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How to create the perfect Christmas party event

September 29, 2020

How to create the perfect Christmas party event

It's fair to say that 2020 has been a year like no other.  COVID-19 has dramatically shaped our lives with lockdown, social distancing, event cancellations and a whole host of other measures to prevent the growth of this pandemic.  Of course, whilst we 100% agree with the fact that measures have to be taken to drive down infection rates, the event industry as a whole is keen to see a return to organised, COVID-safe events as soon as possible.  This is now unlikely to be before Christmas, but these tips below are useful nonetheless for future parties and events that you might be planning...perhaps for when this nightmare is over!  So check out our tips below on how to create the perfect Christmas party event at hotels, arenas and other large event venues.

Start early!

As with anything else in life, success lies in the amount of planning you do, and the key to successful planning lies in the ability to start early.  Indeed, if you are a seasoned pro at planning Christmas party events, the planning for the following year's event probably starts the day after the latest one.  After all, you're probably already reflecting on what worked well and what didn't, how you can improve for next time, and so on.  Without doubt, this reflection helps to formulate ideas for the following year.  It's fair to say that time is an event planner's worst enemy especially as the event date draws closer, so get ahead!

If you are a large hotel or arena, for instance, it might be that you are holding a series of Christmas party nights, perhaps every Friday and Saturday night in December.  If this is the case, then you most definitely need to start planning early to give your sales team the chance to sell tickets across all the nights! Maybe they could offer incentives such as early-bird booking discounts, for example which will help you gauge interest and numbers from an early stage.

And whilst it's a Christmas party, a specific theme always seems to work.  Perhaps it's a winter wonderland, Lapland or alpine theme, all of which tie in with Christmas. 

What dress code are you planning?  Is it going to be a fancy dress, black tie or 'dress to impress' code.  All this detail needs to communicated as far in advance as possible, so get your thinking caps on as a team and define your plan.

Drive your event on social media

We live in a digital world where social media can really make a difference to your event, as long as you embrace its capabilities.  We're all aware that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are great for seeing what your friends are up to.  However, get your social media team on board early with the details of your event and get them promoting it!  This needs to be in the form of regular posts, images, videos of previous parties and you can also use that early-bird promotion that we spoke about earlier to get people to like, follow and share your event page.  

Perhaps one of the biggest things to consider is the engagement with potential customers.  There's nothing worse for a social media user to see your advert, ask a question about it, and no one respond.  The best social media channels have have almost instant responses from real people!  By posting, offering promo codes, running competitions to win tickets and maybe even running a geographic ad campaign within a 30 mile radius of your venue for example, social media really can work for you and drive ticket numbers up for your Christmas party event.

Work with trusted suppliers

If you're organising a Christmas party in a large arena or event space, the likelihood is that you'll need to hire additional equipment to top up what you already have - after all, it's not every day you cater for hundreds - if not thousands - of guests for a sit down dining event.  It might be that your catering team needs to hire kitchen equipment such as commercial ovens, hot cupboards, fridges or freezers, for instance, to cater for the increased capacity.  

And when it comes to Christmas furniture hire, you'll probably need to hire banqueting tables, chairs, linen and maybe even the obligatory temporary bars and dance floor.  Whatever you need to hire, you need to work with an event hire company you can trust.  

You'll probably have worked with a variety of event hire companies over the previous 12 months, but for your Christmas party nights, you can leave nothing to chance!  You need to have confidence in the fact that they can deliver on time, in the right place and in the right quantities, and even help you with the set-up.  And for tableware such as crockery, glassware and cutlery, for instance, it's also critical that they can provide you with a quick turnaround, especially if you are holding party nights on both the Friday and Saturday nights across the month of December.  Very few event companies in the UK have the capability to offer all of this - Event Hire UK is one of them.

Leave nothing to chance

And talking about leaving nothing to chance, it's important to have a plan B (and C, D, E & F)!  Ultimately in the world of event planning, despite all the best planning in the world, nothing goes 100% to plan.  In the lead up to your event and in fact during the event itself, things will change quickly and you need to be able to react to this changing situation.  As the event planner, put yourself at the heart of everything, from supplier liaison and logistics through to communication and marketing.  Drive it forward and be the main point of contact into which your team reports on a regular basis in the lead up to your event.

Enjoy the occasion!

And finally, perhaps the most important element of the whole equation - especially after the year we've all had - is to enjoy the occasion.  Of course, the enjoyment of your guests will be your primary concern, but during the event, you should be able to take a step back and enjoy the event that you have created.  Months of hard work will have gone into it and so you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labour.  If you see lots of people taking photos on their phones, you know it's a good one....and better still when you see those photos being liked and shared on your social media channel!  

Then, the morning after, it's time to reflect again and look forward to your next Christmas party in 12 months time!

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