By Nathan Angus, Operations Director, Demon Wheelers
‘The Final Countdown’ anthem pops into mind as preparation for the Christmas party season goes full-throttle. Reports suggest budgets are up by at least 30% and the majority of planners are in favour of themed events to add extra sparkle to festive soirées, following years of cancelled parties. Our sister company Themed Evenings echoes these results as enquiries for themed parties are up by 65% compared to 2014. Christmas party nights will be here in a blink of an eye, and with themeing high on the agenda where should organisers begin? These tips will help curb the pressure and narrow down the search:
Find a cracking Christmas party theme by knowing your audience. It’s hard to please everybody, but you can accommodate the majority of your colleagues. Send a round-robin email with an option of two “safe” party themes such as traditional and Hollywood and one wildcard such as Willy Wonka. Use the feedback to select the most popular theme for the group.
Know the budget for the total number of guests including the maximum price per head and don’t withhold this information from venues and suppliers. Being transparent helps manage expectations and prevent planning a themed party that is unrealistic. Always ask where savings can be made including early weekday party nights, unlimited drinks packages and catering options to get the most bang for your buck.
1920’s inspired parties are not waning and traditional, Bond, circus, Alice in Wonderland, Moulin Rouge and masquerade are also popular; in which case you can easily find a package in place at a venue. If the theme you desire is a little more niche such as science fiction or Wild West then creating a bespoke package provides the freedom to pick a venue and work with suppliers to bring the theme to life.
Try to visit the venue in person before confirming the booking and ensure it meets your requirements including budget and location. Request testimonials and images of previous themed parties to get visual representation of how the space has been transformed.
Heavy dressing can transform a space and allow for a more immersive experience, but minimal themeing done the right way can be just as effective with well-placed props at focal points such as the entrance, bar and tables centres. Lighting, entertainment and catering can also be used to enhance the theme as well as staff and guests dressing for the occasion.
Take away the hassle of finding a venue and use a venue finding service; based on your criteria they will provide the most suitable options for free as they receive a commission from the venue. This is very useful if pushed for time. For bespoke party options engage a professional prop hire and themeing company who can install all the elements needed for a smashing themed evening.