Blow away COVID cobwebs with an EOFY Party

Just when we thought we were out of the pandemic at the start of 2021, along came another lockdown. But as unfortunate as that was, every cloud has a silver lining.


As businesses look to reset after COVID lockdowns, the latest trend in corporate events is ‘end of financial year’ parties. With leftover funds from cancelled Christmas parties and postponed team-building activities, many businesses have unspent funds in their FY21/22 budgets as well as teams crying out for some face-to-face interaction. Businesses across Southern Sydney are using this as an opportunity to re-build team morale and bring their teams together after so many months spent isolated, working from home.


Owner and Director of Fox and Jones Property, Lino Parrottino says, “An EOFY Party is the perfect way to make up for Christmas parties, staff birthdays and events cancelled due to the pandemic, and hopefully bid farewell to COVID enforced isolation.


“Give your teams the chance to let off some steam, reignite employee confidence and optimism in the business to set them up to perform effectively as a team for the next financial year”.


An EOFY function can be anything from a team-building day, trivia night, award dinner – even a COVID-themed cocktail party. But buyers beware, if it’s anything like the office Christmas party, mischief may occur!



Is hybrid here to stay?

It seems flexible working is a permanent option for many industries, even when we reach post-pandemic life, but are hybrid events here to stay?


The temperamental nature of COVID-19 resulted in the temporary pause on face-to-face meetings and events, which led to a corresponding boom in hybrid functions and meetings. But with Zoom fatigue setting in, more employees working from home and people yearning for travel, perhaps an old-fashioned face-to-face getaway conference isn’t quite so antiquated.


Hybrid events have some definite advantages, such as increasing your potential audience capacity, reach of location and future-proofing your function against cancellation due to future threats of the virus. But the argument remains, is that what your audience wants?


Ante Kovac, General Manager – Gaming at Club Central is fearful that the Global Gaming Expo, traditionally held annually in Las Vegas has become increasingly hybrid, which might hurt his chances of being able to attend in person.


“I’ve been looking forward to attending the expo my whole career and the opportunity finally came up in 2020, only to see the expo cancelled because of COVID.


“The expo was held mostly online in 2021, and if I can attend webinars and virtual expo stalls from right here in Australia, I’m not sure my workplace will want to send me across the world for a week in Vegas. Without the chance to experience the event in person, it’s just not the same”.


Another industry that has suffered from the growth of hybrid events is tourism. Fewer hotel rooms nights, restaurant bookings and beers at the bar are required when half of the audience is online. Although times have changed post-pandemic and hybrid events offer a great solution to particular events, the question remains whether it will ever replace the valuable business relationships and increased employee effectiveness and morale that result from a face-to-face conference.



Event season all year round!

Gone are the days of the festive season, the conferencing season and wedding season. The annual event cycle seems to have been replaced with fluctuating and unexpected demand for events all year round.


Robyn Colantonio, Event Services Manager at Southern Sydney Event Centre says the pandemic has sparked an eagerness for human interaction, but it’s not just post-pandemic events, the trend has been growing in the last few years, with people less patient to wait years for their wedding , engagement or special birthday to have a party.


“We’ve been taking enquiries for big gender-reveal parties, post-COVID wedding celebrations , over-the-top baptisms and first birthdays, any excuse will do!”.


“I don’t think any bride expected the rain we’ve had in Sydney and our wedding enquires have tripled since for our indoor venues,” Robyn said. “After the last couple of years, keep it coming!”



How to make your employees WANT to return to the office

If you need help improving employee morale and encouraging employees to get back to working in the office then you need to help them shake off the freezing weather and pump-up the feelings of teamwork by hosting a Christmas in July event. With staff swapping their working-from-home track pants and uggs back to office attire to brave the cold weather and commutes, a Christmas in July event could be just what your organisation needs to get your reinvigorated.


Lidia Taormina from K&L Tax says, “I had to draw a line in the sand and stop working from home, but I knew none of the staff were interested, so I threw a Christmas in July party for my employees. Getting everyone in a room together, socialising and having fun made it easier for them to return to normal office hours after. It was an effective team bonding exercise!”. 


Whilst Christmas in July isn’t typically a popular holiday in Australia, it’s the perfect solution now that winter has arrived with a vengeance at the same time many employers are winding down on working-from-home. Creating an event where employees can be together in the same room again, let their hair down and bond over a few drinks, can turn an otherwise daunting return to the office into a positive social step-forward. Encouraging familiarity and social connection between employees after so long on screens will also help build better bonds and boost employee morale when interacting back in the office.


It is the ultimate Christmas party no one expects, but everybody needs!

Just when we thought we were out of the pandemic at the start of 2021, along came another lockdown. But as unfortunate as that was, every cloud has a silver lining.