5 tips for a great staff Christmas event

5 tips for a great staff Christmas event

You may be wondering if it’s worth hosting a Christmas event for your staff this year. It’s already November and everything will be booked up. It’ll be expensive. Doesn’t everyone hate the Christmas party anyway?

We’re here to change your mind, make it a breeze to organise and help you make it a great success.

Christmas parties or events are primarily a way to thank your staff. They may not all look forward to going, but they’ll likely feel unappreciated if you don’t organise any kind of event for them.

Parties also offer a safer space for your team to bond, and enjoy getting to know each other. Work friendships are crucial in maintaining employee morale, so grab as many chances to cultivate these as possible.

People let their guard down out of the office (especially if alcohol is involved!), and you might just get some more honest conversation about how your team is feeling if you chat in a social setting.

If you’re in a bigger organisation, there’s also an opportunity to get to know colleagues you might not work closely with or know that well. This might sound daunting to some, but you could just meet your new work best friend while you bond over the Christmas pudding!

Plus, Christmas parties can actually be really fun if you do them right. (We promise!) 

So if we’ve convinced you to hold a party, how can you make it a success?

1) Use Helm Tickets!

We had to start with this one. Of course we’re biased, but using Helm Tickets really can help your event run more smoothly. We used it for our own Christmas party, and having grappled with unwieldy spreadsheets in a previous job, it was a refreshingly simple way to record who had RSVP’d and what they wanted to eat. It also means all the information is in one place and everyone can check what they ordered instead of bothering you about it!

You can use our ‘additional options’ feature to ask for any extra information from your guests you might need, e.g. food or drink preferences, medical information, or even who they’d like to sit with!

You can also embed the ticket sales into your internal staff website, or intranet, making it easier for staff to find it.

And you can mark your events as private, so there’s no worries about having anyone you didn’t invite turn up.

2) Think about who your colleagues are

This’ll probably be easier if you’re a smaller company, but think about your company culture and the people you work with. Do you have people with family commitments who need to be home at a certain time? Do you have a lot of non-drinkers? Do you have people with specific dietary requirements? (There’s nothing worse than being left hungry at a Christmas party because you’re a vegetarian and they took you to a steakhouse!)

Here at Helm we’re a bit unconventional, so we knew our office party had to be something with a bit of a difference. We love the ocean, good food, and a dancefloor (or some of us do!) and we’re based in Britain’s Ocean City, so Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium seemed an obvious solution. Matching people’s interests to your plans will make people look forward to it, rather than try and make excuses not to attend.

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3) Consider how best to spend your budget

Ideally you’ll always have a budget for a Christmas party, even if it’s a small one, as it’s a great way to show staff they’re appreciated. But it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Once again, we’d suggest thinking about what’s important to your team – for example, they might not care about the location, as long as you buy the drinks, or they might prefer you to splash out on a better location but are happy to buy their own food. This decision may also be dependent on where in the world you are, of course, as some cities are decidedly pricier than others!

If you use Helm for your event, you can ask employees to pay when buying a ticket, or add separate prices to meal and drink options and easily check who has paid and who to chase!

Of course, you can also offer free tickets through our platform, as we’re flexible for whatever type of event you’re hosting.

4)  Consider the little details

The best events we’ve been to are those where everything has been thought through and is personal to your team. This will obviously depend on the nature of your event, but it’s easy to add some small but individual touches.

Larger companies who can stretch to exclusive hire of a place can go all out, but even smaller organisations can put some thought into seating plans, table decorations, the playlist or even party favours. Your team will appreciate the effort you’ve put in to make it more relevant to them.

5)  Think outside the box!

Maybe your Christmas party doesn’t actually have to be a Christmas party at all. As we recommended in tip 2, think about who your colleagues are and what they’d actually enjoy doing. What sort of atmosphere do you want to create?

Not everyone is keen on eating turkey, getting drunk or dancing ‘til dawn, so why not consider Christmas craft making, an off-site activity day, or even something more traditional like carol singing?

