While the UK’s economic growth may be facing challenges, businesses are eagerly investing in their corporate Christmas party plans , according to new research from Christmas party planning experts Poptop, a leading online events booking platform. This surge in demand for corporate Christmas parties raises the question: Can the events industry meet this remarkable demand?
The Festive Party Planning Boom
Poptop recently conducted research involving over 420 corporate clients to assess the state of the events market ahead of the Christmas season. The results showed a substantial increase in corporate Christmas party activity, surpassing the previous year and potentially marking the highest demand for the festive season in more than two decades. Notably, businesses are planning these events earlier than usual, with over a quarter securing their Christmas party plans as early as June, a significant departure from the traditional trend of bookings picking up in October.
What’s Driving This Growth?
The surge in demand for corporate Christmas parties is not isolated but is part of a broader trend. Summer 2023 witnessed a 68% rise in corporate events bookings compared to pre-pandemic levels. This increased demand is now spilling over into year-end celebrations. A possible reason behind this trend is a growing emphasis on staff well-being.
As hybrid working becomes more prevalent, companies are navigating a delicate balance to maintain high staff morale. While hybrid work arrangements offer increased job satisfaction and personal autonomy, they can lead to isolation, reduced productivity, and weakened staff bonds. Forward-thinking HR departments are turning to corporate activities as a novel way to counteract these challenges, bringing team members together for team-building exercises and family events to rekindle important connections among the workforce.
A New Era of Christmas Party Trends
This shift in focus towards regular corporate events has increased the attention on the party industry from corporate event planners. With team-building and in-person events playing a more vital role in fostering office cohesion, meticulous planning and early bookings have become the norm.
This attention to detail also extends to the nature of the events themselves. Rather than traditional festive revelry, corporate event planners are exploring innovative Christmas party ideas. Family-friendly parties and themed events are gaining popularity, with unique bookings like live-action murder mystery parties becoming a hit. Categories such as street food, mobile bars, DJs, and music continue to be in high demand. To manage budgets more effectively, many corporate events are planned in-office rather than at costly third-party venues.
Can the Industry Keep Up with Demand?
While the surging demand is undoubtedly positive for the events sector, a potential concern remains. Post-COVID, the party industry saw a decrease of up to 30% in supplier numbers, with some leaving due to the industry’s stagnation. Moreover, “cost of living” issues have continued to impact suppliers. There are concerns among industry leaders about whether there are enough suppliers to meet the high volume of incoming bookings. However, the industry remains resilient and optimistic. Suppliers who have persevered through the recent challenging years are gearing up for what may be the busiest festive period of their professional careers.
Eugene Shestopal, CEO of Poptop UK, commented on the research findings: “Our research shows the rise in demand for Christmas corporate party bookings is absolutely unprecedented. We’re seeing massive growth in the corporate sector of our marketplace, with bookings coming in as early as June in many cases. It’s no exaggeration to say the groundwork is in place for the busiest festive period for the events industry in over twenty years. And whilst there are concerns over the industry’s ability to meet demand, I’m sure we speak for all our suppliers on Poptop when we say – bring it on!’