16-17 July 2024, Freemasons' Hall

London Christmas Party Show Survey 2022!

A recent survey of 126 London corporate event buyers carried out by Venue Search London and the London Christmas Party Show (July 12th & 13th at Haberdashers’ Hall, EC1), indicates that the vast majority of companies have yet to firm up their plans for their end-of-year celebrations.


The results showed that only 12% of buyers had booked a Christmas Party and only 2% are not holding a party.  Of the remaining 86%, around half had approval and were in the process of researching and contracting their venue, with the remainder awaiting and decision or approval to proceed.


This puts the buying cycle for Christmas Parties around 2-3 months behind pre-Covid patterns as identified by previous surveys.


Clare Phillips, Account Director at Venue Search London, comments, “The results back up what we are currently seeing from our clients, with many still awaiting decisions after a busy summer event season.  Our concern is that, with a high number of postponed parties from December 2021 blocking key dates at the best venues, buyers may find getting a good date at a chosen venue increasingly challenging over the coming weeks.


We therefore advise those with approval to move quickly with their booking, with so many more approvals likely to follow from others over the summer months.”


Other key trends identified by the survey include:


Thursdays are the new Fridays…


For the first time in five previous surveys, Thursday nights are now the clear favourite day of week for parties, with 45% of buyers opting for this day.  Fridays remain second favourite, but many are choosing lunchtime events for this day, reflecting the new working from home practices.


Formal dining remains favourite


60% of respondents were planning to include a seated meal at their Christmas event, which is an unchanged pattern from previous surveys. This may indicate the popularity of shared party night table bookings and the inclusion of internal awards and business elements in daytime celebrations..


Budgets not matching price increases


With an average budget of £112 + VAT per guest showing no real increase from 2019, and considerable cost and price inflation at venues, buyers will either need to reduce the content of their events or seek additional budget.  Good value may be achieved by looking at early weekdays.


More detailed findings will be presented by Venue Search London at their popular seminars at next week’s London Christmas Party Show, where event agents and corporate buyers can also meet over 100 of London’s best party venues and suppliers. Free ticket registration closes this Friday.