If you’d like to organise your event through Helm Tickets, please click here.

Happy planning!

Christmas, Festive, Business

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Buzzwords: SEO

Whether you’ve overheard someone speaking about the Internet of Things at a conference or your go-to news sources are putting ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ in every sentence, trends and emerging tech can become commonplace quickly.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at one of the most common buzzwords: SEO (or ‘search engine optimisation’). Here are some simple explanations and tips. SEO – once understood – can increase and support the success of your marketing and sales strategies.

Although there are a lot of different aspects of SEO and sometimes there are unanswered questions, generally, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply: it’s flagging your website as being relevant to your target market. You want your website, blog or event page to appear to those who are searching for your sector.

SEO is the process of enhancing your online presence to organically improve your ranking on search engines.

Often misunderstood, a variety of factors can affect search engine rankings, but on a basic level, a search engine decides the order in which to list pages based on how relevant it believes the content is for the searcher. This could mean the page has plenty of keywords relating to the query or that a number of external links are included, suggesting the page is trustworthy and that information is appropriately researched.

SEO sites Search Engine Land and Column Five collaborated to create a really helpful infographic for understanding the different components of SEO. The periodic table below splits SEO into ‘On the Page’ (factors you control on your website, e.g. content, alt-text on images, internal links) and ‘Off the Page’ (how your website appears to outsiders, i.e how trustworthy and popular it is. This could include backlinks from other websites and shares on social media). The table also ranks different processes and behaviours that positively or negatively affect a website’s SEO ratings.

As well as key information you can add to your blog or website to improve your ranking, there are also several behaviours that can decrease your ranking. Attempting to ‘cheat the system’ to appear higher on Google will be detected by the search engine and your website will be banned from results. Actions that could lead to a ban include ‘cloaking’, which refers to showing the search engine a different page that users see.

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Whether you’ve overheard someone speaking about the Internet of Things at a conference or your go-to news sources are putting ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ in every sentence, trends and emerging tech can become commonplace quickly.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at one of the most common buzzwords: SEO (or ‘search engine optimisation’). Here are some simple explanations and tips. SEO – once understood – can increase and support the success of your marketing and sales strategies.

Although there are a lot of different aspects of SEO and sometimes there are unanswered questions, generally, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply: it’s flagging your website as being relevant to your target market. You want your website, blog or event page to appear to those who are searching for your sector.

SEO is the process of enhancing your online presence to organically improve your ranking on search engines.

Often misunderstood, a variety of factors can affect search engine rankings, but on a basic level, a search engine decides the order in which to list pages based on how relevant it believes the content is for the searcher. This could mean the page has plenty of keywords relating to the query or that a number of external links are included, suggesting the page is trustworthy and that information is appropriately researched.

SEO sites Search Engine Land and Column Five collaborated to create a really helpful infographic for understanding the different components of SEO. The periodic table below splits SEO into ‘On the Page’ (factors you control on your website, e.g. content, alt-text on images, internal links) and ‘Off the Page’ (how your website appears to outsiders, i.e how trustworthy and popular it is. This could include backlinks from other websites and shares on social media). The table also ranks different processes and behaviours that positively or negatively affect a website’s SEO ratings.

As well as key information you can add to your blog or website to improve your ranking, there are also several behaviours that can decrease your ranking. Attempting to ‘cheat the system’ to appear higher on Google will be detected by the search engine and your website will be banned from results. Actions that could lead to a ban include ‘cloaking’, which refers to showing the search engine a different page that users see.

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By subscribing to this list, you are agreeing for Helm to use and process your information for marketing purposes.

Don’t:
Overuse keywords

‘Keyword stuffing’ is the practice of jamming keywords repeatedly onto the page, in the hopes search engines will decide the page is extremely relevant…

Search engines are more intelligent than that! There’s no ‘magic number’ for the number of times your keyword should appear on a page – it depends on much text there is. On our blogs, Yoast’s SEO plugin suggests that 1-2% of your copy is your chosen keyword. The freemium tool will guide you on optimising your content for SEO. For context, this blog is [x words] long and ‘SEO’ is found [x times], this equals a keyword density of [x%]  

Don’t:

Fill your page with ads

Search engines will know! Not only will ads distract from your message but search engines can detect adverts, which will negatively affect your ranking. 

