D coverage,” said a source from Sky, but a Buckingham Palace insider claims no set plans have been made saying “We haven’t gotten into the logistics of how all the media feeds will work.”

If plans do go ahead for a 3D broadcast, it has been suggested that millions across the UK may rent event spaces and hold themed parties, whilst watching the event in HD 3D. According to TechWatch, the figures for those investing in 3D televisions is expected to shoot up once plans are cemented, given that the event has an expected audience of approximately one billion.

This is by no means a new venture for Sky, who has shown a range of events in 3D – including Premier League football matches, operas, ballet, concerts and even the election leaders’ debates. The announcement by Murdoch will only fuel the global scramble of television broadcasters to get their coverage in order for the April wedding.

Jana Bennett the BBC’s director of vision, said “I think it is going to be a major event for many, many people in this country and around the world; it could be a bit like the Coronation, when TV sets were turned on for the first time in so many millions of households.”

Royal events have a long-standing history of being popular with audiences across the globe, with the funeral of the late Princess Diana attracting 2.5 billion viewers and her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, luring in one billion Royal fans.

Decision on 2018 World Cup revealed today

A decision on who will host the 2018 World Cup will be made today, with England hoping to claim the honour, reports The Telegraph.

Labelled as the “greatest show on earth”, the World Cup is one of the world’s best-loved sporting tournaments, and the honour of hosting is up for grabs by Russia, Holland and Belgium (jointly), Spain and Portugal (jointly) and England. This is the first time in 52 years that England has bid for the hosting duties, in what David Beckham, former England captain, has called “our time.”

“We have the most passionate fans, we have the expectancy of a whole nation behind us, and they want this more than anyone,” added Beckham. If England are successful in their bid, it would mean a huge amount of business for London, not only for tourists travelling to the capital, but with thousands of people renting event venues in which to host World Cup-themed parties and match nights.

Russia has so far been the favourite to win; however last night, bookmakers were dishing out 11-10 odds for England to win. An executive committee, consisting of 22 Fifa officials, will decide at 3pm today who will have the rights to host. Backing England have been the Prime Minister, David Cameron, footballing legend David Beckham, and Royal representative, Prince William – aptly nicknamed “The Three Lions” throughout the campaign.

“I have had a few challenges throughout my career; it is another one of those things where, when you represent your country, you give everything you have,” says Beckham in the Yorkshire Post, “I have obviously done that on the field a few times, and now I am trying to do it off the field. We will be working day and night to bring it to us.”

 

XpertHR recommends employers put policies in place for corporate Christmas parties

With corporate Christmas parties expected at thousands of firms across the country, new research from XpertHR has highlighted the need for employers to properly prepare company policy appropriate to the festivities.

As reported by Personnel Today, XpertHR’s research serves as a strong reminder that employers need to organise more than just Christmas party venues, catering and entertainment – they need to ensure that staff are aware that standards of behaviour must still be maintained.

Whilst two thirds of employers do not have any policy in place outlining the acceptable standard of employee behaviour at a corporate Christmas party, employers still have a legal responsibility to ensure that staff act acceptably during the festivities. Although the vast majority of the 111 organisations surveyed by XpertHR saw their Christmas celebrations pass without any unpleasant incident, a minority of 7% admitted that problems had arisen at their last work Christmas party or meal.

In most cases, excessive consumption of alcohol was identified as the major contributing factor in these incidents. One obvious solution to this is to limit the availability of alcoholic drinks to an enjoyable but relatively harmless amount – i.e. several glasses, rather than an unlimited bar.

However XpertHR notes that simply by putting a Christmas party policy in place, employers can avoid the risk of being held liable for harm caused by the negligent acts of their employees at a work event. Three organisations that reported incidents at Christmas parties said they had been forced to use formal disciplinary proceedings to deal with issues that arose – and without set policies in place, such procedures may prove difficult.

