What will an end-of-year celebration look like in 2020?

End-of-year-celebration-RMS-Cloud

End-of-year party traditions are set to take a different path in 2020 thanks to the global you-know-what. With many properties relying on domestic tourism and heavily limiting the number of guests in public areas to align with social distancing, the large-scale Christmas party may end up being a smaller affair.

But, we won’t let Corona steal Christmas, so here are four ways to keep the party spirit well and truly alive at your property.

1. Host a hybrid event

Appeal to businesses with long guest lists by offering an off-site alternative. CEO Anna Cesarana from Dalton House in Sydney has done just that: “We’ve launched hybrid events where people can virtually party," says Anna. Staying connected through technology, guests can still chat with their colleagues and dance to the music. With a COVID-safe plan in place, Anna’s other alternative is offering a mix of on-site and virtual; up to 150 guests can come to the property while others can party at home, for example, those who are at a higher risk. "We're just trying to be creative because people want to party and people are looking for an excuse to party especially this year," adds Anna.

One way to maintain social distancing in communal areas is to use your internet booking engine and label chosen areas as inventory items before attaching them to your IBE. This allows you to control how many people are in certain areas at any one time.

2. Get creative with your restaurant space

If the restrictions in your local area allow your restaurant to remain open, start thinking innovatively about how you can recreate your space to align with social distancing requirements. Some venues are introducing longer dining tables with more space between guests, while others are exploring outdoor options with extra room to spread out.

Use your POS system to seat venue to capacity (in line with your social distancing rules) and use your interactive table reservation tool to effectively manage numbers. For functions that require a higher level of admin, consider activating the events module in your PMS to efficiently organise and manage every aspect of your festive function.

3. Add home deliveries to your offerings

If your on-site restaurant is closed or you are looking at ways to increase revenue from F&B, consider offering meal deliveries. That way, those that want to host a virtual event can still maintain some normality as they watch their colleagues tuck into their roast dinner or enjoy a sophisticated high tea. You can email the menu to guests prior to the virtual event using the EDM module in your PMS and take contactless payments via your payment gateway terminal to eliminate face-to-face interaction.

If your property lacks an on-site restaurant, you could set up a partnership with a local business via your PMS tour desk and earn some commission. Alternatively, you could integrate with a food delivery business.

4. Host a virtual class

End-of-year functions don’t always have to be centred on a party - plenty of businesses opt for events, so why not make a popular one virtual? An online cooking or cocktail making class is a great way to bring people together when they’re apart while also boosting your revenue. You can deliver the ingredients prior to the class and then have everyone join in over video conferencing from the comfort of their kitchen.

Take advantage of the marketing modules in your PMS (such as email and SMS) and spread the word to past guests about the creative events you’re offering over the festive period.


Although the festive season isn’t quite how we imagined it to look in 2020, there are alternative ways to deliver an end-of-year celebration. Large parties might be out but smaller, creative events will help drive revenue to your property and create guest satisfaction, keeping you front of mind for when things return to normal in the (hopefully) near future.