When you’re planning a Christmas party, whether it be for your office, a sports club or wider community, the entertainment you choose can shape it into something to remember forever.
Entertainment such as a spectacular magician, surprise singing waiters or a hilarious comedian will leave a lasting impression on your guests and help create a stand-out occasion.
From affordable suggestions to more extraordinary and big budget propositions, here are ten ideas to suit all purses.
1. A close-up magician is a Christmas party idea accessible to all budgets
With the huge success of acts like Dynamo, plus recent successes on Britain’s Got Talent of the likes of Jamie Raven and Richard Jones, magicians are in vogue again.
An unknown, but top close-up magician is affordable to most and, as well as being the perfect ice-breaker for any event, gives your guests a common topic of conversation, which is especially great if they’re not already well acquainted. As a visual form of entertainment, magic also has the added benefit of crossing language barriers.
Some TV magicians, such as Troy, are also bookable for less than you may think and add an additional wow factor and level of prestige.
Magic is a form of entertainment that works perfectly for both small and large scale events.
2. Book something unexpected or surprising for your Christmas party
Booking something unexpected or surprising, like singing waiters, is a Christmas party idea that will crank up the excitement at your event.
Initially appearing to be standard waiting staff until they burst into operatic song, a singing waiter act is the ultimate way to amaze your guests. The Three Waiters are the original iteration of these feel good, energetic and interactive acts.
Magician Ben Hanlin, star of ITV’s ‘Tricked’ (pictured below) can replicate at your party what he does on TV, and present a bespoke hidden camera show featuring your guests on the night.
For those on a very limited budget, how about talking to your local amateur dramatics group and discussing options for them to wait on or mingle with your guests in character according to a theme? Or do you have some hidden talent among your ranks who might be prepared to spring a surprise performance on the night?
3. Book a stand-up comedian for your Christmas party
What better way to ensure your guests enjoy themselves than to make them laugh?
For larger events of around 100 guests plus, you can even book one of the UK’s top stand-up comedians.
Browse the NMP Live site, which features a wide selection of comedians available to hire, from up-and-coming comedy circuit acts to some of the biggest names on TV, or call and speak with an agent to ensure you book the right comedian for your event, audience and budget.
If budget will allow, blow your guests away with a household name comedian such as Jimmy Carr, John Bishop or Al Murray.
4. An impressionist is a Christmas party idea providing a different comical twist
For a different comical dimension how about an impressionist bringing all their observational wit to your Christmas party?
This is another genre where there are fantastic options to suit the corporate top tier budget and at the more affordable end of the scale.
Consider big names such as Alistair McGowan, Rory Bremner, Jon Culshaw or, if they’re beyond reach, hiring a less famous impressionist certainly does not mean settling for less talent but will be kinder to your wallet. They include Britain’s Got Talent stars Jon Clegg, Francine Lewis, who doesn’t limit herself to mimicking only female celebs, and Paul Burling, who caught the eye of Harry Hill.
5. Watch my lips – how about a ventriloquist as a Christmas party idea with a twist?
A ventriloquist is another consideration for something offbeat, which is especially awesome to witness live.
South London born America’s Got Talent winner and TV star Paul Zerdin offers a mix of stand-up comedy and ventriloquism with his adorable puppets. For a unique and highly memorable twist, Paul also now offers to create a bespoke puppet of someone who will be in the audience and to incorporate it into the show!
Highly sought-after Nina Conti is expert at encouraging partner Monk the monkey to be as clean or rude as the audience demands.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Hewlett will be more attainable to those without deep pockets, but also brings skilled and crafted comedy.
6. Combining music and comedy is a great Christmas party idea
What could better to set the tone for a Christmas party atmosphere than song and laughter?
Top class professionals such as award-winning Vikki Stone, with sell out Edinburgh Comedy Festival events and numerous high profile TV appearances under her belt and best known for her comedy songs, can be far more affordable than people might realise.
Classically trained singer Jess Robinson, a well-established performer even before her Britain’s Got Talent success, impersonates in song with plenty of humour thrown in. Abandoman creates hilarious freestyle songs at lightning speed based on audience suggestions. Alex Horne (pictured above with The Horne Section) is another musical comedian with penetrating wit and an innovative style while star of BBC1’s The Mash Report Rachel Parris is an award-winning comedian and musician.
7. Musical cabaret is a Christmas party idea to set your event alight
Live music may be the age old ‘go-to’ option to add depth and sparkle to any event, Christmas party included, but that doesn’t make it any less effective.
There will be local bands in your area to suit all budgets and the exceptional can be found amongst them for those willing to do their research.
A new twist on this old favourite is musical cabaret. The Magnets, for example, are a six-strong sharp-suited male group with infectious tunes and slick moves who combine harmony singing with beatboxing to create an a cappella sound with such depth your guests won’t believe no instruments are involved.
Having appeared at some of music’s biggest festivals, Duke perform a high energy fusion of live vocals, beat-boxing and acoustic guitar, all harmonised to create a unique sound. Another jaw dropper is Beardyman, who merges phenomenal beatbox skills with his left-field sense of humour and incredible musicality.
8. How about an authentic nostalgia act as a Christmas party idea?
Tribute acts are a popular choice for events and parties and allow you to make a booking that really strikes a chord with your guests’ tastes and generation. But why settle for a tribute?
Authentic nostalgia acts - bands, groups and singers - from the 80s, 90s and 00s are available for bookings.
From the 80s you can consider the likes of Tony Hadley singing all the Spandau Ballet hits, Martin Fry and ABC, Bananarama or Billy Ocean.
From later decades, options include ‘She’s So Lovely’ and ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ creators Scouting for Girls, multi-platinum selling pop rockers The Hoosiers and, for the pure pop lovers, get the ladies swooning over a boyband such as Blue or Five.
9. For those who have the budget, how about a contemporary headliner for your Christmas party?
Not everyone realises that it is possible to book contemporary headline acts and integrate them into your event.
Especially if you’re organising a ticketed event, such as a shared corporate Christmas party, investment in top entertainment will make you stand out from the crowd and can make it worth the extra investment.
If you really want to push the boat out you can secure chart toppers such as Paloma Faith, Lily Allen, Olly Murs or Pixie Lott.
Don’t assume your desired act cannot be secured, however high profile. Contact NMP Live and let us advise you.
10. Show-stopping Christmas party ideas for your high-level or corporate event
In the same way that you should not assume that a headline contemporary music act is unbookable, the same goes for other ‘wow’ factor entertainers.
When the phrase ‘only the best is good enough’ is at its most literal for your guests, the sky’s the limit and however big your dream it can be reality.
How about hiring global magic icon Dynamo to astonish, astound and amaze your guests? Or Channel 4’s popular psychological illusionist Derren Brown to perform his mind reading live in front of you?
If gasps are what you’re looking for, getting Britain’s Got Talent star James More to perform death-defying illusions right before the eyes of you and your Christmas party guests will surely hit the mark.
A remarkable dance act will add the brightest of sparkles to your Christmas party. Choose from the likes of Britain’s Got Talent stars Diversity or Flawless. For something with an overtone of elegance, you could opt for Strictly Come Dancing professionals James & Ola Jordan (pictured above), who’ll perform a number of dance routines mixed with audience chat and questions.
How NMP Live can help deliver your Christmas party idea
With two decades of experience booking talent, performers and speakers and managing the contractual process, NMP Live is uniquely placed to listen to your requirements, advise on your options and make the booking to meet your needs. Our agents are friendly and approachable and no question is too daft - we’re happy to help.