Here are our Christmas Party FAQ
Depending on your budget, you may want to go for a more informal event and maybe hire a semi-private space within a bar or restaurant to keep costs down. Or you may want to really splash out and celebrate with a grand historic venue or a 5 star hotel. Generally speaking, your colleagues will prefer a higher food and bar tab and a less swanky venue, than going somewhere really nice and then having to pick up some of the bar bill themselves. This isn’t a given though, so it’s worth checking in with your colleagues what they would like. We use a really handy tool called Doodle to send out a poll to your staff and get their thoughts on what they would like to do this Christmas party season.
If you are the lucky person that has been tasked with planning the office Christmas party this year, you’re not necessarily the person who’s setting the final budget. Some decision makers are tempted to get you to start planning before stating what the budget will be, but that just tends to waste everyone’s time, as there are so many variable venues and event spaces on offer. Even if you just get a ballpark figure it’s really helpful to have a guide price so you can know where you’re starting point is. There’s not much point planning an elaborate three course meal if you’ve only got £25 per head as a budget.
Most bar and restaurant style venues over the Christmas period work on a minimum food and beverage spend, instead of charging room or venue hire. This can be helpful as you do not need to pay venue hire costs as long as you meet the minimum food and beverage spend on the night. The Event Book Christmas party planning experts can help you make your own unique food and drinks package to suit your guests.
Christmas party dates book up quickly, which is exactly why we suggest you start to plan your Christmas party way in advance. If you have numbers of over 250 guests we recommend as early as January to secure the key dates, yes January!!! For smaller numbers we recommend starting your venue search in June – August time to make sure you get your ideal venue and ideal date for your party. If you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas party venue, you might get lucky with last-minute offers and deals, but you may not get your preferred date, or even your favourite event venue.
You would be surprised by how quickly the best Xmas party venues get booked up. The Event Book help clients organise their work Christmas party all year round – yes, some people start looking in January. The most popular time of year to book a venue tends to be May through to September, but it’s never too early to start looking around for suitable Christmas party venues. Most importantly, you’ve got to pick a date. The most popular dates for Christmas parties tend to be the Thursdays and Fridays in December, so you’ll need to book well in advance to secure your preferred days of the week. Alternatively, think about picking a different date to make sure as many people can come to your party as possible.
Every year the Event Book invites a select group of clients out in December to see a number of popular venues. This way you can see what the venue looks like when it is all dressed up and get an idea of the theming and decor the venues install so that you can make an informed decision about your Christmas party for the following year. If you would like to join us this December to see some of London’s best Christmas party venues all dressed up, please do get in touch and we can let us know your event brief, and we can match the most suitable venues for you.
The earlier you start to plan your Christmas party the better. By planning early, you will have your choice of venues and it’s likely that your guests will also have more free dates in their diaries. If you are planning for a particularly large group then ensure you start to search for your venue in late spring or early summer. However, if you have left it late then don’t despair, as long as you are willing to compromise on a few details then you should still be able to find something – perhaps even at a discounted price.
As a guideline from our decades of experience we would recommend if you are looking for exclusive hire of a bar or that for example can accommodate 100 guests for a standing reception, in central London then prices tend to start from £8,000 – £10,000 minimum spend on food and beverage for a Wednesday or Thursday evening in November or December, this will depend of the size, location and nationwide and is just a guideline.
On the other hand if you are looking at a 4 – 5 star hotel in central London for a drinks reception and 3 course menu with half a bottle of wine and room hire based on 100 guests, rates would be anywhere from £85.00 – £125.00 per person plus VAT. Entertainment may be an additional cost.
Once you’ve got your budget – either as a total spend, or as a spend per head – you can start putting together some ideas. The bigger your team or company, the harder it can be to plan something really unique. But if you get your ideas together in advance it will make it easier to execute your cool ideas.
You want to make your Christmas party stand out from the rest – but how do you make sure you’re planning a unique Christmas party? Consider every aspect of your event planning and think about where you can do something different. You can make it easy for yourself by choosing a unique venue – perhaps a London venue with a theme, or maybe just a super quirky event space. London is lucky enough to have a wide range of unique and unusual venues for you to choose from. Also take into account your catering and entertainment ideas, We can help you with that, as these are two factors that can also really impress your guests. We like to have great drinks reception entertainment to really wow guests as they enter your Christmas party venue. Also adding in a live band after dinner always goes down really well.
When you choose your Christmas party venue think about your guests, what are they expecting from the Christmas party? Have you covered it? Also think about whether it is easy to find. If not then you might want to include more specific directions on your invitations or think about providing transport to and from the venue. Also think about the impact of attending – if it’s a midweek party then you may want to be kind to your staff and offer them a later start to work the next day.
A theme can be a great idea to get the whole business involved. You could keep things traditional and go with a festive colour scheme, alternatively you might want to go for something unique such as an immersive experience of a hit tv-show or movie. You can use this theme to inspire your invitations, your decor and your menu on the evening.
You want everyone to enjoy your Christmas party so try and consider that you could have different age ranges and personality types that could all want something different. You can’t please everyone but you can do your best to offer variety – for example if you are creating a loud party atmosphere then consider having a quiet room for less raucous guests ( maybe the drinks reception room)