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School Formal season is officially upon us, which means one thing - formal dress shopping!
It’s one of the biggest student nights of the year, so it’s essential you find the perfect prom dress for your “all eyes on you” grand entrance.
And to help you out this year we’re going to let you in on a little secret...we’ve quizzed our fashion- forward friends at GlamCorner to discover the hottest formal dress trends that YOU need to know this year, and how to rock them at the best prices!Read More
Love it or loathe it, the Christmas season is fast approaching. Yes, it gets earlier every year. Yes, that also means - the work Christmas bash is also almost upon us.
So to avoid the last minute panic, the OzParty Events Team have come up with 20+ of the Best Christmas Party Ideas for you and your A-team.
Whether you’re planning a more intimate gathering for a small team or an extravagant corporate Christmas blow-out, we’ve got a whole bunch of top Christmas party ideas with bells on!
Read on. And if you need a helping hand to bring your Christmas Party Ideas to life, contact our OzParty Event Extraordinaires, we're here for you every step of the way.
1. Rent a Mansion
Celebrate your work Christmas party in super star style with a luxurious executive mansion party. Yes that’s right, imagine rocking up to a ‘sick’ (as the cool cats say) Sydney mansion or Melbourne city penthouse with your A-team to live it up ‘Hollywood Hills’ style for a Christmas Party worthy of a Gatsby film set.
Picture this - floor to ceiling waterfront views, sun soaked entertaining areas, plush velvet couches to sink into, slick pop up bars with bespoke cocktail menu, edgy DJ spinning Café del Mar style beats, super hot wait staff and a succulent seafood feast even Ramsay would be proud of.
Or if you’re keen to crank up the festive vibes – opt for a traditional Christmas retreat at the picturesque Southern Highlands or Yarra Valley, complete with oversized Christmas trees, garland trimmed marble banisters, glistening fairy lights and a turkey feast with trimmings and lashings of gravy!
It’s really your call, choose a Christmas Party Venue to suit your teams’ sense of style ranging from waterfront homes, beach retreats, city penthouses or rural escapes.
This one will have your team beaming like Cheshire cats from sunrise to sunset.
2. Axe Throwing
Test your teams ability to ‘bring it’ under pressure, with this highly unique Christmas Party Idea for work. Channel your inner lumberjacks with a super fun team axe throwing tournament hosted in an edgy converted warehouse in Sydney’s groovy inner Western ‘burbs (soon to arrive in Melbourne – stay tuned!).
After a few rounds of expert tuition and practice, unleash your axe throwing warriors in a cut throat team tournament designed to test your focus, discipline, strength and mite! Suitable for the ladies too – and yes boys beware they often take home the winners trophy.
3. Reindeer Race (ATV, Go Karting, Jetski)
Picture this…your boss…wearing a santa suit and a Grinch mask….on a Jet Ski….with flags pinned to the rear….and your team challenged with chasing him down to capture the flags to save Christmas!
A seriously awesome way to blow out the cobwebs and get your teams adrenaline pumping as they rally together to take down the boss!
Or if you’d prefer to stick to on-land activities this concept can be easily adapted for ATV quad biking or Go Karting in Sydney or Melbourne. You can even flex your creative muscles and dress up your quad bikes with baubles, reindeer noses and tinsel.
We love this high energy, action adventure quirky Christmas party hustle. It’ll sure become a legendary event on the Office Annual Calendar that your team will rave about for years to come!
4. Christmas Casino Royale Themed Party
One of OzParty’s most popular Corporate Christmas Party Ideas…Transport your team to the bright lights of Las Vegas for a Viva Las Vegas themed Party Extravaganza this Christmas!
Immerse your guests in a spellbinding night of razzle dazzle with interactive gaming tables, professional croupiers, deluxe dining, entertaining showgirls and so much more!
And don’t worry - in case you’re concerned “all-on-black” Dave might blow his kids Christmas present kitty on Russian roulette – it’s play money. Dave’s kids present fund is safe this Christmas.
5. Amazing Race
An Amazing Race or Scavenger Hunt topped off by a slap up team meal remains hot on trend for fun staff Christmas party ideas this festive season. Why? Quite simply it ticks all the boxes for a massively fun team social bash. It gets everyone out of the office, exploring the city, working in teams to solve clues, riddles and challenges, smashing through candycane check points and racing to the grand finish, all whilst enjoying a few festive bevvies along the way.
