The Christmas party - one of the most important events of the year where you have the opportunity to reward and thank your staff. But the planning, venue decisions, menu choices and entertainment dilemmas can all add up to a headache for the organiser.

Help from the event professionals at ACF Teambuilding and Events is one way to ensure your festive do runs smoothly and is talked about by your team for all the right reasons. Here’s a case study of a Christmas party organised by Storm Kennedy, Sales Event Executive at ACF Teambuilding and Events, to give you some inspiration.

Guests at Christmas party in City Hall, Bristol

Image credit: ACF Teambuilding and Events 

The Brief

The client wanted to put on an extra special party with a hint of extravagance and luxury, where everyone in the company could celebrate a great year together. The guest list included all 350 employees of the company, from warehouse staff to all senior directors who would be travelling from America, Italy, Croatia and the UK. 

The venue

After a lot of site visits and extensive research the venue chosen was City Hall, a Grade II listed building primarily used by Bristol City Council. Recently refurbished and with a beautiful painted high ceiling, it offered that luxury and wow factor that we were looking for. Most importantly, all the guests could fit in one room and there were also breakout areas for extra activities.

We fixed gobos onto the high walls together with static lights under trusses and movable multiple colours illuminating the ceiling. One end of the room held a large powerful projector that beamed an image of the company logo while using a second glass gobo to deliver a twinkling effect across on a large conference screen (which couldn’t be moved, so we thought we should make the best of it that we could).

Space for dancing was essential, so a large 16m x 16m black starlit dancefloor was placed in front of the stage where a live band performed. A pop-up bar was set up at the far end of the room with a number of tables to sit at. 

Employees on the dancefloor at Christmas party in Bristol's City Hall

Image credit: ACF Teambuilding and Events 

On arrival

Outside of the main doors there were floodlights that lit up the night sky. Greeted by professional door staff, guests walked through on a red carpet to meet company directors. Drinks and canapés were handed out by the venue’s catering staff and guests were encouraged to pose for photos next to the branded “sponsors’ board”. We provided a champagne fountain to keep guests well ‘watered’ and a Ferrero Rocher Pyramid for a sweet treat.

Foyer furniture was replaced with poseur tables and we had golden colour uplighters up against the walls. One of the main features in the room was a giant company branded prop that sat within two pillar. The restrooms were down a flight of stairs which had been carpeted, and props such as arm chairs, mirrors and toiletries were added. All other entrances (except for fire escapes) were blocked out using drapes and swags.

The CEO made a short speech and handed out a number of awards before guests were invited to travel through a star clothed corridor into the main function room.

Guests mingling at Christmas party

Image credit: ACF Teambuilding and Events 

Entertainment

A photo booth that guests walked into for group photographs was purpose built. Brightly lit, one side of the booth was a large Perspex front with a variety of Magazine style headlines about the company’s achievements. After each photo was taken guests could wait to see the pictures on a large plasma screen. All photos were saved and provided to the company after editing.

Guests could mingle with a Marilyn Monroe lookalike as well as two paparazzi characters who snapped photos helping to catch memories from the event. Roulette and Black Jack tables went down very well in the themed casino room.

There was no formal meal at this event, so buffet style hot bowls were served along with a burger bar and the canapés on arrival. 

Marilyn Monroe lookalike at Christmas party organised by ACF Teambuilding

Image credit: ACF Teambuilding and Events 

What was the feedback from attendees?

The night went without a hitch and the client was over the moon with the results:

“Wow, what an amazing night! You guys absolutely nailed it - such a brilliant event and the buzz around the offices is amazing today. Thank you so much for everything you did. You made it look seamless but I’m sure it wasn’t at times.

“We loved everything - it really looked so fantastic. Word on the street is that it was the biggest and best event ever in company history and it’s all thanks to you. Thank you!”

Feeling inspired to take your Christmas party plans for this year up a notch? Chat to the friendly events team at ACF Teambuilding on 01934 862305 or info@acfteambuilding.co.uk.

Browse the Meet Bristol website for more advice on planning a show-stopping event in Bristol.

Read next: The evolution of ACF teambuilding and events

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