Christmas parties: what’s hot
Forget the reindeer horns – here are this year’s on-trend party options
A festive-themed party setting by Gotcha Covered.
The meaning of Christmas and its Christian iconography is taking a back seat, especially with multinationals and tech firms. That means no stars, no religious iconography of any kind, says Patrick Bennett of event décor specialists Gotcha Covered. Instead, he travels to Maison et Objet in Paris, a décor and furniture show that gives him a sense of the on-trend colour schemes, and a Yuletide-focused show in Frankfurt.
The very word Christmas is being erased from the party vocabulary in favour of a more holiday-focus, notes Barry Muldowney, creative director at Verve, one of the biggest events companies in the country.
These need an overarching theme, he says. “You have to tantalise from the first ‘save the date’ notification.” He and his team spend their lives online sourcing interesting acts and oddities. Everything from molecular gastronomy to theatre to the food being served to the LED screens used in the production of rock act U2’s tour all offer canvases on which to paint parties that are visually as interesting as they are palate-tickling and aurally rich.
Wes Anderson’s 2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel inspired an event for which Verve won awards at the Special Events Gala Awards, a competition that shows the best in the world including world-renowned venues like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, an establishment that has an events team of 500 full-time people.
The sense of drama had to be be pumped up to 11, he says. This party included a casino, a fairly run-of-the-mill party element, but Verve’s casino had the opulence of the turn of the 20th century and trapeze artists overhead as the croupiers dealt hands.
What shows are hot on Netflicks or TV will also influence themes, Muldowney explains.
The festive three-course sit-down dinner has also gone the way of the fax machine, especially with younger revellers, Bennett says. Instead, they want canapés or supper bowls and they want to broadcast what they’re doing on Instagram as they’re partying.
Social networks also influence how parties look, he says. Last year, for instance, his walk-in snowglobe and 3D ski lift installations went completely viral.
If these are the hot trends, then what has gone as cold as many of the first-course plates? The chocolate fountain, Muldowney says, unless the audience is age seven or under.