Fancy dress is not essential but the OzParty crew will definitely back you here – in fact the more outrageous the better!
With endless opportunities to tailor the race design to your company and team vibe, this is a super popular work Christmas party idea for the coming year.
6. Cooking Classes
Cook up a festive feast with your team with an interactive cooking masterclass led by a professional executive chef. Choose from a variety of cuisines including Italian Pizza and Pasta, Japanese Sushi, Mexican and Margaritas, Spanish Paella and Tapas, Desserts, Pastry, Baking and more.
Learn how to slice, dice, bake, shimmy and shake, develop a bunch of new skills and be sure to indulge in the fruits of your labour.
Host your team ‘Masterchef’ style in one of Sydney or Melbourne’s best cooking schools, or if you have kitchen facilities onsite we can conveniently bring the cooking class to your Office. Get in touch with our OzParty Event Guru’s and we’ll work through the best Cooking Classes to suit for your company.
7. Christmas Gala Ball
Get your glad rags on and glam it up this year with a dazzling Christmas gala ball. Start out by choosing an elegant, sophisticated venue space that oozes style and glamour. Make it a night to remember for your special guests with a champagne reception, exquisite food, spectacular roving singers and endless dancing.
With an abundance of premier 5* Christmas party venues in Sydney and Melbourne to choose from, be sure to get in touch if you need expert guidance on suitable venues and creating the perfect Gala Ball Package within budget for your A-team this Christmas.
8. Harbour Cruise
Bulk buy the Santa hats, over order on the guacamole, fill up the eskies, and enjoy sailing past the city’s most iconic landmarks from the Harbour Bridge to the Opera House! Nothing says ‘Sydney’ like a Christmas Harbour cruise. That’s right…dust off the selfie stick and cue the endless stream of shameless team Christmas harbour backdrop selfies.
There’s a huge range of Christmas harbour cruises in Sydney to choose from, ranging from an exclusive charter of a James Bond Style Sports Cruiser with all-inclusive drinks and on board executive chef, to a BYO budget friendly catamaran.
Researching boats, and organising catering plus entertainment can be tricky to navigate – if you need help to select the best cruise package for you and your team, the OzParty Event Extraordinaires are here for you every step of the way.
9. Christmas Family Fun Day
Extend the festive spirit to your employees’ family members and create a fun, friendly and inclusive corporate community event in celebration of the successes of the year.
Channel the family friendly festival vibe with party games for kids and adults alike, Christmas themed inflatables, interactive activities, face painting, live music, food trucks, chill out zones, cupcake decorating and more.
Open parklands are a great venue option for hosting a Corporate family day. Aquariums, museums, theme parks, wildlife centres and general entertainment venues can also work a treat.
10. Lawn Bowls with a Twist
Aussie summer vibes at their best! Lawn bowls is a relaxed, highly enjoyable and sociable sport that appeals to mixed teams of all ages and skill.
Add a touch of novelty to the days activities with left handed bowling or blindfolded bowling, and be sure to adopt a fun dress up theme to get your team laughing and bonding together on the green!
Many lawn bowls clubs also have onsite catering facilities, but if you’re looking for something more substantial, we recommend booking a fun PartyBus transfer to a local gastro pub for a belly filling Christmas feast! And yes – you can book this entire package, hassle free with our OzParty Team.
11. Ugly Christmas Sweater Bash
The Ugly Christmas jumper party craze is back, and it’s showing no signs of abating. It’s time to unearth that monstrosity of a wooly jumper Auntie Jean bought you back in the 80’s and don it with pride as you strut your stuff at the this years on-trend Ugly Christmas sweater work bash.
Of course if your jumper didn’t survive the raves of the 90’s there are more award winningly tacky sweaters available for online order than ever before. Check out our top picks here, or for the more fashion conscious amongst you ASOS has you sorted.
For theming? Think ‘Christmas on Steroids’ all things red, gold and green, giant inflatables, tinsel from morning til night, plus anything that flashes. If you’re celebrating 'downunder' be sure to choose a venue that has air conditioning! And throw in a couple of tongue-in-cheek awards for the best/worst jumper.
12. Festive Winter Wonderland
Who says it can’t snow down-under at Christmas?!
