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Cheshire based Citation offer HR and professional services to some 16,000 clients across the UK.


We’re used to upping the ante each year for Citation, as we’ve designed their Christmas party for the last four years. In 2016, the brief was to reward the team for a fantastically successful year with an unforgettable event at a location close to their Wilmslow HQ in Cheshire. Citation wanted to build intrigue before the party, then hold an evening suitable for 300 employees from different departments with the long term goal of improving employee engagement.


Never short on staff party ideas, our event designers created a Twisted Circus theme, the full extent of which was only to be revealed on the night.

Emailed invitations in the weeks beforehand suggested just a mainstream circus theme. As guests arrived at the Mere Resort and Spa, nothing suggested any different. They were greeted by a fire eater, circus showgirls mingling with the crowd and drinks tokens collected from a vintage Punch and Judy booth.

However, as the Ringmaster pulled back the curtains, a crazy Cirque De Soleil style panorama unfolded. The black and white big top featured a mirrored circular bar in the centre and a giant birdcage hanging from the ceiling.

Guests could choose from having their fortune told, taking pictures on the selfie mirror or having a turn on a vintage peepshow. Entertainers dressed as demented puppets, crazed animals, body painted clowns and black clockwork swans added to the unique atmosphere.

We also worked very closely with the Mere on circus themed food providing an interesting alternative to the regular bowl food. The main focus of the evening was the award ceremony for members of staff who had shown exceptional commitment. Make Events added a unique spin on this by working with a Maharaja band to create stings as each employee walked up to the podium to receive their award. A DJ playing throughout the evening and the fantastic RPJ band ensured this was a night to remember.


The party was a great success and the buzz continued back in the office into the new year. Employee engagement improved across the whole business leading to an increased sense of pride, loyalty and commitment in every department.

“Twisted Circus – this had to be seen to be believed. Make Events transformed a normal hotel conference room into my imagination of a twisted circus. From the little details to the big, all was thought about. Truly amazing events team with so much enthusiasm and skill to bring every event to life before you even see it.  Couldn’t recommend them enough.”

Melanie Sheehy, EA to CEO, Citation