We may only have just started to see the sun make an appearance but here at Venues and Events International we’re already taking bookings for Christmas parties.
The thought of planning a Christmas party can be a frightening one with so many people to please; friends, work colleagues, your boss and maybe even clients. They all want to have a good time but they most likely have totally different ideas of what constitutes ‘fun’ and, whatever you do, they are likely to be posting their photos all over social media. If your party is going to be featured on Instagram or Facebook – let’s make it one to remember.
It is possible that you are totally organised and have already planned your Christmas Party but even if you have, there may be something you’ve missed! That’s why we’ve put together our own Christmas party planning tips to get you started…
Get the date in the diary early
Venues book up early, especially if you’ve got large numbers and you want it on a Thursday or Friday night. Not only do venues diaries book up quickly, so do your guests, especially around the festive period. Get a ‘save the date’ in early with your guests and start looking at your preferred venues availability.
Know your budget
No doubt you will have 100s of ideas for planning that perfect Christmas party and knowing how much you’ve got to spend will set you in a great place for when you start to bring these ideas to life. Having an idea of budget will also help you to prioritise your ideas as it’s more than likely that you won’t be able to afford them all!
Choose your venue carefully
There are some amazing venues out there, and no matter the location, there will definitely be the perfect venue for your event – you’ve just got to search for it! When you think you’ve found the one, pay them a visit and take lots of pictures as these will help you plan later on for the finer details of the night!
Create the perfect invite
Letting your guests know about the event early on will help build up excitement. By creating the perfect bespoke invite and giving guests everything they need to know at one time will help them plan everything from their travel and babysitting requirements to the perfect outfit – it all leads to an enjoyable evening for everyone!
Personalise a registration website
Once the invites are out, you’ll need somewhere for your guests to RSVP. Create a bespoke website for your guests to formally register and enter any dietary or medical requirements to ensure they’re properly looked after should anything happen. You can even get them to choose their preferred tipple should you want to add the personal touch.
Have the right menu
The quality of food and drink you serve at your event and how you present it is always a talking point. Food hits all the sensors and evokes feeling. Even those who had one drink too many, will remember how good or bad the meal was. And for those foodies out there, no doubt your food will be on Instagram that night. Best way to do this – test it first. We’re on hand to help you out should you need it, we know a thing or two!
Event identity is everything
Some people think that Christmas is enough of a theme, but there’s always something you can do to make your venue look great. You might even want to steer away from a traditional theme and create something totally unique and on brand for your company’s culture.
Do your research and ask people internally what they’d like to see, after all – it is their party. Once you’ve got the concept, ensure it runs through everything you do from the invites, website and menus through to the decorations in the room, including the mood lighting and table decorations.
Once you’re sorted with the meal, you need to think about how you’ll entertain your guests on the night. If they’re like us, they’ll want to be throwing some shapes on the dance floor, so having the right music is key. A DJ is a simple option, but a band is much more memorable and will really get the crowd going. You might even want to consider entertainment during dinner – a roaming magician is always a bit hit.
Get people home safely
If your guests aren’t staying the night you need to ensure they have a suitable way of getting home. Are you paying for their transport, or simply identifying the nearest Tube/train stations and local taxi firms.
The night itself
With all the hard work you’ve put into the event, now’s the time to see it come to life. Before you start enjoying yourself, make sure you get there early, ensure everything is set-up as you want it and be there to greet your guests on arrival. Once the party is in full swing, it’s time for you to celebrate with your guests, just remember, it’s your party – you’ll need to be on hand should anything crop up.
These tips are just a quick guide to helping you plan the perfect night, although there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes. If this all seems a bit daunting, our team of experienced event managers are on standby to take the pressure off your shoulders and let you focus on your day-to-day job.
If you want to know more, get in touch with the team and we’d be happy to chat through your ideas.
01793 792 200