Do:

Use Headers

Choose some keywords to target and use them in the page title, link and in headers throughout. Don’t overuse the keyword but including it in relevant headers and titles will improve your ranking as search engines will know the content throughout the page is relevant.

Do:

Secure your site

As well as content being important, search engines will also look at the ‘architecture’ of your site. Is it mobile optimised? Does it load quickly? Importantly, is it secure? If you’re selling tickets to an event, it’s important that customers trust your website. Our ticket embed is secured by SSL, so any transactions will always be secure. Not everyone understands web safety, therefore it can be really beneficial to secure your site with SSL. It’s really easy to do and costs very little, check out our blog on SSL certificates.

5) Use your team’s outside hobbies and talents

Hopefully, we’ve provided you with a simple way of understanding what SEO is and how it can greatly improve your brand’s visibility. Plus, by using Helm Tickets as your ticketing platform, (particularly utilising our embed tool which includes backlinks and keywords), you’ll quickly improve your own SEO ranking.

Create an event, embed on your website and start selling in minutes!

SEO, Business, Google

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Improved Multi-Currency

Improved Multi-Currency

couple of months ago, we released the first phase of our international currency support. As promised, you can now choose to sell in 109 different currencies, meaning event organisers around the world can sell tickets in their native currency or sell tickets for international events in local currencies. Plus, you can now set your chosen currency on an event-by-event basis.

View all 109 supported currencies
Albanian Lek (ALL)Chinese Yuan (CNY)Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)Nepalese Rupee (NPR)Sierra Leonean Leone (SLL)
Algerian Dinar (DZD)Colombian Peso (COP)Israeli New Sheqel (ILS)Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG)Singapore Dollar (SGD)
Angolan Kwanza (AOA)Costa Rican Colón (CRC)Jamaican Dollar (JMD)New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)
Argentine Peso (ARS)Croatian Kuna (HRK)Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT)New Zealand Dollar (NZD)South African Rand (ZAR)
Armenian Dram (AMD)Czech Republic Koruna (CZK)Kenyan Shilling (KES)Nicaraguan Córdoba (NIO)Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Aruban Florin (AWG)Danish Krone (DKK)Kyrgystani Som (KGS)Nigerian Naira (NGN)Surinamese Dollar (SRD)
Australian Dollar (AUD)Dominican Peso (DOP)Laotian Kip (LAK)Norwegian Krone (NOK)Swazi Lilangeni (SZL)
Azerbaijani Manat (AZN)East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)Lesotho Loti (LSL)Pakistani Rupee (PKR)Swedish Krona (SEK)
Bahamian Dollar (BSD)Ethiopian Birr (ETB)Liberian Dollar (LRD)Panamanian Balboa (PAB)Swiss Franc (CHF)
Bangladeshi Taka (BDT)Euro (EUR)Macanese Pataca (MOP)Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK)Tajikistani Somoni (TJS)
Barbadian Dollar (BBD)Fijian Dollar (FJD)Macedonian Denar (MKD)Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Belize Dollar (BZD)Gambian Dalasi (GMD)Malawian Kwacha (MWK)Philippine Peso (PHP)Thai Baht (THB)
Bermudan Dollar (BMD)Georgian Lari (GEL)Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)Polish Zloty (PLN)Tongan Pa’anga (TOP)
Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)Gibraltar Pound (GIP)Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR)Qatari Rial (QAR)Trinidad and Tobago Dollar (TTD)
Brazilian Real (BRL)Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ)Mauritian Rupee (MUR)Romanian Leu (RON)Turkish Lira (TRY)
British Pound Sterling (GBP)Guyanaese Dollar (GYD)Mexican Peso (MXN)Russian Ruble (RUB)Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
Brunei Dollar (BND)Haitian Gourde (HTG)Moldovan Leu (MDL)Saint Helena Pound (SHP)United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
Bulgarian Lev (BGN)Honduran Lempira (HNL)Mongolian Tugrik (MNT)Salvadoran Colón (SVC)United States Dollar (USD)
Cambodian Riel (KHR)Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)Moroccan Dirham (MAD)Samoan Tala (WST)Uruguayan Peso (UYU)
Canadian Dollar (CAD)Hungarian Forint (HUF)Mozambican Metical (MZN)Saudi Riyal (SAR)Uzbekistan Som (UZS)
Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE)Icelandic Króna (ISK)Myanma Kyat (MMK)Serbian Dinar (RSD)Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)
Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD)Indian Rupee (INR)Namibian Dollar (NAD)Seychellois Rupee (SCR)

