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. Enquiries for themed parties are up by 65% compared to 2014 at our sister company Theme Evenings. So, if you haven’t sorted it already, where should you begin? Here are some tips to speed up the search:
Find a cracking Christmas party theme by knowing your audience. It’s hard to please everybody, but you can accommodate the majority. Send a round-robin email with an option of two ‘safe’ themes, such as traditional and Hollywood ,and one wildcard such as Willy Wonka. Select the most popular for the group.Budget
Know the budget for the 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 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, Bond, circus, Alice in Wonderland, Moulin Rouge and masquerade are all popular; with packages in place at many venues. If the theme you desire is a little more niche, such as science fiction or Wild West, creating a bespoke package with suppliers is the way 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 see how the space was transformed.
Heavy dressing can transform a space and allow for a more immersive experience, but minimal theming done the right way can be just as effective with well-placed props at focal points such as the entrance, bar and table centres. Lighting, entertainment and catering can also be used to enhance the theme as well as staff and guests dressing for the occasion.
Save time by using 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. For bespoke party options engage a professional prop hire and theming company.