Top 5 tips for planning a Christmas Party…
Who better to ask about planning a Christmas Party than our Events Manager and all-time super organised Cath! The Atlantic Hotel and Silks Bistro and Champagne Bar welcome a staggering 3,200 Christmas party goers each year, and there isn’t a request she hasn’t had to deal with… here are Cath’s top five tips for planning your Christmas Party…….
# 1. Set the date:
Seems simple but finding a date that can accommodate your colleagues is one of the hardest tasks… The best way is to send a list of potential dates and then go with the majority who can make it…. Make sure of course that Management and Directors can attend- it is so important for those at the top to be there and ensure their team gets the party they deserve!
Remember, you cannot please everyone, but once the date is set, do not change it, this can lead to confusion and can open a real can of worms! Once that date is agreed, make sure you send a “Save the date” email invitation with a read receipt on followed by an email invitation (and of course note anyone who hasn’t read it!) if you can, invite colleagues via their email diaries.
Ensure that there is a clear deadline to RSVP and send reminders on the deadline, numbers always fluctuate, but it is really important to ensure numbers for your budget and the venue are as accurate as possible.
#2. Confirm your budget:
Make sure that you have a clear budget from Management, nothing upsets a team more than being told they are attending an all expenses paid for 5 course meal with drinks, to find that on the night they must all pay per head. Drinks also seem to get everyone in a panic- set out clear instructions on what your colleagues will receive, whether it be wine on the table and then further drinks to be paid by individuals, drinks tokens, or the holy grail- a free bar (not many of these around now!) Will transport be included? By confirming your budget you can save time by contacting venues within your price range only and check their availability.
#3. Set out the type of Christmas party:
It is important to have a vision for the type of Christmas Party you want to hold- will you invite partners? Will it be a dinner or Lunchtime party? Will the team be looking to throw some shapes on the dancefloor and party the night away? Are you looking to team a Conference during the day following into evening meal and party? (You can do this at The Atlantic Hotel with our eclectic group of function rooms) Always refer to past parties and what worked well, and remember bespoke options = generally a higher price tag, however, offers complete flexibility if your budget will allow, packages are more economical and often preferred for the planner (there’s less to consider and decide on)
This is the game changer! Accessibility needs to be carefully considered, can everyone get to the venue via car, bus, train or even plane? Is there parking? Will the venue cater for everyone’s needs? Is there disabled access? How many bedrooms are available for colleagues looking to stay overnight? Is the venue experienced in running successful Christmas parties and events? Do they offer adequate menu options to accommodate all dietary requirements? Can they accommodate you on your preferred night? Is there an Events Manager on duty to talk to during your hours of work? Choose the right venue and everything else will fall into place.
#5. Little extras
If budget allows, little gifts, goody bags, certificates, polaroid cameras on the tables, bespoke decorations, can really bring your party together and will have people talking for years to come, the extras may seem small, but they are extra ways to show your staff how they are valued.
Now time for the shameless plug: The Atlantic Hotel offers extensive parking facilities, 57 sea view bedrooms, multiple function rooms seating up to 500, package or bespoke options, a choice of menus for all dietary requirements, and an experienced Events Manager who can work with you to ensure your party is every success! Our December package party nights in The Atlantic Hotel or our AA Rosette Award winning Silks Bistro and Champagne Bar include a 4 course Festive Menu, welcome drink, and entry to the legendary Atlantic Hotel Disco until late, giving you the chance to mingle with other party groups, or go for the bespoke option and create your very own Christmas Party with 7 function rooms to choose from.