Story Events’ London Christmas Party Show celebrated its fifth birthday edition with more than 800 corporate and agency buyers attending the boutique show at Plaisterers’ Hall 15-16 May.

Around 600 of the visitors were corporate buyers from top companies including Bank of England, British Airways, Charles Tyrwhitt, Deloitte, Facebook, Mothercare, RBS, Stylist, Shell, Ogilvy & Mather.

1Show director Clare McAndrew commented: “With a 20% year-on-year increase in visitors and our strict application process which resulted in over 400 applications being rejected, we have continued to focus on delivering a quality audience and a great party atmosphere where our exhibitors can engage with both corporate buyers and the important venue finders and event agencies”.

A record 79 exhibitors and sponsors presented a diverse range of London Christmas party venues, theming, catering and entertainment options, with award-winning caterers Create serving visitors and exhibitors with a varied menu of delicious treats throughout the event.

2Safron Wilson from first time exhibitors Aqua Restaurant Group commented, “This Show has hands down been the best one we have been to as an exhibitor, the quality of visitors is great, people actually have real event enquiries.”

The Show also included the presentation of Venue Search London’s second London Christmas Party Survey to over 200 corporate buyers over three packed seminars. The survey covers the party choices of over 300 corporate party buyers in the 2017 season, revealing the continued strength of this important market sector and key trends and changes in buyers’ intentions for the upcoming 2018 season.

3Top trends identified include the average spend per head rising by 2% in 2017 to £86 + VAT, with 59% of parties still opting for the more formal seated lunch or dinner catering style.

Thursdays and Fridays remain the most popular nights for parties, accounting for 69% of the total market, with an increasing trend towards lunchtime events, which now represent 21% of the total Christmas party market (up from 18% in 2016).