Don't let the snow ruin a winter wedding

With the adverse weather getting worse and worse across the UK, many planning winter weddings for December or January are panicking that their nuptials may not go ahead. To combat this, Hello Magazine suggests not worrying about something that can’t be controlled, and instead focusing on other aspects of the wedding – providing some handy tips to make any winter wedding a success.

Firstly, ladies should remember that the cold shouldn’t prompt them to forget about the dress of their dreams – even if it is strapless, or doesn’t have a lot of coverage, pashminas, shawls and glamorous coats or jackets can cover up any bare skin.

Secondly, battle the cold weather by spreading candles throughout the wedding reception venue and church/place of registry – providing a romantic atmosphere and added heat for the guests. Also, providing some deliciously hot dishes for the reception (along with a hearty liquor or mulled wine) will warm guests up straight away – The Bride’s Dream suggests serving warming soups or spicy dishes.

Be sure to pick warming colours for weddings held during the festive period – golds, greens, and deep, dark tones work well – and will most likely invoke feelings of joy, peace and happiness.

Above all else, bride and grooms to be should remember to purchase wedding insurance as soon as possible, and be realistic about the figure the wedding is likely to cost. This means even the worst possible turn of events is covered, and provides soon-to-be newly weds with a strong sense of security and calm. 

Adverse weather conditions have not affected the hospitality industry

Big Hospitality reports that recent adverse weather conditions have not hindered Britain’s event venues, conference centres, restaurants, hotels and public houses, with trading carrying on as normal.

Although the cost of the weather on the British economy has been quoted at £1.2 billion per day, the hospitality industry appears to remain unaffected, with some businesses even claiming they’ve experienced a rise in sales.

In Eat Out Magazine, a pub in London claims they have seen a 62 percent increase in sales over the last week – with consumers tucking into hot food and drinks. “It was quite an operation to clear the snow outside, but once we did, we had a really busy day. Plenty of customers said they couldn’t get hot food elsewhere, and so we enjoyed a bumper food service day,” claims owner Mark Naylor.

“Everyone had a bit of the ‘Dunkirk’ spirit about them, so the pub was lively and fun. One customer said he had been stuck in town for two days already, having to stay in a hotel, and lots more couldn’t travel to work.” concluded Naylor.

It has also been reported that businesses in smaller towns and villages are faring well, with a publican in North Yorkshire claiming “We’ve had a lot of snow; as we are in a village, some people here don’t want to try and venture too far, so they come to us instead.”

The surge in sales hasn’t just hit food retailers – hotels and event venues have also seen an increase. “We probably got an additional 10-15 per cent more bookings from people whose flights were cancelled – we had to stop selling early.” reports a hotelier nearby Heathrow Airport.

Visit London targets the associations industry

Visit London, the official visitor organisation for London which aims to attract visitors to the capital, have made a series of films in an effort to attract the associations sector.

The short films titled Why London, Social London, Big London and Value London form part of the organisation’s drive to make London’s function venues the ideal location for larger events held by the associations industry.

The films, which all last around a minute each have been posted on video-sharing website YouTube as well as being distributed to association event managers. The films highlight the range of business venues, attractions and hotels that are available in London for large associations.

Becky Graveney head of associations for Visit London told Meetpie: “A picture speaks a thousand words, so we felt that a short film would be an ideal platform to communicate with busy association teams and event planners. We wanted to highlight just how attractive London is for the associations sectors.”

The new films which offer the associations industry advice and tips, are just one of a number of initiatives recently created by Visit London’s teams. Other initiatives include the creation of an association’s directory, a new section on the Visit London website which specifically focuses on associations and an association marketing toolkit.

Top five tips for throwing a Christmas party

With the festive season upon us, lots of people will be thinking about organising their own Christmas party nights.

Hosting a Christmas party is always fun but it can bring with it stress and a million and one things to do. The Liverpool Echo has given readers its top five tips to throwing this season’s best party night.

