Thursday 30 March 2017

Google's Christmas bash turns RDS into Grand Google Hotel

The Google Christmas party at the RDS featured a host of entertainments for employees of the tech firm, which has some form in these matters
The Google Christmas party at the RDS featured a host of entertainments for employees of the tech firm, which has some form in these matters
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Google has taken over the vast campus of the RDS once again for its annual Christmas party.

More than 3,000 of the search engine's Irish staff descended on the Dublin site last weekend for a 1930s party themed on Wes Anderson's film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Highlights of the Christmas party, organised by Dublin event planners Verve Live Agency, included casino tables, showgirl dancers and vintage cars.

Lavish and inventive corporate Christmas parties have become popular once again after years of cuts, led by technology companies with young workforces.

"We have seen a major change this year in companies spending on their Christmas staff parties," said Mark Shaughnessy, founder of events company Red Zebra. "Much more so than last year, I would say."

He has 15 years experience in planning corporate events and works with both multinationals and indigenous Irish companies.

"Parties are bigger, budgets are bigger and companies want to hold more elaborate events.

"A lot are going with themes now, casino nights or winter wonderland themes, for example.

"It is moving back to what we would have seen in 2005 or 2006. This year has been my best since 2005."

Companies are eager to motivate staff after years of budget cuts, Shaughnessy said.

"We are not just seeing the return of the big Christmas party. Team-building events were popular throughout the year.

"These kind of events help to create a positive corporate culture and can be helpful in attracting and retaining employees - particularly young staff."

The only problem with the return of the big Christmas party is that Dublin is running out of space for these events, he added.

"The venue for one event we are working on was booked last January. Competition is tight for venues now".

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