After two years of disrupted Christmas get-togethers characterised by lockdown, enforced social distancing and isolation uncertainty, DesignMyNight saw traffic to quirky Christmas parties increase by 48.1% in September compared to the same month in 2021 and traffic to the Christmas party guide page shoot up by 62.64% compared to the same period last year. There have also been reports that some venues are already close to being fully booked 10 weeks before Christmas Day.
The discovery platform enables people to search not only for tables at restaurants, bars and pubs, but for venues that are hosting the best events and parties in their area (and further afield) as well as giving them the ability to make a booking and purchase tickets. It also provides a Venue Finding service that organises and coordinates plans for company events including the much-anticipated Christmas party.
DesignMyNight Senior Marketing & PR Manager Leighanne Bent explained “The DesignMyNight Venue Finding Service is a good barometer of how the Christmas party season is shaping up and, as firms are thought to have spent more than £1bn annually on Christmas parties pre-pandemic, what it is likely to mean for the pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants that are hoping to end another challenging year with a flourish.
“The working environment has changed beyond recognition and a survey by Advanced Workplace Associates found that office workers spend an average of only 1.5 days a week alongside colleagues in the office so there has been a huge shift in dynamics. Having missed out on parties since 2019, seeing each other only occasionally and wanting an outlet to celebrate achievements together, companies are pulling out all the stops for their teams. They are asking the DesignMyNight Venue Finding team to create something special to recognise the difficult circumstances people have been working in, improve team dynamics and boost staff morale. The Venue Finding team is seeing companies commit an average spend of £12,000 - £15,000 for employee parties and are dealing with many queries for something fun as well as great food and drink. Dinner and dancing are firmly on the agenda and the increase in activity-led venues, such as darts, golf and virtual reality games, has opened up a much more interactive Christmas party scene.
“Other popular requests for 2022 include drag entertainment and immersive experiences, including escape rooms and cocktail making.”
There are some signs, however, that although most people are ready to go out and party and make up for lost time, there are still some pandemic legacies. “DesignMyNight is getting multiple requests for flexible venue cancellation terms” continued Leighanne Bent “indicating that there are still some nerves about committing 100%. We have also noticed that the most popular dates have shifted forward to the earlier part of the month rather than the traditional last week before Christmas, with most demand being on 7th, 8th, 9th and 15th December. This trend started last year and, although people are no longer mindful of having to isolate for 10 days if they catch Covid as they were in 2021, this suggests that their mindset remains on enjoying a party with colleagues whilst minimising the prospect of spoiling time spent with family over the Christmas break due to illness.”
DesignMyNight has thousands of events in cities around the UK listed on its discovery website for people wanting to make individual bookings but advises everyone to book as soon as possible.
“Many popular venues are already close to capacity” said Leighanne Bent“ but our Venue Finding team still has some wonderful options available for company parties, although they are booking up quickly, as are individual reservations made through the DesignMyNight website. Our recommendation is not to put Christmas planning off any longer, but to be as flexible and secure your parties as quickly as you can.”