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Ax throwing and ‘no parakeet smugglers’: End of Zoom potions as the Christmas party season returns

Remote working arrangements also mean that some workplaces use the party as an opportunity for team-building activities, with colleagues spending less time physically together in the same room all year round.


Alexandra ax-throwing bar Kiss My Ax – guns are thrown before drinks are taken – is almost fully booked for December.

“Many of the corporate events we hold are the first time the team is together,” says owner Jason MacDonald.

He said the popularity of activities, such as bowling or laser tag, for the office party was also likely due to their relatively lower price tag, with costs rising for small businesses meaning a party with a lot of booze in a hotel or restaurant isn’t possible. . the cards.

But the disruption of lockdowns and working from home has led some companies to rethink how to throw a party for the entire workforce.

“It’s a really exciting time because with all the lockdowns people don’t just want to get back together, they also like to do things differently,” said Ant Hampel, CEO of Alive events agency, a corporate party planner in Sydney.

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“The year-end celebrations start in early November and we’re seeing bookings through the end of January.”


Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills’ big party took place in October, while tech giant Atlassian opts for monthly parties at the George Street property (the December party is Winter Wonderland themed, but no other celebratory event is planned).

In addition to team-building exercises, such as quizzes and tastings, Hampel said another big trend this year has been to ensure the Christmas party is a safe space for staff concerned about catching COVID-19.

“Management has to be careful that people are not used to coming together and mixing,” he said, adding that there was more demand for locations with outdoor spaces.

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