Posted on: 11/10/2017
The season of goodwill can be both a fun and challenging one for companies right across the region. Whether it’s deciding on where to hold a Christmas celebration that incentivises and motivates your team for the year ahead, or choosing what entertainment to include in your party for loyal customers. There’s a multitude of decisions to be made.
Liz Taylor from the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) has been planning Christmas festivities for the last 30 years; helping leading SMEs to blue-chip giants create memorable celebrations. Here she shares her top five Christmas party tips, that are sure to help you throw the best corporate Christmas party ever
This shapes everything else. From food to venue to entertainment, the demographics of the audience dictates everything. Christmas parties normally have to cater for a wide range of age groups, all with different tastes and different ideas of what makes a good party. Whether it’s a team Christmas party or a thank you to customers, it’s important to ensure that everyone is happy. Getting the tone right is crucial! If a lot of the audience have children – why not consider inviting the whole family and hold the party on a Saturday afternoon.
Unleash your imagination on a city centre warehouse that has lots of space, and dress the venue to suit your company brand or a theme for the evening. Don’t forget there’s a cost and time involved in this, which is why many companies call in a company such as mine to take the creative strain and deliver the finished décor on time and on budget. London Red Bus. Fleet of eco-cabs. Vintage charabanc. Book transport to take guest across the city – sampling cocktails at Manchester’s finest bars, before finishing at a restaurant for food and partying.
Gone are the days when everyone sat down to a Christmas dinner with luke warm turkey. Food theatre are the buzz words. Engaging food that adds to the drama of the party. Bring Manchester’s famous German Street markets indoors. Serve hot Gluhwein, Bavarian Bratwurst Strudel and of course, a bierkeller is a must. A dessert table with crepes and festive treats such as miniature black forest gateau cakes and traditional Stollen. Little wooden houses – a strictly optional décor item (not advised)!!!
Or add variety with international street foods. Thai curries. Sushi. Mexican churros. Gourmet fish and chips. The choice is endless and means guests can choose what they would like to eat? The informality of this catering is the key to its success and it’s gentle on the budget – leaving room to invest in a free bar!
Getting the arrangements for the bar right is crucial. Guests do expect a free bar, and I often advise my clients this is the one thing they have to do. It doesn’t mean free-reign over the optics, it means a carefully curated list of drinks that are available for free. Cocktails can really come into their own at Christmas with festive specialities. White Christmas Mojito. Pomegranate and Rosemary Gin Fizz. Cranberry Aperol Spritzer. Abandon the glass and go to town on presentation. If the party is a family occasion, don’t forgot hot chocolate laden with lots of cream and toppings!
Top of the priority list is entertainment. Not least because if you want great entertainment it needs to be booked well ahead. A live band. A DJ hot from the Ibiza party scene. Table magicians. Kids entertainers. It must be right and it is the one place that you should really invest. A great live band is always a good choice for Christmas parties. They can create a play list specifically to suit the tastes of your audience, and keep guests entertained from reception drinks until the lights go down. If you have decided to invite children, ensure there’s something from them. Create a chill-out zone where they play on an Xbox, or tablets and watch movies on a large screen; complete with cones of hot popcorn and mocktails.
If you haven’t started your planning….time is running out! Hope my five important tips help you survive organising the festivities in this party season. Merry Christmas – can we say that in October?!
Liz Taylor has been at the forefront of the events industry for over 30 years. An entrepreneur at heart, she is an advocate for creating events that push back the boundaries of event design, technology and presentation. When it comes to creating a visual, interactive forum to showcase a company or brand, or developing team events with unique elements to motivate, inspire and bond, the devil is in the detail for Liz and her team!
Entertaining. Innovative. Inspiring. The Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) works with top corporate and celebrity names to stage spectacular business and private events. The portfolio includes leading blue chip, sports and media businesses. Liz sits on the Business and Enterprise Advisory Board at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, and is a recipient of the Manchester Evening News Business of the Year Award and a Legend of Industry Award from Variety, the Children’s Charity.
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