What are the benefits of international currency support?

When organising events around the world, it’s important to make your tickets accessible to those in the host country. International transactions on bank statements are likely to cause worry for customers, raising concerns about the source of the transaction. By selling tickets in local currencies, you can legitimise your events and avoid any doubt over trust, whilst also helping your attendees avoid huge and unexpected foreign transaction fees.

For events that attract international guests, we’ve also enhanced the way attendees can view the price of tickets. Now, anyone purchasing a ticket through Helm Tickets can select to view the price in a currency of their choice. This streamlines the purchase process for buyers, removing the need to go away and convert and compare the ticket price in a currency familiar to them. This quick view multi-currency tool should lower the barriers to conversion, quickly increasing ticket sales for you as event organisers.

How to I start selling in different currencies?

To get started selling international tickets, join Helm Tickets today! All new organisers will have access to the multi-currency functionality through Stripe and we’ll soon be migrating existing organisers over to our platform – more to come on that soon!

Stripe is our chosen secure payment gateway. Stripe Connect will improve the transaction experience for organisers on many levels, protecting your attendees from fraud and enabling you to sell tickets in 109 currencies worldwide (for now – more to come soon!).

To calculate booking fees in your chosen currency, head over to our improved fee calculator!

You can quickly select your preferred currency during event creation.

If you’ve been thinking about growing your business and organising an event abroad, now is the perfect time.

Features, international currencies, foreign currencies

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Multi Date Event Functionality

Multi Date Event Functionality

The first phase of our multi-date event functionality is now live!

From organisers who run events with multiple slots throughout the day to those who organise an event weekly or monthly, multi-date functionality can massively save you admin time – removing the need to manually create an event over and over or create a separate ticket for each time slot…

Why use the multi-date tool?

Multi-date events can seem like a nightmare to manage tickets for. Should you have an event for each day? An event for each workshop?

We’ve simplified the process to make it quick, easy and most importantly, clear for your attendees to purchase tickets for events with different time slots or dates.

If you haven’t previously organised multi-date events, now you can test the waters knowing we’ve got your back.

 How does it affect an organiser?

The tool is really easy to use, whether you’re creating an event or adding slots to an existing one.

 

1. Click ‘Add more dates’ underneath the date selector

2. Select and add the desired dates/ time slots.


And you’re done! In two steps, you’ve saved yourself from creating multiple events or tickets and you’ve made it even easier to track and analyse which slots are most successful and in-demand.

From the event dashboard, you can now view graphs based on the entire event or based on a single slot, day or appointment time. You can also download a separate guest list for each slot too! 

For a more in-depth look at the tool, there’s a step-by-step guide on our help centre.

Multi Date Events - Helm Tickets

The new multi date selector

How does it affect your attendees?

The whole process is streamlined for buyers, limiting barriers to conversion and making sure no one accidentally buys a ticket for the wrong day or gets lost in a page full of different dates and times. 

Whether you use our full event embed or the box office tool, your buyers will always be asked to select their preferred slot when booking tickets. This keeps attendees on the same page without redirecting them to a calendar or other event pages.

The multi-date tool may seem small but used correctly it can free up your resources whilst making the ticket purchase process intuitive and accessible for your attendees.

