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    It’s official! In-person Christmas parties are back for 2021!

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    A new survey by event tech scale-up HeadBox indicates a strong return to the in-person office Christmas party, whilst also providing some revealing facts about how UK employees behave at the annual event.

    Data for the ‘12 truths of Christmas party campaign’ was collected from 1,000 UK employees aged between 18 and 54+, from a range of industries, as well as internal HeadBox event data. The interactive calendar reveals 12 truths about what people love about the Christmas work do, their party pet peeves and what they really get up to.

    Last year, over 90% of enquiries were for online events, according to HeadBox, but it appears we can wave goodbye to online Zoom quizzes and say hello to a proper Christmas party in 2021. Just 3% of survey respondents indicated their ideal office party would be virtual. This is reflected in HeadBox booking data which shows 99.7% of parties are in-person this year with an average spend of £91 per head.

    Brits aren’t afraid to have a good time either. The survey uncovered that 39% have called in sick at least once after the office Christmas party, with 8% revealing they do it every year.

    Half of UK Christmas party-goers may be on ‘the naughty list’ too, as 50% admitted they have done something they regret at least once.

    Respondents also revealed that their biggest Christmas party turn-off is a low food and drinks budget, with fancy dress a close second.

    “Everyone is feeling the festive spirit this year and our Christmas event enquiries really reflect that,” offered Sheridan Roberts, HeadBox Head of Events. “The return of live events is such a welcome boost for everyone in the industry and people are going all out to make up for losing out on a Christmas work night out last year. COVID safety is still a top priority and something we – and the wider events community – are committed to. We see it as an opportunity to get creative with ideas and different formats to deliver a festive season to remember. There’s a real buzz in the air.”

    The full list of Christmas stats, including which industry most hates spending time with colleagues at the office party, can be found here.


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    Lisa Carter

    All stories by: Lisa Carter