Planning an event during the busy holiday period is particularly challenging. Herewith, some tips. July/August 2009
Determine budget, theme and create a guest list. Consider your entire company group/division, not just the sales team. Also, will suppliers/customers be invited?
Choose a venue well in advance.
Prepare and send invitations 8 – 10 weeks in advance. There are only so many weekends in December.
Hold spouse-welcoming events on evenings and weekends.
Events on a Saturday night tend to be more formal and lavish. If it’s a family affair, consider a Sunday brunch.
Select entertainment to match the group’s demographic.
Book audio visual, group transportation, temporary staffing, security, etc. as required. Get your venue involved. They usually have great contacts.
Determine food and beverage requirements. Don’t forget to ask your guests about food allergies and preferences.
When thinking food and beverage, is a full or part bar required? Be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available. Avoid liability and keep guests safe by maintaining a watchful eye for over-indulgers. Have designated drivers or taxi chits on hand.
Order gifts or goody bags for takeaways well in advance. Consider making a group charitable donation as part of the holiday festivities.
Budget- or time-strapped? Move your holiday party to January or February. Facilities are in less demand and providers are more flexible on timing and price. In the middle of winter, people will welcome a chance to celebrate.