By Carrie Larwood, Managing Director at Function Fixers Venue Finders
Christmas is coming and I, for one, will be needing a drink, and some sort of festive cheer. I’m already accepting however, that it will be slightly different this year. We know that big gatherings are out, but I’m not willing to accept that means I can’t celebrate. And by the end of the year me, and many other agencies like ours, will have got used to finding creative solutions. Just like all of our clients who needed to have their meetings, at Function Fixers, we need to blow off some steam, it’s just a matter of how.
Christmas 2020 is a matter of tone. Words like ‘celebrate’ and ‘party’ have become almost taboo in most businesses, and could be seen as flippant in a world that has seen so much loss. But for me, and for our industry, Christmas has long since evolved from drunken debauchery to focused gatherings of people; a time for reflection, to take a breather, and look to the future. All set in and amongst the opportunity to spend time with friends and family. This year shouldn’t be any different.
So, what does this look like post-Covid? Firstly, we have to accept the limitations thrust upon us and get creative. There are some amazingly talented and creative individuals who have turned things on their head and created some inspired alternatives to the traditional ‘Office Christmas Party’.
‘Christmas in a box’ was the first thing that caught my eye. It is a hybrid employer wellbeing solution that is fun and fully customisable. It enables a company to communicate a positive message to their staff and to set them on good course for 2021 – whilst enjoying an evening of fun together.
The first step is to choose the party date and entertainment, and then a custom box of goodies is delivered to each member of staff. When the evening arrives, everyone dresses up – just a like a traditional festive event – but then the creativity starts. Everyone tunes in to the broadcast; first your CEO welcomes everybody to the event and delivers a live personal address from the central London venue that has been specifically set up to host the live broadcast. Then everyone can then open their box to find cocktails, wine, dressing-up props, festivities and of course some amazing food. The evening continues with entertainment – again broadcast live from the London venue and including your choice of comedy, magic or live music. Then the night ends with another live broadcast from the CEO to say thank you. People can either stay at home and engage fully digitally, or there is the option for up to 30 people to gather in an office if needed.
Guests will need a mask if gathering to view the event, so why not inject some creativity by giving them beautiful hand-made or bejewelled face masks, or pick a theme and have your masks follow suit. If we’re going to get used to this ‘new normal’ we have to first embrace it.
Christmas is a time of tradition but maybe it’s time to start some new traditions? Personally, I feel that I need it and my team deserves it. The decision on whether to have one or not has been made, now it’s about how.