You’d be forgiven for thinking the summer months may be too early to think about the Christmas season, but for many businesses the festivities have already been planned and the company party has been confirmed. However, if you haven’t even thought about your Christmas event there is still time!
One of the first things to decide is when you would like to have your Christmas celebration; this will depend on availability within your preferred venues but to have a couple of dates in mind will give you more flexibility and choice to book that perfect location.
December is obviously prime time for Christmas parties, especially Thursday – Saturday in the last two weeks leading up to the big day. If your dates are flexible this year why not look towards the end of November or early January; there are some great deals to be had.
Mistletoe and wine (or just the wine)?
Whilst we are on the topic of money, it may be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but you need to have an idea of a budget in order to find a suitable venue. By knowing this information from the start you may be able to open up doors to venues that you thought would be unreachable and it will also help you to negotiate a great deal when you can benchmark against a figure.
So your date has been pencilled in and your budget has been set; next up is to decide what you want to do. Take a think about what the company did last year, what has worked well in the past? What will make your evening special to your guests?
Sometimes the best events are the most simple, showing value to employees after a year of hard work and to motivate everyone for the New Year ahead whilst enjoying good food and delicious wine.
Depending on how large the event needs to be, private dining within a central London location could be the perfect answer; The London Edition are offering Christmas packages from £75.00 per person to include champagne and canapes on arrival, amuse-bouche, a three course Christmas dinner followed by a cheese platter with port, wine and water, tea, coffee and mine pies plus flowers and crackers on the table.
Larger Christmas events
If the guest list is bigger than one or two tables then there’s a whole host of venues for you to choose from, including dry hire venues where you can really have fun with your theme. The elegant and cultural Somerset House in the Strand offer a fantastic experience for your guests, including access to your very own outdoor ice rink.
Start with pre-dinner drinks for up to 100 people in the Portico rooms with uninterrupted views of the Thames and the ice rink – why not leave the skating to the professionals and hire in ice dancers whilst your guests watch with champagne on the terrace. Continue the elegance of the evening by taking dinner in the Seamens room , with its classical columns and black and white marble floors – frost the room with twinkling lights and it becomes the perfect venue for your Christmas celebration.
If you do have a large number of people to invite to this year’s party, with menu choices to be made, transfers to be arranged and accommodation requests to be handled then it might be worth leaning on the help of a delegate management tool. This handy software might just reduce the headaches of table planning and managing responses; your invitations can be sent out by email with all the information being returned into the system in one format, reports can be run to see who is yet to reply, menu details can be emailed to venues and caterers and surveys can even be sent out after the party to get everyone’s feedback.
Outside the capital
Of course Christmas celebration venues extend beyond London and there are plenty of choices across the country to choose from. Enjoy 5 star luxury at The Grove in Hertfordshire or Penny Hill Park in Surrey or head further afield and hire your very own castle in Scotland – Ackergill Tower in the Highlands offers memories for life within the Tower and grounds.
Enjoy a champagne reception in the Great Hall as bagpipe music fills the air and leads the group down to Sinclair Palace for an Imperial dinner – complete with the piping in of the haggis. The evening wouldn’t be complete without kilts and ceilidh dancing, a tod of whiskey and tales around the table. The remote location can be as tranquil or as action packed as you need with plenty of time to relax by the crackling fire in your own private pub.
We’ve got it all wrapped up
Need help planning this year’s party? Gray Dawes Events have so many ideas to create a memorable and fun event for your guests, no matter how big or small. We can create unique intimate dinners, lively themed parties or drinks receptions with the wow factor. With a team of experienced event managers, our very own delegate management software and excellent relationships with suppliers in the UK and abroad, we really do have your Christmas all wrapped up!