With Christmas fast approaching, the pressure is on for planners
to create a party to remember. But don't despair if you've not yet
got your party booked - it's not too late.
QHotels' expert Event Co-ordinators, Danielle and Elaine, share
their planning tips and words of wisdom based on the hundreds of
corporate Christmas parties that take place every year at our 27
four and five-star hotels across the UK.
1. Work with the experts
You can dramatically reduce your workload by holding your party at
an off-site venue. Remove the hassle of setting up and clearing
away afterwards and benefit from a team of experts to do all the
leg-work and bring your vision to life.
2. Get everyone involved
Getting other people's input, availability and travel expectations
will allow you to choose a venue that suits as many people as
possible. And, with a last minute party you'll need to
delegate - so identify your team of helpers and their particular
set of skills, and don't be afraid to share the workload.
3. Be flexible
The most popular dates and the best venues will probably already
be full. But choose a quieter night of the week or a November
or January date for your celebration and you should still be able
to throw the party to delight all your guests.
4. Get the 'Save the Date' notice
Don't fret about creating the perfect invitation, the key is to
tell everyone as soon as possible when and where you'll be
celebrating. So get a 'Save the Date' notice out as soon as
your booking is confirmed and let the details wait.
5. Plan food and drink
You've not left much time for menu-tastings, so you need to work
with an established and respected venue who you can trust to get it
right on the night.
And don't waste precious time chasing up your fellow party-goers'
menu choices - choose a venue who can manage this for you. At
QHotels we use 'Tell The Chef' - an automated system which will
email all your guests at regular intervals until they confirm their
menu choices, and they'll even have a reminder on their name card
for when they inevitably forget on the night what they've
6. Pack more into the
If you're struggling to find a clear date in everyone's diary,
have a look at whether you can combine your Christmas party with an
We're seeing more and more companies adding a festive celebration
to their annual conference or team building activity.
Choosing a venue who can offer you bedrooms, conference space and
team building expertise would allow you to plan this as a
single-site event. (Did we mention that we can do all this at
7 Have fun with the theme
For many companies, the theme of the party is one of the most
important elements and it's not too late to stamp your mark on this
Easy fancy dress themes which take little time to organise include
toga parties, an 'alphabet' theme, where everyone dresses as
something which starts with the same letter, or a colour theme
where you ask everyone to dress in a particular hue.
The key is to think creatively, but go with what suits your
company and colleagues. And if you're struggling for inspiration,
talk to the Event Co-ordinator at your venue who is bound to have
some great suggestions which take minimal time to implement.
8 Don't fret about the details
Your preferred suppliers might already be booked up now and if you
get your heart set on including a particular details at your party
you may be disappointed. The key things are that everyone is
well fed, well watered, and kept entertained - whether that's with
a disco or something more elaborate. Get those details right
and everyone will forgive the lack of a croupier or
9 Relax and go with it!
Don't feel as though you need to take on the responsibility of
hosting the event on the night. That's what the event team at your
venue are there for! Organising a Christmas party can be
daunting and you've had to turn this around in the tightest of
timescales, but if you're working with an experienced venue
this is the time for you to sit back and enjoy the party.
Next year - book as early as possible
It's never too early to book your venue. So while you've no
doubt put together a party to remember in quicksmart time this
year, why not give yourself more time to plan in 2016?
Venues will be more than happy to talk to you in January about
next year's party, and you may even get to secure a very enticing
price! What's more you'll be giving yourself plenty of time
to sit back and smugly plan next year's party at leisure, while
others do the last minute rush…
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