Christmas Party Planning Advice from the Pros
19 August 2019
That time of year is approaching eventprofs… It’s just four months until Christmas which means your festive party planning should be well underway.
Despite the chilly temperatures, December has to be one of our favourite times of year. There’s so much opportunity for celebration and nothing else brings out the jolly moods in people quite like it. We organise lots of Christmas parties over the festive period and we absolutely love doing it. But there’s more to think about than you might expect and we all remember what it was like to experience our first Christmas in the events industry.
Over at Merlin Events HQ, we’ve been reminiscing about how the first Christmas parties we ever organised went but then it got us thinking: What would be one thing you wish someone had told you before organising your first Christmas party?
We put this question to our wonderful in-house events team and here are a few of the responses we loved:
“If you or your client have a particular venue in mind for their Christmas function, DON’T WAIT TO BOOK IT! It’s a tough lesson to learn from experience but I know I’ll always be wise to it now. The top venues get booked up quickly – it’s not uncommon for some to be filled six months in advance. All the better dates will go first too, so if your client is not prepared to compromise then don’t hang around.
Once that’s sorted, it’s ideal when your first choice of venue will take care of everything for you like we do at Merlin. The team will arrange everything from the DJ to Photographer as it’s included in the package costs – so the sooner you’ve got the venue booked, the sooner you can put your feet up!”
- Zoe Ward, Senior Sales Manager at Merlin Events London
“Take into account how many Christmas parties some people attend every year and consider a unique venue if making an impact is your goal.
Despite what a lot of event organisers think you don’t need a big team or a large budget to have a unique London attraction like Madame Tussauds, Sea Life London Aquarium or London Dungeon as your Christmas party venue. We have shared Christmas party options and exclusive hire available for 120 to 1000 people so no matter what your group size you should look into unique venues if you want to impress.”
- Lauren Grieve, Senior Events Manager at Merlin Events London
“If you’re doing a Christmas dinner as part of your celebrations, pleasing everyone is rarely a straightforward affair. Food is always one of the most talked about parts of a Christmas party so I think it’s worth putting in the time and effort to get it right.
You need to consider your audience – are your colleagues a traditional bunch who expect turkey with all of the trimmings, or are they likely to want to go for a menu that offers a twist on the classics (cranberry glazed duck anyone?). Alternatively, a range of interactive food stations may just be the option you need to tick the boxes for everybody!
It may take a little more thought to do but I think it’s always worth it for that extra wow factor.”
- Dania Lindop, Events Coordinator at Merlin Events London
“When it comes to choosing your Christmas party venue, I’d always recommend prioritising picking one in a great location and near to plenty of transport links. You’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to get home after an evening of drinking and being merry – especially if it’s a late finish!
Merlin’s venues are in really convenient, central locations and benefit from being close by to a selection of Underground stations such as Baker Street for Madame Tussauds or Waterloo and Westminster for the London Eye, SEA LIFE London and the London Dungeons.
Our relationship with The Big Bus Co means we can arrange a festive double decker to shuttle guests around the City pre- or post-party as well as include other transport requests from clients in their event plans with us. Taking the travel worries away from as many guests as possible allows them to dance the night away, carefree and cheerful.”
- Paulo Gouveia, Events Manager at Merlin Events London
Hopefully you’ve found this advice from some fellow eventprofs helpful. Merlin Events is proud to host some of the most unique and memorable Christmas parties in London across its portfolio of world-famous venues including SEA LIFE London Aquarium, the London Eye, and Madame Tussauds. We also have shared office Christmas parties, which are ideal for smaller office teams or a group of friends organising your annual get together. If this has given you some merry inspiration for your next Christmas party, we’d love to hear from you! Head over to our Merlin Events contact page to get in touch with our brilliant London Events Team and find out what magic Merlin can bring to your occasion.