Embrace a white winter wonderland Christmas party theme this year with a festive Christmas bash on ice, complete with snow machines, Christmas trees, fairylight reindeers, inflatable santas and so much more! Sip on mulled wine, and gorge on fresh-off-the-spit meat rolls dripping with gravy and a side of roasted chestnuts!
Watch in awe as I.T tech Keith showcases his hidden figure skating prowess in front of an awestruck audience. And standby with baited breath as Sheryl steps onto the ice for the first time after 3 rounds of G&T style dutch courage…!
Consider incorporating a silent disco for added entertainment. But if you need to keep your feet firmly planted on solid ground, the Winter Wonderland Theme can easily be adapted to more traditional style function venues (with solid anti-slip flooring!).
13. Interactive Murder Mystery Party
Rumour has it events at the North Pole have taken a cryptic turn this year...Rudolph has been discovered in the elves library with a blood soaked candy cane, and Ms Clause hasn’t been seen since the strike of midnight on the last full moon…! Have your team work together to solve the mystery of the Ho Ho Homicide, catch the Christmas killer and save Christmas for us all!
Murder Mystery Parties remain a hugely popular choice for Corporate Events year-on-year as they’re fun, interactive and socially engaging. You can of course self host your own Murder Mystery Party, but we find they tend to work best with a professional Murder Mystery Host leading the team with guile and cunning through the many cryptic plot twists and turns.
14. Christmas Paint and Wine Evening
Draw out your teams’ creative and artistic skills with a tasteful, sophisticated Christmas Paint and Wine Evening.
Guided by a professional tutor with all paint, materials and equipment provided, a painting class is an enjoyable and relaxed group activity that can be adapted to suit any skill level, and often accompanied by a healthy dose of fun and banter.
Painting classes are available for both studio hosted or office based events. Paint and wine packages can be tailored to suit your teams dynamic and company budget, choose from BYO wine and nibbles right through to a sommelier led gourmet wine and food tasting experience.
15. Hawaiian Luau Party
Get your Tiki on this Christmas with a vibrant Hawaiian Themed Christmas Luau Party. Arrive at a sun soaked outdoor terrace furnished with tiki torches, totum poles, floral leis and colourful parasols. Indulge your team with Hawaiian themed culinary delights such as poi, salmon, rice, and kalua pork paired wonderfully with zesty summer cocktails.
Turn up the entertainment with fun hula competitions, limbo games and hip-shaking performances from vibrant Hawaiian fire dancers. A Hawaiian Themed Party is a great way to ditch the stresses of the year in favour of soaking up those feel-good island vibes with your A-team this Christmas.
16. Learn a New Skill
What better time to bolster your employees New Year’s Resolutions than hosting a fun afternoon learning a new skill or craft. Open your thinking to all sorts of creative and artistic ideas here.
If you’re looking to playing it safe with more conventional style team activities consider group yoga classes, pilates, zumba, pottery, wood carving and life drawing to name but a few.
For the more colourful and daring, challenge your team with aerobatics, stunt training, battle of the bands, survivor… the possibilities are truly endless.
17. 'Bring a Plate' Family Style Christmas
A great budget friendly Christmas Party Idea that actively involves the entire team. A BYO Christmas gathering allows team members to contribute collaboratively to the event, each bringing a dish from home to share.
Be sure to have individuals sign up ahead of time to bring their choice of entrees, mains, dessert and side dishes. For great Christmas recipe ideas check out Curtis Stone.
Top tip - encourage your team to relax and let their hair down by engaging staffing from a professional events company to serve dishes and drinks, clear plates and glassware. Perhaps even layer the event with a drop of entertainment by engaging a professional MC to lead an interactive company themed quiz or TV game show.
18. Christmas Around The World Party
Celebrate the rich and diverse Christmas cultures and traditions from around the world and synthesise into a ‘Christmas Around the World’ themed party bonanza! Assign each of your office teams or banquet tables a unique country or region from the global stage. Showcase styles and traditions associated with each region through themed food, dance and décor.
For a more budget friendly office-based Christmas party idea, have your teams choose a different country or region as their theme, and each team member BYO a dish for everyone to enjoy and share. Check out Buzzfeed for heavenly Christmas dish inspo.
19. Corporate Volunteering/Charity Day
This Christmas, why not top up your good karma and use your Office Christmas social as an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate through a well-organised corporate volunteering day.
