Inside the Christmas Parties of the World’s Biggest Corporates

Wonder how the world’s biggest brands celebrate Chrissy?

We’ve rifled through some of the biggest corporate Christmas parties of the past to give you the lowdown. There’s extravagance, excess, performers, entertainment, themes… and amongst it, all are a tonne of ideas you can take away for your own corporate Christmas party.

We’ve found that the budget isn’t as important as what you do with it. What makes these parties so wild is the fact that they’re quirky, bizarre, and creative – really allowing employees to experience something different.

1. Yahoo

For their Chrissy parties, Yahoo picks a theme and go all out. The theme was Wizard of Oz one year, complete with ethereal decorations and inventive costumes. Another year, Yahoo went with a Candy Rock theme that was all about embracing excess. There were huge gold nuggets on exquisite cakes, life-size gingerbread men around the venue, a speech by CEO Marissa Mayer, and a performance by the band Counting Crows.

Your inspiration:
You might not be able to invite famous musicians to perform at your Christmas party, but you can create an exciting and whimsical wonderland for your employees to come and play. Go all out with a theme, decorations, and little quirks for a lot of fun.

2. Twitter

Twitter utilised their fancy tech connections to throw a Christmas party like no other. Employees were served lit-up cocktails made by a robot, while another robot roamed around the party mixing and mingling with guests.

Your inspiration:
You probably don’t have easy access to robots that can mix cocktails and chat to guests – or do you? The point is, consider your network and connections, and utilise any perks or unique experiences that could help take your Christmas party up a notch.

3. LinkedIn

How’s this for something different and engaging: One year, LinkedIn threw a Cluedo-themed Christmas party with its own #CluedIn hashtag. The murder-mystery party had employees solving clues set-up all around the venue, with the addition of a sushi buffet, dance performances, liquid nitrogen ice cream, and – bizarrely – people drinking out of a toilet.

Another year, the company hired out a football stadium for the office Christmas party. Just to be weird, LinkedIn had female waitresses walking around the venue serving champagne from a fancy contraption on their dress. Strange? Yes. Memorable? Definitely.

Your inspiration:
Weird and wacky is wonderful. Offer something different, like drinking out of a toilet or being served champagne from a dress, and your employees will immediately have a smile on their face. You don’t need to go all out to be unforgettable and unique.

4. Google

One year, Google set up an enormous snow globe inside their Christmas party venue. Perfect for photo ops and lots of playing around, the globe was filled with tonnes of fake snow. Employees were free to throw it around, roll around in it, and just enjoy a white Christmas. We can’t really think of a more fun to bring the year to a close, to be honest.

The same year, a different Google team headed to the Computer History Museum (tech geeks, right?) where they received a private performance by a Cirque du Soleil troupe. This is our favourite of the lot, though: Google’s “It’s a Small World” party, where every floor was devoted to a different culture and cuisine, from Japanese to Indian to American. There was a variety of unique food, entertainers, decorations, and performers like fortune tellers and belly dancers to really create the experience.

Your inspiration:
Different strokes for different folks – while some teams might love rolling around in the snow, others might prefer something more relaxing like a Circus performance. On the other hand, it’s a Small World party shows that you can do a lot within the boundaries of your office space. Get creative and let your imagination run wild.

5. Tumblr

Another brand that takes a theme and does it well, Tumblr threw a carnival-themed Chrissy bash not long ago. They hired out the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a live music venue, and packed it with arcade games, food stands, and even a ball pit! Employees got to roam around as they please, and there were performances by Reggie Watts and other bands.

Your inspiration:
This Christmas party is a good example of something that’s low-budget but still shows a classically good time. Everyone loves arcade games, a ball pit will get most adults excited (especially if they’ve had a few drinks), and food stands mean that there’s something for everyone. Such a formula guarantees a good time – it’s simple but good.