Five steps to ensure value this Christmas party season

Expert Opinion

As December kicks off the office Christmas party season, last minute party planners in search of value for money, should focus on five key areas to avoid disappointment.

Last minute bookings continue to be a popular trend among organisers whether it is because they want the best deal to fit budgets, or simply because they have not had the time to implement their plans. As such it has become essential for suppliers to prepare for this type of booking and to ensure they are able to alleviate the pressures of planning a last minute party.

There is still time to plan a great party for colleagues; while time pressures and budget concerns continue to drive the nature of last minute bookings, I have put forward a five point plan to guarantee successful party planning over the next two weeks.
Budget: Assessing what can be spent is the first step in any event planning, let alone last minute parties. This will avoid any unnecessary conversations about niceties, keeping the planning focused on the necessitates.

Guests: From final numbers to food preferences, guests are the main priority when it comes to the Christmas party. Agreeing these final details will narrow down choices to enable you to choose an appropriate environment and venue that is suitable and convenient for all.

The When and Where: With guests in mind, deciding on time and place will be the next step.

Different options are becoming available to suit the varying business needs of companies. An increasingly popular trend is the ’early doors’ approach such as a post-work drinks reception. This leaves options open for guests to attend the party and still catch the last train home, or to continue with the merriment all night long..

Trusted Suppliers: With time pressures a concern, it’s important to use a supplier that is proven and trusted to have the experience of accommodating last minute bookings. From catering to music and decorations, finding a trusted venue or supplier that can provide all in one will cut planning time down significantly. 

Don’t Panic: With the plan in the hands of the right people, all that’s left to do is make sure you and your guests enjoy themselves.

IET Venues first found that last minute bookings were on the rise in 2010 when research revealed that more than one third (37 per cent) of respondents claimed to be looking to book events only one to three months in advance. Just six per cent of respondents claim to book events more than 12 months in advance.

With 51 per cent of respondents having stated that cost was the deciding factor when booking a last minute event, IET Venues emphasises the importance of responding to enquiries swiftly, to ensure these increasingly short-term bookings are fulfilled, as well as a need for bespoke all inclusive packages to ensure value for money.

– Sean Spencer, Venues and Facilities Manager, IET Venues in the UK. Any comments? Email

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