Inspire your team to make a difference to those in need, and in doing so boost team morale, develop new skills and spread a little Christmas cheer to those who really need it. If your searching out Corporate Volunteering Opportunities, we’re big fans of cooking for a cause at OzHarvest, and Streetlevel life working alongside The Salvos. The benefits to the business are demonstrably far reaching; enhanced social connection, loyalty and personal fulfillment to name but a few.
20. A Wine Country Christmas
And last but not least for the avid foodies amongst us…why not indulge your team in a gourmet Christmas food and wine trail through one of Australia’s premier wine regions.
Enjoy a relaxed, indulgent day sampling delicious organic produce and artisan treats paired with premier local wine tastings. Expand your knowledge of wines, soak up the idyllic scenery and take a moment to raise a toast to your team and a successful year gone by. There are various air-conditioned transport options available complete with fun, informative guides, but for a real team treat upgrade to a Limobus for complete door-to-door luxury.
Or for a similar concept food and wine experience closer to home, enjoy a gastronomic degustation with sommelier led wine pairings at a choice of premier Sydney hotels. Be sure to contact the OzParty Event Extraordinaires and we’ll let you in our insider list of our top 3 favourites local to your business.
Need help from our Event Experts to organise your Christmas Bash or Team Social this year?
You know what to do...
Main Image Photo ref: The Artillery Garden Christmas Party
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Whether you’re planning your company’s end-of-financial-year celebration, Christmas party (no, it’s never too early to start!) or your complete team social events agenda for 2017, one thing’s certain - you want to make it one to remember. But with so many different corporate event ideas and options available, how do you plan an event agenda that’s remembered for all the right reasons?
It all starts with making sure your event is fresh, exciting, and takes advantage of the latest trends in events planning. And with the world’s biggest trendsetting events breaking all the rules this year, 2017 is definitely shaping up to be the year of the unexpected.
Let’s take a look at the hottest trends in themes, venues, entertainment and catering for the year ahead, to help you plan events that delight, surprise and engage your staff like never before.
Event Themes: Expect the Unexpected.
Every year, the world’s most iconic fashion events - the Met Gala, New York Fashion Week, and the Oscars – heavily influence the theme and tone for events to follow. This year, all of these events have broken away from tradition to deliver experiences that are designed to truly astound and amaze.
The Met Gala is arguably the biggest fashion event of the year, with designers, models and celebrities gathering at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to showcase designs inspired by the event’s theme. In recent years, themes have included futuristic fashion, punk, superheroes and Chinese-inspired designs.
This year however, the event will be exclusively themed around the work of Rei Kawakubo, founder of fashion label Comme des Garçons. Kawakubo’s designs are renowned for being eccentric, bizarre and experimental, and are often described as ‘anti-fashion’. This year’s event will showcase contrasting concepts of East and West, male and female, and past and present.
It makes for a very different and unconventional choice of theme, but it’s one that already has the fashion industry buzzing, with many expecting this year’s Met Gala to feature the most fascinating red carpet designs yet.
Likewise, the upcoming Oscars will experience a huge revamp, with new producers appointed to create a show that promises to be both entertaining and unexpected. February’s New York Fashion Week will also see some unprecedented changes, with many top designers opting to hold their shows not in New York, but in Los Angeles instead. Events planned include beachside runway shows, and luxury all-day shopping experiences.
What does this mean for you when planning your corporate function 2017? The key is to think outside the box, and focus on creative and inspirational event themes that can really get your staff excited. Do away with the predictable themes, decor and gimmicks (goodbye Instagram frames and chalkboard signs!). Focus instead on mixing and combining bold, contrasting styles, and you’ll throw a corporate party that will be visually spectacular, and truly unforgettable.
Unconventional Venue Spaces: Make it Fresh and Exciting.
In 2017, we expect to see a lot more events being held in unconventional spaces. With traditional function spaces now the norm, many companies are choosing more unpredictable, offbeat venues to generate buzz around their events, and create more thrilling experiences for staff.
This includes locations such as wineries, house boats, art studios and lofts, as well as venues that have been transformed from their day-to-day use, such as restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. Companies are also taking this concept further and hosting surprise ‘pop up’ events, where venue locations and themes are kept secret and revealed to staff only on the day.
The benefit of using non-traditional spaces over more mainstream, upscale venues is that they are often a blank canvas for creativity. Plus some venues will consider reduced venue hire costs for utilisation of the space outside of normal day trading hours. And, by throwing in the surprise element, you’ll be able to spark the interest of your team and increase their enthusiasm for the event.
