The holiday season has arrived and you have been tasked with the seemingly daunting task of planning the corporate seasonal party. Not to worry, here are some tips and tricks to help you get the job done and impress everyone with your savvy party planning skills:
1. Decide who you would like to invite. Will your party include all of the company’s employees or just management? If the company is large you may wish to only include those from your department. Will each person invited be allowed to bring a guest? Will you include any, some or all of your clients?
2. Set a Budget. Speak with your supervisor or whoever determines your budget so that you can have an idea of how simple or how elaborate your party should be. This will help you make decisions regarding venue, menu, decor, entertainment and transportation for your event.
3. Create a Guest List. Making a list of people who you would like to invite will help you reach an approximate party size. You might wish to reduce your list to make the party more intimate, or perhaps your initial decision on who to invite is perfect. Consider the fact that there may be some who choose not to attend or who have conflicts.
4. Choose a Date and Event Timeline. If you have a specific venue in mind you may wish to choose a couple dates and times that may work. Most venue are quite busy during the holidays and you will have a better chance of securing your event.
5. Pick a Venue. Depending on how large your group, there will be a variety of local venues who will be open to accommodate you. Consider how formal or casual you would like your event to be. Take your budget and divide it by the number of guests in your party. This will help you determine which venues make your list. Don’t forget to consider tax and gratuity. Most venues will require a deposit to secure your booking.
6. Choose a Menu. In order to ensure smooth service and to give yourself an idea of what your bill for food will be, it is important to choose a menu for your group. Most venues will offer a collection for you to choose from. At Marquee, we work with each client to help them choose from our collection of set menus or to customize one that fits their preferences. Make sure to consider guests with allergies and food sensitivities. If you give your venue notice of these particulars in advance they will likely be very accommodating.
7. Customize Your Bar Selection. You may wish to leave it up to your guests to order what they like at the time of service with free reign of all of the venues bar selection. Alternatively you can ask the venue to limit the selection offered your guests. You may wish to choose a red wine and a white wine or limit the offering to house liquor and beer. This will depend on your budget and personal preferences.
8. Hire Entertainment. At Marquee we offer live music on both Friday and Saturday nights, but also offer the option of hiring a musician to come and play for your party if your event is on another day or at lunch. Ask your venue if live music is offered and or if it is an option.
9. Communicate Dress Code. Let your guests know what the atmosphere of your event will be like and if there is a dress code. This will help everyone feel more comfortable and will avoid embarrassing situations.
10. Arrange for Transportation. Make certain that all of your guests have a way to get home safely!! If there is alcohol involved it is always great to offer tokens from your local cab company or hire a limo to take your guests home safely.
Don’t get too caught up in the details on the actual day. Typically holiday events are meant to be fun and relaxing, giving everyone a chance to get to know each other on a personal level, so go with the flow and have a great time!
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