Features, multi dates, multiple dates

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For many businesses and events, digital marketing is key. Online ads and social media marketing have become incredibly accurate, and act as a measurable tool for reaching the target audience of your event.

How To Communicate Your Events Brand Story

A “brand’s story” has become a huge marketing buzz-phrase in recent years. But how clear are you on what that means? And how you can use it to elevate your event?

When you harness the power of brand storytelling you’ll be able to engage more effectively with your attendees – developing an emotional response to your brand and building a greater level of community.

How Video Content Can Help Engage Attendees

If you’re not currently using video as part of your marketing strategy then you aren’t alone.

We understand that the thought of creating video content can be an intimidating one, but video is one of the most effective tools in driving customer engagement. 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support and 43% of B2C marketers said that pre-produced video is the most successful type of content for marketing purposes.

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5 reasons to use Helm Tickets for your Christmas events

We love Christmas at Helm Tickets, and we’re thrilled to be the chosen platform for so many of your Christmas and New Year’s events. Like Santa, we know our organisers have lots to prepare for the big day, and we want to make this as easy as possible. So, if you’re still wondering why you should use us for your festive event, wonder no more.

Here are 5 reasons you should:

1) Get paid BEFORE your event!

At Helm, you will receive your ticket revenue monthly, even if your event hasn’t happened yet. We never make you wait for your payment. We’ve run events ourselves and we know how helpful it is to have money upfront to pay deposits, staff, catering etc. This helps your cash flow and makes running your event easier for you, which is our aim in everything we do. Just think of us as your own little elves.

2) Simple, fair and transparent pricing.

We don’t believe in confusing or unfair pricing systems, so we charge one single percentage amount for our booking fees. We don’t tie you into contracts or plans, we don’t charge extra for any of our features, and we don’t have any hidden fees or charges. Ever. Leaving you with more money to spend on all those festive treats!

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Subscribe to receive free events content to your inbox. You’ll be the first to know about new posts and downloads as well as the latest features.

By subscribing to this list, you are agreeing for Helm to use and process your information for marketing purposes.

3) Sell your tickets through your own website (or grotto).

With Helm Tickets, you can easily embed your box office so people can buy tickets to your event on your own website. This means more direct visitor traffic to your website and your attendees stay on your site for longer, increasing your potential for sales. We bet Santa wishes he had such an easy system for his grotto!

4) Easy to use.

Our platform gives you access to all the features you need, whenever you need them. All our features are available to everyone (elves included) and you only need one account to handle everything to do with your event – no need to sign up for things like separate payment accounts. You can even synchronise your HubSpot and MailChimp accounts with your Helm account, for even easier use.

5) Memberships.

Much like Santa’s naughty or nice list, our unique memberships feature allows you to set up groups for specific things. You can charge a recurring fee to any members you have, and give them access to specific benefits, like free or discounted tickets. This is a great way to boost your cash flow through guaranteed membership income, and it increases the likelihood that people will attend your events. Much like leaving a carrot and eggnog out on Christmas Eve, making people (and reindeer) feel appreciated helps ensure repeat attendance at your events.

We hope this has helped you decide to use Helm Tickets for your festive events. We’d love to have you on board and we’re happy to help with any questions you might have

Christmas, Festive, Business

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Offline Event Marketing Ideas

For many businesses and events, digital marketing is key. Online ads and social media marketing have become incredibly accurate, and act as a measurable tool for reaching the target audience of your event.

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A “brand’s story” has become a huge marketing buzz-phrase in recent years. But how clear are you on what that means? And how you can use it to elevate your event?

When you harness the power of brand storytelling you’ll be able to engage more effectively with your attendees – developing an emotional response to your brand and building a greater level of community.

How Video Content Can Help Engage Attendees

If you’re not currently using video as part of your marketing strategy then you aren’t alone.

We understand that the thought of creating video content can be an intimidating one, but video is one of the most effective tools in driving customer engagement. 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support and 43% of B2C marketers said that pre-produced video is the most successful type of content for marketing purposes.

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CONNECT WITH US