Last year, Christmas was different. We couldn’t meet up with our families, our friends or colleagues to celebrate the special time of year.

Christmas 2021 will mark a year and nine months since working from home became the norm. Employees have worked harder than ever, without the ordinary dynamics of the workplace to rely upon.

But with all the uncertainty and headaches recent times have caused, being apart has also created an appetite for relaxation and celebration. That means we can expect Christmas 2021 to be a memorable one, with corporate events taking on a more meaningful tone than in ordinary times.

Hickory’s Director of Business Development, Stephanie Lee, closely monitors event trends to make sure we’re in touch with our clients’ needs.

Here are the trends that she’s predicting will shape Christmas in the Corporate World this year.

 

Sustainable events

This year, clients are more conscious than ever of sustainability matters. With the eyes of the world on Scotland, which will play host to COP26 in November, organisations will be keen to demonstrate their green credentials. But that doesn’t mean they’re opting for austerity.  Instead, many of our clients are seeking high-impact events with a low environmental impact.

At Hickory, we actively seek out new ways to work as ethically and sustainably as possible. Whether it’s our Chefs building relationships with local suppliers, working with small batch producers on bespoke Cocktail Menus for events, or our local team members on site, we’re proud to share our client’s philosophy. There’s always more work to be done, and our team’s hard work is evidenced by our recent win in the Sustainable Business category at the CIS Excellence awards. 

 

Treating teams

Christmas 2021 will mark the end of a tough year with big challenges and changes for the workforce. Companies will be keen to focus on what’s important this year: celebrating success and saying thank you to employees for their hard work.

Although working from home comes with many benefits, maintaining team connection has been tough, which is why well-produced employee Christmas events will be more important than ever this year.

Plans for celebrations will vary. Hickory can help with creative ideas for beautifully curated smaller in-office events, or host larger celebrations at one our portfolio of Hickory venues. We can even create a bespoke Hickory @ Home delivery, direct to their homes, filled with delicious and carefully crafted treats for colleagues who choose to celebrate over Zoom this year.

 

Togetherness

If anything positive has come from the pandemic, it’s that we now realise the value of spending time with one another. Quality time, where we can connect, chat and laugh together, is vital to our wellbeing.

On a personal note, my favourite memories always involve lovely people and good food  – that’s why I love working in events! Sharing food is emotive and personal, something that can be tough to replicate over Zoom.

While most companies have spent several months apart from their colleagues, they’re likely to emphasise in-person events over Christmas-time whenever they are possible.

At Hickory, we believe the experience of enjoying food is as important as the flavour and presentation. Our events engage all five senses to create a communal experience. From the fizz of champagne to the buzz of contented chatter, some things are best enjoyed together.

 

Large venues with space for all

For large organisations with several employees, coming together over Christmas time will require some logistical planning. Having enough space and fostering natural conversations whilst complying with COVID safety regulations with the right approach.

Larger Hickory venues like Cairns Farm Estate, Eskmills Venue, Assembly Rooms and Royal College of Physicians have an abundance of space for groups to come together. By opting for exclusive use, companies can secure enough space to enjoy time together, thank teams for their hard work and create new memories, all while staying safe.

 

Final thoughts

Whilst this year may look a little different, we’ve got an exciting opportunity to create new traditions, and re-think how we engage with colleagues and bring your teams together to celebrate one of the most magical times of the year. Need help planning your company’s Christmas celebration? Get in touch with the Hickory team.