According to event management expert Cathryn O’Grady, whether you are throwing a party for five people or for 15 the same principles apply. “It’s all about planning, planning and more planning.” she said.

The most important thing is to get organised, a party won’t plan itself and it certainly shouldn’t be left to the last minute. Party hosts should give themselves 3-4 weeks if throwing a home based gathering or longer (between 6-8 weeks) if the party is being held at one of many venues for hire. Creating a list of things to do always helps and can be quite therapeutic as you begin to tick things off.

When planning a party or event agree a budget, decide how much you want to spend at the beginning and then stick to it. List the things you want to buy and a rough estimate of how much you want to spend on each item, but be careful not to forget decorations. When considering decorations it is the perfect time to decide if your event will have a theme, however, be realistic about what you can get done with the time left, budget and resources.

Think about who you want to invite, write out your guest list and keep checking it to ensure you haven’t missed anybody off; but also make sure you don’t have too many on your list. Asking guests to RSVP by a certain date will stop you being unsure how of how many to cater for and don’t forget to check if there are any special dietary requirement.

Lastly and most importantly ensure you have enough food and drink. Aim to make your food table a talking point, lay it out like a feast using nibbles such as olives, crisps and dips to fill it up.

Line-up for 2010 London Festival revealed

The line-up for the London 2012 Festival has been revealed and comprises actors, musicians and performers from around the world, reports Breaking Travel News.

The event will run alongside the Olympic games, and will celebrate what is to be an amazing year for the capital through song, dance, visual arts, film and theatre. The festival is set to attract the likes of Mike Leigh, Jude Law, Damon Albarn, Olafur Eliasson, David Hockney, Cate Blanchett and Jamie Hewlett.

“This is an exciting first group of commissions for the London 2012 Festival, and there is much more to come, which will be announced next year,” says chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, Tony Hall.

“Leading artists from all over the world will come together for a wonderful finale – 2012 is going to be a stupendous summer of sports and arts, the whole of the UK in celebration,” concludes Hall. The festival will likely prompt a surge in the rental of event spaces, with performers and visitors alike holding their own celebrations.

Organisers are expecting around 3 million people to attend the festival, which has been hailed as an “extraordinary, once in a lifetime” experience – one which is costing the British economy around £83 million. There will be approximately 1,000 events spread across 12 weeks, beginning June 21st 2012 and ending September 9th 2012, reports The Telegraph.

Actor Jude Law said of the festival: “It is important for the festival to make people across the UK aware that this is not just a London-based event. It is an event that includes everyone in the UK and on a global levels, and it is an event that hopefully will seek to remind people of the possibilities of unification and truce.”

First venue for Olympic Games 2012 unveiled

Organisers of the Olympic Games 2012 have today unveiled the first of many event venues chosen to host events, reports The Telegraph.

The £13 million centre, Lee Valley Regional Park, is set to be officially opened by Princess Anne today, and is situated in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It will provide the setting for many of the water-based sports events – primarily the canoe slalom, reports London2012.com. Despite reports that the centre would only be open to Team GB prior to the Games, it has been confirmed that the centre will operate as usual until 2012.

“We will be accepting bookings from international teams, because we’re running the centre as a commercial enterprise,” said a spokesperson for Lee Valley Regional Park. This will provide open access to all those competing in the water-based sports, allowing them to familiarise themselves with the course prior to the actual event – in contrast to the 2008 Beijing Games, where foreigners had limited visitation.

However industry experts are urging British competitors to forget about this and instead concentrate on preparing themselves. The chief executive of the British Canoe Union (BCU), Paul Owen, has said “The reality is that the white-water course offers greater potential for home advantage that any other venue at the Games.”

“The problem is that once you accept that it is open to the public, overseas teams can bowl up as members of the public anyway. The only advantage we have had is that we’ve probably had first dip at the slots. Any country in the world will be able to go along there and say they want to book slots on it.”