Organising a Christmas party can be a logistical nightmare. You need to find a suitable venue, book some decent entertainment, and decide on the all-important drinks and food menu. Whether you’re planning on behalf of your entire company, or trying plan a party that will entertain and impress your mates, there are a lot of options to navigate. And you don’t want to repeat or copy last year’s event. These are the top Christmas party trends that Venuemob customers are loving this year.
Venues with an industrial vibe
“Industrial chic” is a request that our illustrious team of venue booking managers regularly receive. Think cool warehouse vibes, shipping container bars and blank canvas spaces that can be dressed up or down, according to the brief.
The sometimes stark setting of an industrial space also works in great juxtaposition to colourful or ornate decorations. That is – nothing is going to make those Christmas trees and lights stand out more than a simple, chromatic backdrop.
Venues with inclusive smoking areas
There’s no denying it – smoking restrictions are tightening in the hospitality and service industry. That can make finding a venue with an inclusive outdoor/smoking section a bit tricky. Tricky, but not impossible. (Check out our picks in Sydney and Melbourne for venues with inclusive sections for smokers). That being said, choosing a venue with an attached outdoor area is not just beneficial for smokers, or vapers. Outdoor spaces are great for having more intimate conversations, away from the thumping speakers, or to just hang out and get some fresh air.
Something a bit different
This year we’re seeing a real spike in the number of Christmas booking requests at venues that are far from cookie-cutter. Boats are proving very popular for corporate day time Christmas lunches, particularly in Sydney. It makes sense – Sydney Harbour is a postcard perfect setting. Themed or quirky venues are also gaining popularity. These types of venues are great for getting your crew into the fun party mood from the get-go.
The Food & Drink
Food trucks are now ubiquitous, but nonetheless popular. In Melbourne alone, there are an estimated 3,000 food trucks rolling around the metropolitan area. And now, we’re starting to see more venues offer food truck catering options. Venues like Arts Centre Melbourne even develop food truck package option for conferences and meetings. They’re a great way to add an extra element of fun to an event.
While ‘substantial canapé’ may sound like an oxymoron, we can assure you, they’re not. Normal canapés are bite-sized morsels. Substantial canapés are often shrunken versions of proper meals. Did you know you can have slow cooked beef cheek, or risotto as a canapé? This year especially we’re seeing a real focus on food at events. The days of tailing the tray-bearing waiter are gone – you want your guests to feel full, not famished.
Private dinners and lunches
For medium sized parties and executive gatherings, sit down events are on the rise. Partygoers have grown tired of tiny canapés on spoons, and are looking to leave an event sated. Grazing, shared and long table lunches really instil that sense of community and collective celebration. This type of event is perfect for those companies looking to reward their employees for their collective efforts in a refined setting.
Not just for kids on camp – activities are on the rise for corporate Christmas celebrations. You can either add an activity as part of a progressive event, or you can look for an all-in-one venue. Escape rooms, art classes and barefoot lawn bowls are a fun way to start your event with a high dose of energy. The trick is to pick an activity that all your guests can take part in. Adrenaline/gym junkies will be bang up for indoor rock climbing, but that might not be for everyone…especially if they’re afraid of heights.
The bigger the crowd, the harder it is to draw everyone’s attention to one spot. Roving performers, such as modern magicians, acrobats or character actors are a great way of entertaining guests with a more personalised experience. These performers are experts when it comes to identifying pockets of the party that might be flagging, but also gauging whether their subject may be on the shy/introverted side.
Live (cover) bands
Small bands are being favoured over your typical DJ. The trick to hiring a live band is knowing when to put them on the stage. An hour into the event might be a bit early. You need to give your guests time to relax (drink) and muster up the courage (drink more) to hit the dance floor. Also artistic aspirations are great, but in the context of corporate functions, give the people what they want. In the words of Win Butler of Arcade Fire – shut up and play the hits.
In a mad rush to book somewhere for your Christmas party? Fear not! Venuemob’s got you sorted >>