• Planning in July Guarantees a Great Holiday Party in December

     
    POSTED July 3, 2013
     

The Great Recession is over, and it’s time to celebrate - better business, loyal employees, steadfast volunteers … and things are lookin’ up! The economy may not have completely recovered, there’s a lot to celebrate. In short, it’s time for a party!

Experienced party-planners know that planning well ahead is key to success. So while you may be thinking about vacation, beach and summer fun, this is also the time to be planning for a holiday event. This year it’s particularly important because it’s one of those odd years in which Thanksgiving is late, meaning one less weekend available for a holiday celebration. Competition for space on the party calendar in December will be fierce. That’s all the more reason to stake your claim to a date right now.

Just as with setting a date, now also is the time to line up your venue, caterer, entertainment, florist, photographers, décor, production and lighting, transportation and any other support you need to enhance your event, because they all are being booked for holiday events already. The sooner you get busy, the more options you’ll have. So put yourself into full-out party-planning mode. By getting them taken care of now you can enjoy the rest of summer knowing that while others are scrambling, you’ve taken care of business.

The objective of a party is for people to have fun and de-stress. If you can get them laughing and having a good time, they’ll go home happy. Give them something spectacular and they’ll be singing your praises.

Depart from the ordinary. For example, hotels and restaurants are always good choices for venues but consider locations that aren’t typical. Museums, galleries, shops and even businesses can be good choices and are available if you ask. Does your business have a spacious lobby? Do you support a non-profit with an unusual but appropriate event space? A private home or community clubhouse, if it’s large enough to handle the guests, is a great choice.

Party food doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy, just very high quality and plentiful. You can hire wait staff to pass food or have well placed food stations. An open bar is nice, but a selection wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be just as welcome.

A great party should provide something fun for the guests to do. It’s hard to go wrong with music and dancing, but there are many other entertainment alternatives that you might want to consider for a holiday get-together. For example, a group of holiday carolers creates a wonderfully warm atmosphere. Get the crowd moving with a persuasive and dynamic dance instructor. A close-up, strolling magician doing card and coin tricks can be very intriguing. Everyone would like to know what the future will bring; you can provide that knowledge to your guests with a tarot-card or palm reader. Stand-up comedians and celebrity impersonators are also crowd-pleasing alternatives. For something completely different and rather cool, how about a flash-mob doing holiday music?

The possibilities are endless especially if you start now. As every day goes by, the competition for the best places, food and entertainment becomes greater and your options narrow. We all know there isn’t Christmas in July, but it sure is smart to be thinking about the holidays now.

The perfect holiday gift is beautiful, unique and filled with wonder. Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide is all of these things and more: a travel-lover’s delight with enough offbeat facts about food to spark countless conversations at the next cocktail party or event.

 

As everyone in the industry knows, meetings can produce a variety of waste, from unused handouts and unnecessary printing to the overuse of plastic and paper products. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency cited meetings and events as the second most wasteful industry, after building and construction. The good news is that meeting planners are continuing to become more and more conscientious about reducing this waste and lessening the carbon footprint of their events.

 

Social media has drastically changed since I was in college. Thanks to Instagram, Twitter and FB, the hashtag symbol is becoming a larger topic when it comes to following, reporting and engaging with companies, friends or events. I personally love following the buzz during events that I cannot attend via hashtags. Savvy event planners can use hashtags to help our industry and business grow.