Christmas is Happening

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The UK’s fastest growing venue group is predicting a strong Christmas party and end of year event market for the UK meetings industry. Data from across Lime Venue Portfolio’s 80+ venues is showing high demand and increasing dynamism for these events, with the season already starting in November, stretching into January, and with inclusivity top of the agenda.

Lime Venue Portfolio has long been an advocate for ‘Event Convergence’, the trend that is seeing more and more event types, merge to create training and incentive programmes, large meetings with hospitality, and in this case, company conferences with parties. Research from the group shows that this convergence is continuing and allows more and more ‘festive’ events to be driven into the often-clearer January market, with some even stretching to February.

Equally, as events continue to better reflect the full diversity of the people that attend them, inclusivity within the market is continuing to take centre stage. Lime Venue Portfolio predicts the gradual phasing out of the term ‘Christmas’ to allow for different cultural celebrations, but also a new makeup to these events. Already, many menus are offering vegan, vegetarian and Halal choices, but also stronger non-alcoholic options for those that choose to abstain. The move of many of these celebratory events into the new year, also suits this more diverse approach.

“We do think the term ‘Christmas’ is going to start looking a little dated,” comments Jo Austin, Sales Director, Lime Venue Portfolio. “Modern events need to be more widely appealing, and this means building them, from the outset, to reach every employee in a business, not just throwing in a few options at the end.”

“This means real thought on the tone of the event. Providing non-alcoholic drinks, Halal, or culturally appropriate food, but also areas for those that don’t want to engage in the somewhat more traditional ‘Christmas Party’ clichés of indulgence,” continues Jo. “We’re already seeing some brilliant examples of events that are fusing different cultures, not just through great food, but intelligent event design.”

The research from Lime Venue Portfolio also emphasises the importance of locality to end of year events, as Jo concludes: “It’s a trend that we’ve seen emerging all year, for businesses to connect to their local communities. This is something that is now increasing in these events, not just because of transport or logistical reasons. But because they need a sense of place. It’s a really exciting trend for our business and the wider industry, it shows events having true community purpose, that can only be a good thing.”