Inconnection's Tips for Unreal Christmas Events

20 September 2016

A funny thing happens at this time of year. Until the end of August events diaries are full of summer parties and Pimms receptions, but as soon as the calendar flips over to September... BAM. Eyes turn to Christmas. In a big way.

It’s easy to see why. Christmas is a light at the end of the tunnel for hard-working teams and exhausted leaders.

Christmas events matter. They drive, motivate, celebrate and reward. They show appreciation for a job well done, boost morale and nurture interpersonal relationships between teams and leadership. So it’s worth kicking things up a gear, creating an imaginative event that people will love, remember and value.

Luckily, delivering exceptional events with real wow-factor is what we do.  So here are our top tips for creating a Christmas miracle this year.

Embrace Christmas Giveaways

Take home favours, goodie bags and giveaways have earned themselves a bad name in recent years – mostly thanks to event planners with no budget and even less imagination. Steer clear of the standard corporate branded stationary (pens and notepads will get binned on the way out or haunt desks for years to come), and opt instead for imaginative seasonal treats that will raise a smile and remind guests of your event when they use them—anything from Christmas decorations and festive flameless candles to exclusive experiences or spa days to help your team unwind after the hectic Christmas rush.

Get Imaginative with Food & Drink

If your event is known for providing a full sit-down Christmas dinner, you might feel limited in options—but you can still introduce some interest and impact. If you’re working with an experienced, imaginative events partner and caterer, let them know you’re open to creating something different—how about a buffet-style Christmas meal, an outdoor hog roast with mulled wine and all the festive trimmings, or a sophisticated, deconstructed Christmas dinner offered as a series of canapés and light bites served throughout the night? You might not even have to spend time on a seating plan...

Leverage Social Media

Whether you plan it into your event or not, pictures will be taken, check-ins made and statuses updated (with progressively worse spelling as the evening wears on). So embrace it. Your social approach can be lighter and less rigorous than at more results-orientated events. Keep things simple by introducing a fun, usable hashtag that will add value by allowing you to group, access and use pictures from the event across social channels, or really commit and use a DCMS / aggregator like RebelMouse to live-collate and broadcast event images to big screens on the night.

Remember It’s a Time for Giving

Introducing an element of charity into your event can really take things up a gear. It’s another way of bringing people together, of spreading good feeling, and of boosting morale across your hierarchy. Choose a cause close to your organisation or your employees’ hearts, and then make things as simple or as complex as you like. You could give a percentage of your total bar spend to charity, have collection buckets circulating throughout the night for loose change, or stage a live novelty auction of prizes or perks (every Friday in January off, anyone?). You get to support a great cause, forge a mutually-valuable relationship with your chosen charity, and create usable content and stats for social campaigns, stakeholder newsletters, post-event reports and more.

Budget Properly

You need to provide an event that delivers on its potential. Celebrating and rewarding your colleagues, clients or partners has to take precedence here—so don't let your event fall down because of budgetary restrictions. We've heard horror stories about events where there simply wasn't enough food or drink to go round, where corners cut in AV equipment result in technical problems that shut a party down, and where venues simply aren't the right space or don't have the right spec... but were chosen because they're cheap.

At Inconnection we use our insight, imagination and ability to save industry-leading organisations time and effort. We use the trust and buying power that we've built over decades in the industry to deliver exceptionally planned and executed boutique Christmas events.

Think Outside the Box. Literally.

It may be a high-stakes roll depending on where you live, but moving your Christmas party outside can open up a whole new world of possibilities. Depending on your venue (and the weather forecast) this can be as simple as hosting an open-air mulled wine reception in an  ‘outdoor room’ dressed with fairy lights and patio heaters, or as complex and involved as your imagination allows it to be. Outdoor space can be infinitely more flexible than indoor space, and it's easy to create festive atmosphere outdoors. It's a bold move that’s sure to be remembered for years, though it’s best to base outdoor activities around a marquee or covered area, otherwise it may only be remembered for that unexpected change in the weather...

The London Comedy Lunch

Alternatively, you can let someone else do all of the work for you, and just turn up on the day. Back in 2011, we realised that we were talking to a lot of clients who had attended disappointing Christmas events. Events in London were being described as 'average', with complaints of tired venues, poor hosting, screens and sound systems that weren't up to the job and a general lack of quality. So we took the bull by the horns, using our own expertise, imagination and experience to deliver the exclusive London Comedy Lunch. Held in the heart of the City of London, we created an event built around great catering and real wow-factor. Most excitingly, over the last five years the event has played host to some of the UK's best comedy talent, including Jimmy Carr, Sean Lock, Jack Whitehall and more.

This year's event is being held at the HAC on Thursday December 8th, and Dara Ó Briain is headlining. Limited tickets are still available, to secure your table today please contact Pete Gill on 0161 482 8222 or

Christmas events have great potential to deliver real value for your organisation, and to reward your people. If you’re interested in working with an events partner with the insight, ability and industry-wide connections to really light up your Christmas party, get in touch now via the Contact page. We look forward to talking to you!