Guest Interaction: Plan Activities and Entertainment that can Deliver a Meaningful, Memorable Experience.
Recently, we’ve seen a move towards events that incorporate ‘off-the-shelf’ experiences - bespoke, unique activities designed to entertain and engage staff. This trend is set to continue in 2017, with many events incorporating an experiential element. These include:
- Creative activities such as mixology classes, cooking classes and art workshops
- Fun, high-energy activities such as outdoor sports, fitness classes and music concerts
- Activities focused on health and wellness, such as yoga and meditation classes, and luxury spa visits
- Socially-conscious activities, include volunteering initiatives and charity fundraisers
Incorporating varied activities into your events agenda not only helps to create meaningful and revitalising experiences for staff, but also help to achieve business objectives such as increasing motivation and promoting team building - all of which help to create a more dynamic, cohesive working environment on return to the office.
Experimental Catering: Variety is key.
Diversity is the keyword this year when it comes to event catering in 2017. Varied dietary requirements and preferences means that it’s essential to cater to different tastes, We’re seeing a big uptake in food trucks, immersive food stations, and tapas-style dining. In-demand cuisines include street food, healthy and organic food, vegan dishes, local farm-to-table produce, slow food, hot and spicy dishes, and mediterranean flavours. The focus here is on exciting the palate, and delivering a fun and unique culinary experience for staff to really enjoy.
Immersive Technologies: Experiment with Event Technology.
Smartphones are often perceived as a distraction to events, but event planners are now leveraging them to create a more collaborative and engaging guest experience. For example, social media can help connect staff members and create more hype around an event. Live video streaming can encourage staff to share updates, and serve as a great company marketing tool after the event.
Virtual and augmented reality is another trend that’s expected to grow in 2017. A mainstay at big technology events, we’re seeing companies start to incorporate virtual reality into their own functions, whether for education and training purposes, or simply to provide a fun and novel experience to their staff.
It’s clear that 2017 provides some extraordinary opportunities to breathe fresh life into your corporate events calendar, making it a rich, melting pot of surprising and memorable experiences for your team and valued clients. If you’d like some ideas about how to plan your on-trend corporate function for 2017, get in touch.
Dan Udall, MD, OzParty Events
1800 OZ PARTY (697 278)
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We LOVE incorporating School Formal Awards into your School Formal or School Social Event.
- Event Engagement: Voting for School Formal Award Winners is a great way to get students engaged with the event on the lead up to the celebration.
- Excitement: It creates a sense of excitement and anticipation for students as they speculate over who might have won.
- Personalisation: It personalises the night for students beyond just having a great night out.
We find a mix of around 8-10 awards work best, consisting of a mix of 'serious' and 'funny' awards. Too many and you can lose attention. Not enough and it lacks substance.
It's best for the votes to be cast on the lead up to the School Formal. But you may choose to keep a couple of awards aside to be judged on the night (such as best dressed, best dancer etc.)
You can experiment and have fun with the awards titles but don't push the boundaries too far...remember 'light-hearted fun' is the name of the game...NOT 'offensive character assassination.'
Here's our Top School Formal Awards picks:
Most Likely to [...]
- – Most Likely to Be Famous
- – Most likely to become a millionaire
- – Most likely to win a Nobel Prize
- – Most likely to become a WAG
- – Most likely to win an Oscar
- – Most likely to take over the world
- – Most Likely To Become an Insta Model
- – Most likely to appear on Jeremy Kyle
- – Most likely to win an Olympic Medal
- – Most Likely to rule the World
- – Most likely to win X Factor
- – Most likely to break a world record
- – Most likely to become a comedian
- – Most likely to win the lottery but lose the ticket
- – Most likely to get ID’d when they’re 30
- – Couple most likely to get married
- – Best Hair
- – Best Smile/Laugh
- – Best Dressed Male/Female
- – Best Dancer
- – Most creative/artistic/musical
- – Most hardworking/organised
- – Most competitive
- – Biggest Drama Queen
- – Biggest flirt
- – Biggest party animal
- – Rear of the year
- – Human fog horn
- – Party Animal
- - Prom King/Queen
Above all else be sure to have fun in designing your School Formal!
And if you need any help in planning an Amazing School Formal for you and you year, get in touch.
We're here to help!
Events Extraordinaire @OzPartyEvents
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