Caterers have experience blending creative and detailed event management. From all of that experience, below are five best practices that will keep event planners for the corporate holiday party focused on the end game: holiday parties that guests – and the boss – will be talking about for years to come.
1. These three words will guide you to your greatest event success.
Any event will be its most successful if you let all of your party decisions and details flow back to these three simple words – "know your audience." Look at the guests on your list and select the date, the venue, the refreshments including beverages to their style, not necessarily your personal preference.
Ask your venue for new and unique ideas to create the best environment for your guests.
2. Choose your date; then your venue.
Not the other way around. When you visit locations, give them your preferred date and alternate dates.
3. Next, formulate your budget and make a list of “must haves.”
Get a vision of what will make them feel festive. Is the bar more important or is it all about the dancing? Consider your list of “must haves.” Nothing is too far-fetched.
Budget, then pick the geographic areas that will work best for your guests as far as travel time and ease of access. Scout venues in those areas.
Visit a variety of locations and take notice of which seem sincerely interested in your guest experience and are willing to make your vision come true. Don’t discount a personal connection with the venue’s representative.
When you visit the locations, don’t be shy to ask for extras, upgrades or concessions (like discounted parking or upgraded bar pricing for your cash-paying guests).
4. Delightful parties are found in the details.
Ask your venue for new and unique ideas to create the best environment for your guests. Some companies want a beautiful Christmas tree and others want to keep their events more simply festive without making it a “Christmas” party.
5. The one big mistake to avoid.
Event planners are asked quite a bit about events – what do guests remember the most? That’s easy; the food. Don’t scrimp on food and beverage. Your guests will remember the food and will let you know if there is not enough variety or quantity. Think about your audience. Are they ‘meat-and-potatoes people’ or ‘sushi connoisseurs?’ Full service caterers will provide a great variety; which is why buffets or receptions with multiple stations are so popular. Always try to mix it up; give them something new and exciting as well as the traditional standbys.
If you follow these five practices, you will have the foundation for a joyful, festive, and engaging corporate holiday event that everyone will talk about for years to come. For more information on corporate catering companies, contact Simple Fare Catering.