Corporate Christmas party bookings on increase for more than 20% of event planners

Corporate Christmas party bookings have risen for 21.7% of event planners, according to a C&IT online poll.

Christmas parties are back for some event planners
Christmas parties are back for some event planners

According to a fifth of event planners responding to a C&IT online poll, Christmas party bookings have increased in 2010, compared to last year.

Millennia Events runs a sister company Office Christmas, which focuses on corporate Christmas parties, and the agency has reported a 30% increase in turnover in the last two quarters on 2009 figures.

Meanwhile, Potion Events director Will Moyse said there had been "bigger attendance and a slight increase in budgets".

"A few of our clients will always book us for Christmas events, such as Harvey Nichols, but the financial sector is still acutely aware of perception," said Moyse.

He added that some firms were doing smaller, departmental events that could be held in a bar or restaurant, rather than hiring a venue.

Best Parties Ever has reported a 30% increase in Christmas party bookings compared to 2009, with mixed events doing well as companies offered staff smaller, departmental events.

Chillisauce’s head of corporate events Claire Johnson agreed there was a trend for firms to hold departmental events, rather than one large party, which often led to increased attendance figures overall.

"People are starting to do Christmas parties again, after most were cancelled last year," she said.

Perception was still an issue, added Johnson, but corporates were making the most of get-togethers to combine festivities with a training session or business-focused workshop.

A third of event planners responding to C&IT's poll said bookings had stayed the same, however, almost half had seen a drop in bookings.

Last year, venues reported a 25% drop in bookings compared to 2008.

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