When it comes to booking a Christmas party it can often feel like there is so much to choose from and so little time. Finding the right venue for your festive event can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Of course using a professional planner, such as myself, can save you time and money in the long run. TLC can negotiate the very best deals for clients, but also allow you access to exclusive venues across the UK and Europe. Finding those hidden gems and venues not normally available to the public – which adds both kudos and WOW factor to the celebrations.
But, if you decide to ‘go it alone’ with a bit of pre-planning you can quickly narrow down your options.
Once you know your budget and the number of guests you’d like to invite, the next step is to decide on a location that is going to be easily accessible (with good public transport links and car parking) or else somewhere you can plan group transport to and from at a set time. With all this information to hand you are ready to start looking for a venue. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Bars: good for parties with a younger crowd, or if you want to keep costs reasonable for larger numbers compared with organising a sit-down meal. It is also great for enabling guests to mingle with no added worry of getting stuck sitting next to someone with whom you have nothing in common to talk about. You will need to think about some form of catering, for example a finger-buffet and perhaps hiring a DJ for entertainment. But, with most bars decorated for Christmas it is unlikely that you will need to think about styling the room. Another big plus is that you don’t need to think about moving on to another room or venue after food.
Restaurants: a good choice for small groups who want to celebrate with as little pre-planning as possible. Many restaurants will be pre-decorated and have Christmas packages that include food and some drink. This is important particularly at such a busy time of year when many people are left with the task of organising a Christmas do without much experience in events. You have the options of soaking up the atmosphere of the other guests or choosing a restaurant with a private dining room. The only downside is that often restaurants don’t have any entertainment other than piped music, and if the restaurant doesn’t have a bar, you may need to find another venue nearby for those who want to carry on the party later.
Hotels: great for companies who want to celebrate with the whole workforce or for large extended families who want to come together at Christmas. Many hotels run party packages at this time of year but you need to check what is included so that there are no surprises on the day. Some venues pricing will simply include the use of the space while others will include tables, chairs, decorations and entertainment.
Event spaces: if you’ve got more time and a budget to organise all aspects of your party, then an event space can give you more scope to be original, and I don’t just mean in the décor. Stately homes, museums and art galleries can all be hired and transformed into a winter wonderland. Sometimes at this time of year very large event spaces and conference halls will have done the hard work for you and transformed a space for entire the festive season. You can book tables or hire the whole space for the evening – this way you get to enjoy all the extravagance of a large themed party without needing the budget to support it.
Home: unless you happen to live in a stately home, this is a venue only to be considered for a small gathering of family or close friends. The upside is that you don’t need to worry about getting your reservation in on time or any hidden costs you’d not accounted for.
Oh, don’t forget the unusual options. Roof top gardens, industrial warehouses,dungeons, castles, theme parks, zoos, railway arches and yachts….we’ve planned amazing festive events in the all. Be creative!!