Christmas party season set to peak

Published: Thursday 18th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Police, bouncers and hospital workers are gearing up for one of the busiest weekends of the year as the staff Christmas party season reaches its climax.

The final weekend before Christmas will be marked by a spike in corporate festive gatherings, with pubs, bars and clubs preparing for bumper sales.

Tomorrow is considered by police to be the busiest night for Christmas parties, with many forces already tweeting words of advice for would-be revellers.

Party planners have said firms are beginning to splash the cash again this year, having emerged from the shadows of the economic slump which has blighted recent shindigs.

And social media experts reckon the potential for long-term damage to their reputation is causing some people to tone down their antics – or forgo the festivities altogether – through fear that their drunken exploits will be the talk of the Twitter feed.

Digital communications expert Warren Knight said: “People are 100% being more sensible than ever before because of social media – reputations can be lost in one night.

“Staff are behaving better, reducing their alcohol consumption or even deciding against going to their party because they don’t want to end up doing something silly they later regret.

“Instant communication, Instagram posts and checking-in facilities mean it is very difficult to delete something once it is online.

“People I speak to say the office Christmas party is getting more and more tame.”

Street pastors are already turning to social media in an effort to use it as a force for good during party season.

Christian Nightlife Initiatives have launched a #StaySafe campaign reminding revellers of responsible drinking and appropriate behaviour.

A spokesman said: “This Friday is one of the busiest nights within the night-time economy – the last Friday before Christmas. Generally it is also one of the busiest nights for police, ambulance, Accident & Emergency and street patrol projects such as Street Angels.”

Their tips include drinking plenty of water, staying in groups of friends, and keeping money back to afford transport home at the end of the evening.

Georgina Coleman, from bespoke venue operator Late Night London, said the Christmas party is enjoying a bumper year.

She said: “There are more cranes around London this year, more buildings going up, and that is a useful indicator of a change in the economy.

“We have seen a marked increase in the number of inquiries about Christmas parties, budgets have increased too, and the spend per head.

“People are also looking for something different – they don’t necessarily want to hit the bar, they want something civilised and often with a sit-down meal or some sort of activity such as cocktail-making.

“This is only the first year after the economic slump so it’s hard to draw too many conclusions but the signs are encouraging.”

Published: Thursday 18th December 2014 by The News Editor

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