21 September 2023
Are You Getting Festive?
Are you planning a Christmas party or Christmas event this year? If so, you should be thinking of getting it organised as there is only a few months to go! Planning a large event can be overwhelming at times, especially when you have various demands, input and thoughts! What I suggest is starting a planning sheet straight away and take things step by step:
Expectations and budget
I have seen many times a poor member of staff given a very woolly brief to organise the company’s Christmas party, which can leave them panicked as they are not sure what they have to work with. If you are in charge, make sure you get as much information as you can up front from your team. Big questions are – what is the budget? What do they want it to entail (is it a dinner or a party for example?), how long is it for? If you are organising one for family or friends, it is very much worth doing this thinking up front, so you know what you are working with.
This is critical as it is the main element of the event alongside location. Often, if this is for an office party, a venue close to where you work can be advisable as you know people can get there and home ok. Trying to get a lot of people somewhere new can be a mammoth task and could add an extra transport logistic and cost element.
Is there a need for a wow factor too? Again, people often say they want ‘something different,’ but don’t really specify what that is. Many iconic venues (such as Somerset House and the Embankment Gallery) have specific Christmas packages geared for all sizes and budgets and often, these can make your life a lot easier. Keep an eye on new openings too, especially in your area, as they are often looking to support local businesses and get people through the door. When looking at a venue, do have a crib sheet of questions and needs (accessibility for example). If you need any help with venue finding, please do get in touch as there are lots of hidden gems I know about that would fit the bill!
The ‘something different’
This request is so common (and slightly unhelpful!) as people often want another element to their event apart from just eating and drinking. This is where you can get creative. There are a lot of entertainers or activities you can incorporate depending on the audience. Everything from a dance class to axe throwing, from a magician to a yoga class! There really is so much to choose from but all have a budget assigned to them so be mindful. Start by searching local and seeing what’s out there and of course, professional event planners are on hand if you need!
Organising a large event needs careful consideration for the people there. So, try as much as you can to cater for all different needs, including thinking for guests who don’t drink, any special dietary requirements, accessibility needs etc. Just try and do the thinking beforehand as much as you can.
Of course, Christmas itself is an amazing theme but is there anything else you can add to your party to make it extra special? Could you do some silly awards for example or have a specific dress or colour theme? Ideas include The Great Gatsby, a Winter Wonderland, The Big Top…… Could you bring in a surprise for the boss (if they would be up for it of course!) or a special guest?
These are just a few pointers to get started with! Do give us a shout if you would like a helping hand as we are always brimming with ideas and solutions for you!