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Bah Humbug by Des Mclaughlin

DECEMBER 2015 - Advent is upon us and some research I have just conducted on the back of a cigarette packet suggests Christmas parties cost companies approximately twice the amount they realise due to lost working hours.
Let’s assume you have a company of 100 employees…  One person will spend at least ten hours organising everything – which I appreciate is a rather conservative estimate. At least ten staff will spend an hour talking about the party in the weeks running up to the event.  75% of the staff will slack off for the last two hours of the day when the party takes place.  About 10% will be too hungover to come to work the next day and a further 50% will come in but may as well have stayed home because they will be next to useless for the majority of the morning.
That is a total of 420 hours!  At minimum wage that is £2,814, at the national average £5,712.  Assuming a company spends around £50 per person on the event that is a pretty eye watering additional cost in the name of good cheer and festive fun.
Seriously though, there are hidden costs to all events, the biggest being an attendee’s time away from the office doing their actual job.  It is therefore imperative that we focus on the delivery of events that provide a genuine ROI.
As event professionals it is our job to do far more than just the logistics, we must question the client, understand their motives and involve ourselves in the content and themes as much as the travel and production.  Ultimately this approach will demonstrate far greater value and help to ensure that events provide a long term legacy – and I am not talking about rumours surrounding an account executive’s antics in the copier room with the chap from IT!
By Des Mclaughlin
This article was originally featured on C&IT online:


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