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Here’s How the World’s Biggest Companies Celebrate Christmas

What’s it like to attend a Christmas party hosted by Google? How do some of the world’s largest brands use their massive budgets to throw a Christmas party? All these questions are answered with this sneak peek inside the biggest corporate Christmas parties…

These companies have massive budgets to spend on their parties and scores of employees to cater for and manage, so what does a Christmas party look like if you work for a huge brand? Well, there’s extravagance, decadence, excess, performances, elaborate themes. And amongst it all you’ll find a lot of inspiration for planning your own corporate Christmas party.

As seasoned Christmas party caterers and planners, we’ve learned that your budget isn’t as important as what you do with it. It’s how you spend the money that counts, and what makes these Chrissy parties so wild is that they’re all bizarre and creative. It’s all about giving your employees a new and unusual event so they can experience something different.

So without further ado, here’s how the world’s biggest companies have celebrated Christmas. Unleash that inspiration!

1. Yahoo!

Yahoo is huge on themes. Every year, the company picks a theme and goes all out, throwing the budget on designing a whole dedicated world for their employees to enjoy. One year it was Wizard of Oz, complete with ethereal decorations and crazy costumes. Another year the brand celebrated a Candy Rock theme, embracing decadence and excess in all measures. The Candy Rock party featured huge gold nuggets, exquisite cakes, life-sized gingerbread men roaming around the venue, and a performance by the band Counting Crows.

Inspiration for your Christmas party:
You may not have the budget to invite famous bands to perform at your party, but you can still have live music from a local band. You can also do what you can to create a detailed, whimsical wonderland to stimulate the imagination and make your employees feel like they’re in another world. Encourage play, excitement, themes, quirks, and a whole lot of fun.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn took interactive themes to a whole new level one year. They threw a Cleudo-themed Chrissy party (dubbed #CluedIn) and got all employees involved in the adventure. Clues were set-up all over the venue for this murder mystery party, encouraging guests to play, have fun, and lose their minds in imagination for a night. There was also a sushi buffet, dance performance, liquid nitrogen ice cream, and – we’re still not sure about this one – people drinking out of a toilet.

Another year, LinkedIn went for something totally different and hired out an entire football stadium for their party. How’s that for an outside-the-box Christmas venue? The outdoors, a strange new venue, and room for tonnes of employees. To take it up a notch, there were waitresses walking around the venue serving champagne from a fancy contraption on their dresses. Very weird but very memorable indeed.

Inspiration for your Christmas party:
Not everything has to make sense. Sometimes the weird and wacky is engaging and memorable. Don’t worry too much about the “why” and try to refrain from the norm when planning your Christmas party. Employees just want something unique and different, and it doesn’t necessarily have to make sense. Put a smile on their face and you’ve made it a success. C’mon, if drinking out of a toilet was a success here then you can really go all out with your bonkers ideas!

3. Twitter

Twitter is a big tech company with access to a lot of cool and innovative gadgets and companies in their network. One year they took complete advantage of that technology network and hosted a Christmas party dedicated to robots. It was robots galore, with some robots mixing cocktails and serving them to employees, and other robots roaming the venue entertaining guests.

Inspiration for your Christmas party:
So, you don’t need robots mixing and mingling with guests and serving cocktails. What you do need is outside-the-box thinking to consider your network and connections and see what goodies you can use for your Christmas party. Know any scientists? Performers? Chefs? Gardeners? Think about your network and get creative to see if they can contribute to your Chrissy party in a unique way.

4. Google

Google has hosted a few awesome Christmas parties in the past, and there’s lots to look at in terms of inspiration. One year, the company took “interactive” to a whole new level by setting up an enormous snow globe in their venue. The globe was brimming with fake snow and employees were encouraged to go wild. Take photos, roll in the snow, throw the snow, play around, and just embrace their inner child.

That same year, another Google team was having a very different party. Employees were taken to the Computer History Museum (how’s that for geeking out) where they received a private Cirque du Soleil performance. Refined, cultural, but still outside-the-box – because who would think of watching a circus show inside a computer museum?

Another year, the company embraced its global culture and hosted an “It’s a Small World” themed Christmas Party. Each floor of the building was devoted to a different cuisine and culture, from Japanese to Indian to American. There were performers, decorations, fortune tellers, belly dancers, and tonnes of delicious Christmas catering from all corners of the globe. Sounds like a truly immersive and mesmerising experience.

Inspiration for your Christmas party:
Being creative doesn’t mean throwing some wild and wacky party. You can be refined and cultured but still offer something unique and different. The “It’s a Small World” Christmas party is a great example of how much you can do within the boundaries of your office space. Transform the room into a new world and you can create a unique experience for your team.

5. Tumblr

Tumblr is another company that likes throwing themed Christmas parties. One year, they went with a Carnival theme and hired out the Brooklyn Night Bazaar for the evening. The live music venue was transformed for the employees with loads of arcade games, catering from carnival-style food stalls, and even a huge ball pit for adults! This is another Christmas party that let the team unwind and release their inner child, encouraging playfulness, fun, and games for all.

Inspiration for your Christmas party:
This is a fairly easy Christmas party to replicate with a low budget. Even just taking your team out to a carnival or arcade place (like Timezone) could encourage playfulness and fun. Food stalls is a great way to serve Christmas catering with different options for everyone, and a ball pit… well, that’s just a guaranteed good time for all. How often do you get to jump around in a ball pit? Never, if you’re an adult!

Be creative this Christmas

If you really want to reward your employees this year, give them a whole new experience to refresh their take on life. There are too many drab Christmas parties out there where the budget is spent on things that don’t provide much fun and excitement for the team. Think outside the box, let your imagination run wild, and let your team release their inner child! Even just hiring out an unusual venue or offering Christmas catering that’s interactive or artistic can make all of the difference.

Stuck on ideas or don’t have time to brainstorm elaborate Christmas parties? We can help! We’ve thrown events of all sizes, budgets, themes, and weirdness, and we can help you plan one seriously memorable Christmas party for your team. Get in touch with us and let’s get planning!