Web Reviews – Getting festive on the web.

With Christmas only a month away, online businesses are gearing up in hope of a busy season. Online shopping, party organising and last minute escapes are all on the web, though not necessarily easy to find.

Every year it always gets left to the last minute, and by then all the decent venues have been booked up. So if you have just been handed the onerous task of organising the firm’s bash, check out partyparties.

The internet doesn’t offer up much in this area, and partyparties was only found through altavista after asking Jeeves. But once in the site, two clicks gives an extensive, albeit London-centric, list of party venues and suggestions. It aims to be the first port of call for organisers for private or corporate parties, and it succeeds. It can provide suggestions and offers an e-mail invitation service. The only drawback is the inability to book online direct with the venues. A very good starting point. 7/10

As panic sets in towards the end of next month, shoppers should start looking here. There are plenty of shopping portals on the web, but one of the advantages of eshops is that it lists reviews from ShopSpy, a ‘secret shopper’ organisation, giving the lowdown on e-tailing sites. So, if you suddenly realise you need to send a gift to a client or target this is a good starting point. The following sites for gifts were all found through eshops. 8/10

The ironically named rememberonline (designed for those that are prone to forgetfulness) looked very promising, especially when the message to review its special ‘corporate relations’ page flashed along the bottom.

The page highlights the importance of both staff and clients to the success of a firm, suggesting that an appropriate gift could work wonders. Shame it wasn’t possible to do it online. The idea is quite simple, the user inputs key dates for cards, presents etc and then the system takes care of the rest. But the packaging might be a bit of a giveaway. According to ShopSpy there were no fulfilment problems. 6/10

Not the best site for corporate gifts (but where is?), this site certainly offers a large range of gifts. If you are stuck for an idea, the tailored service can find the best for anyone from ‘city slicker’ to ‘coach potato’.

If you are quick, you will even get a Christmas cashback voucher if you order before the end of November. Good quality gifts, delivery again not a problem. 7/10

Ignore the share price, this is still one of the best online shopping sites around. Not just for holidays, this is ideal for last minute anything.

So if you want to organise a different type of Christmas bonus for the staff, but haven’t got round to it yet, check out the site for some original and unusual ideas. An in-office shiatsu massage would certainly help relieve the stress in the run up to the office festivities, or if that’s a bit extravagant, a job lot of stress balls will be delivered to your office within two days. 8/10

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