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What comes to mind when you see the words ‘corporate Christmas party’? Woolly jumpers and paper hats? A clearly worse for wear Brian from accounts dancing wearily to another rendition of Slade? While December is an exciting time, plenty of partygoers have taken part in fairly routine Xmas gatherings over the years.

If your annual event has become as tired as an overworked reindeer, it might be time to make a change. After all, there’s no reason why the festive and the fresh can’t work together this December to create something new and exciting. 

To give you inspiration, we’ve compiled some of our favourite unusual corporate Christmas party ideas, complete with our top tips to make them work. From the vibrant heart of the neon jungle to the roaring 20s, there’s something here for all tastes and budgets. 

How to Plan Cracking Christmas Party Entertainment

Planning a feast of festive fun is snow joke! For many employees the traditional Xmas ‘do’ is one of the best nights in the calendar; a chance to celebrate shared achievements and have some well-earned fun. Christmas party entertainment is a huge factor, as it can transform a typical night out into a memorable evening that lingers long after the decorations come down.

If you’re planning entertainment for a Christmas party, here are our seven steps to hosting a true seasonal spectacle:

    1. Ask Your Teams: Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to entertainment for a work Christmas party. Ask for suggestions, take votes, and confirm availability to make sure the festivities work for everyone.
    2. Set a Budget: Asking guests to share mince pies is an obvious sign of bad budgeting. Make sure you know how much you’re working with before you begin planning so as not to disappoint. 
    3. Get the Right Venue: Finding the perfect venue can boost the theme of your event and set the stage for everything that follows. Plan well ahead and be flexible over dates to get the best deals.
    4. Cater for Everyone: Food and drink is the centrepiece of Christmas party entertainment, so make sure you provide as many tasty treats as the budget allows. And don’t forget to ask attendees about dietary requirements and preferences ahead of time to make sure everyone enjoys the feast. 
  • Dream Up a Theme: The theme of an event often separates the good nights from the great ones. The theme you choose will shape the look and feel of the evening, so get as creative as possible to nail the wow-factor.
  • Share an Agenda: Behind the snow machines and music, a memorable festive gathering is like a well-oiled machine. If you want to sleigh the day, draw up a clear agenda of everything you’ve got planned. 
  1. Spread the Word: You’ve done the hard yards, now for the fun bit. Tell teams about your exciting plans and set the Christmas countdown in motion. Just make sure you give everyone enough notice to get their glad rags together and sit back as the buzz grows. Finally, don’t forget to send more formal invites as the date gets closer to firm up numbers. 

Finally, if your inner-Grinch is groaning at the thought of handling all of the logistics — don’t worry. Using an event management company is a surefire way to push your party into (North) pole position. These planners have arranged more Christmas crackers than Father Christmas has elves, and can help with everything from venue-finding and event design to the final production.

7 Unusual Corporate Christmas Party Ideas

If you think that office Christmas parties mean paper hats and listening to Last Christmas on repeat, think again! While a lot of people still enjoy the more traditional festive elements, you only get one shot at doing something unique. Here are our unusual corporate Christmas party ideas to inject even myrrh entertainment into your next big gathering:  

Neon Jungle

Nothing excites the folks at ConnectIn Events more than a challenge. Our brief was to dream up bold and beautiful alternatives to your typical Christmas party for 300 guests. To get there, it was important to find a venue that would complement the theme and offer Christmas party entertainment with a difference.

The end result was Neon Jungle, a wild adventure, complete with a dizzying array of walkaround performers. Guests were wowed by the carnival atmosphere, which included zebras on stilts, tasty themed food, classy cocktails, dancers, jugglers, face painters…the list goes on. There was even an out-of-this-world immersive stage and set for the procession of colourful performances.

Mystery Beneath the Mistletoe

There’s nothing like a fun game to get teams talking, and the premise here is both simple and engaging. Following some festive foul play, the guests must solve a murder mystery beneath the mistletoe. Grab that detective cap and give out prizes to the winners as an incentive for harnessing their inner-Sherlock.

This one works best for smaller teams rather than large scale corporate events and, again, getting a suitable venue is all-important. If budget allows, consider hiring a countryside mansion and further enhancing your theme by dressing the location to match your mood. Then you can finish things off with a delicious meal, chilled music, and fireside drinks. 

As far as entertainment for a work Christmas party goes, this one could be murderously good fun!

Around the (Snow) Globe

Ever wondered what Christmas is like in far flung corners of the world? Save yourself — and your guests — the cost of an airline ticket by bringing the world to you instead. Potential theme options are almost limitless, so enjoy choosing from the likes of Brazilian Carnival, Aussie BBQ, Italian Renaissance, and much more. The world is your oyster!.

If you’re feeling extra ambitious you could even split a large venue into separate ‘countries’, providing guests with a mouthwatering choice of exotic delicacies and cultural customs.

Magical Masquerade

A masquerade ball is one of the classier forms of entertainment for a work Christmas party. This is your chance to cast aside the standard work uniform and roll out the suits and fancy dresses. Don’t forget to send out elegant RSVPs before you start quaffing posh cocktails and throwing shapes on the dance floor though.

A cavernous old room dressed in period decorations is highly recommended for this particular live event.

Bygone Bash

Obsessed with the Roaring 20s and all things Art Deco? Transform a historical building into a throwback from a bygone era, complete with Charleston dance-offs, jazz music, and a hush-hush speakeasy bar. Black and gold decorations will bring the period startlingly to life, while photo booths will give guests an opportunity to memorialise their feather bowers in timeless Christmas elfies.

This versatile idea can be adapted to any era so, if Gatsby isn’t your thing, just choose another period that hits the mark.

Merry Movie Themes

Does anyone not like sitting down to a Christmas film with a tummy full of turkey and trimmings? With a movie themed celebration you don’t have to wait for the day itself —  you can actually experience the thrill of stepping into your own moving picture. 

Popular themes include enduring family favourites like Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The latter can be brought to life with golden ticket invitations, chocolate fountains, giant coloured decorations, and confectionary-inspired food and drink.  

If you’re looking for exciting alternatives to the office Christmas party staples, this kind of event is huge fun for movie buffs and casual viewers alike. 

Future Fantastic

As we’ve discovered, entertainment for a work Christmas party doesn’t need to stick to the tried and trusted. If you want to make a complete break from tradition, you could even ignore the past and instead look ahead. Yes, our next form of Christmas party entertainment is quite literally the future.

There’s a huge range of modern tools available for planners who fancy staging a technical marvel. These include VR headsets, augmented reality apps, laser tag games, projection mapping on venue walls and exteriors…the list goes on. This is the kind of occasion where bold, colourful lighting and light shows circling the DJ booth are the order of the day. 

If not all guests are able to show up in person, you can even stage a hybrid event that combines the real and the virtual in one package.

Choose ConnectIn Events For Your Festive Fantasy

Are you looking to end the year on a high? ConnectIn Events is an established event management company that specialises in staging the spectacular. We take care of every aspect of your experience, leaving you free to concentrate on turning up and joining in the fun!

Based in Manchester, but operating worldwide, your on-call concierge will take the time to understand your goals, themes, and budget before planning begins. We take care of event design, event production, prop sourcing, audio-visual, and catering. Plus, because we know that location can make or break an occasion, we also offer a free venue-finding service to help source the ideal spot.

Whether you already have a clear idea of what you want to do or prefer to leave the inspiration to us, we can help. Our mission is to bring your ideas to life and plan an amazing corporate Christmas party that stays well within budget and timescales.

For more details about how we can plan your next night to remember, get in touch today!