It may still be unusually mild out, however now is the time to focus on planning that all-important Christmas party. David Willmin, sales director at Ashridge House Events and Conferences, shares his advice, whether you’re booking for a large party or are seeking an alternative Christmas meal.
With the summer coming to an end, it’s time to think about booking your Christmas party – if you haven’t already. Many venues become fully booked in the autumn, so it’s worth speaking with key stakeholders and agreeing a date as soon as possible. But remember that you may get a better price depending on the day of the week.
There is a lot to think about, but firstly think about the number of guests that you will invite. Will you be inviting staff only or extending the invite to partners? There is no need to worry if numbers are small, since many venues offer shared party nights where you can join other organisations – all the theming is looked after by the venue, too.
For larger organisations looking to book a party, pre-themed venues are a huge timesaver for clients, as everything from the menu, drinks, decoration and entertainment are put together in a nice package. Many venues require minimal theming, particularly heritage venues such as Ashridge House since they already have the ‘wow’ factor.
“If you have some budget left, book something that colleagues might not expect like a caricaturist or fireworks.”
It’s then time to think about the food and entertainment. Do you want a traditional Christmas meal? Liaise with the venue to discuss alternative options – possibly one that fits with your theme. Don’t feel pressured into having a traditional Christmas dinner.
Lastly, organising the entertainment is just as important as picking the right venue. Use a DJ or band that has been recommended to you by either a colleague or another venue. If you are unsure, ask them for a typical playlist and a link to a video of their work. If you have some budget left, book something that colleagues might not expect like a magician, casino tables, caricaturist or even fireworks – it will be a great talking point when you return to the office.
Organising your Christmas party should be fun and stress-free. Trust in the venue’s operations team, as they will know every aspect of the event, but just remember to take all the credit when your colleagues praise you for organising a great party.