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Christmas Party - HELP

We've just sent the inital invite to our Christmas Party 2018 out.

We have a staff of 50 and are in Scientific Research and Manufacturing.

We listened and collated all the feedback from last years black tie with partners event and this year decided on a less formal, employee only event, that's closer to the factory and public transport.

However and despite listening to everyone's feedback on location, type of event etc etc (we're providing accomodation or taxi's home, and reducing the numbers by not offering a plus one, so we can have a summer BBQ as well as part of our budget), I've just had a significant number of our production staff say they're not coming. This is disappointing as we've tried to listen and take on board what people wanted and change accordingly. 

Anyone got any similar experiences and any possible solutions. I'm desperate to make sure our staff have a really good time together, they're usually such a social bunch it's concerning they're not wanting to take part. I know we can't force people to have fun. I'm concerned this might be due to the fact we've recently made redundancies at the end of last year and the changes to our structure have left staff dissatisfied. It could also be the date which is 21st Dec but I would be interested in getting opinions from anyone whose had similar issues. 

Thanks folks. 

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