Our friends at Venuemob share their expertise in this guest post.
Sitting around the kitchen table at work, mid-October, and with a mouth full of tuna salad, someone mumbles, “Who’s organising the Christmas party this year?” Finding a venue for your last-minute Christmas party can be tricky, but definitely not impossible. Here at Venuemob, our team of expert venue booking agents have received briefs as late as the second week of December! We share our tops tips for finding and booking a venue for your last-minute Christmas party to ensure you’re not relegated to Uber eats and a slab in the work kitchen.
Step 1 – How much you got?
Whether your boss is footing the bill, or the petty cash tin isn’t so petty after all, you need to work out first and foremost how much money you’ve got to work with. Every decision you make from here on out is going to be dictated primarily by your budget. This budget has to cover drinks and at least a bit of food for your entire team, plus any potential hire fees for booking out a space.
Step 2 – Who’s in, who’s out?
Whether via a Google calendar invite, email or invitation, work out who’s in, and who’s out. People might be going on annual leave earlier than the rest of the office, or may have prior/familial commitments, especially if the event is theoretically a few weeks away. You need to have an approximate, but realistic, number of attendees. The number of people you have, plus your budget, will be the two biggest influencing factors for finding a last-minute Christmas party venue.
Step 3 – What do you need?
While a mechanical bull may have been requested by Tina from accounts, it’s not a deal breaker. But if there’s likely to be a mutiny if your venue doesn’t have a dance floor, that should be at the top of your list. And if you have guests with needs that must be accommodated, for example: disability access, gluten-free options or onsite parking, then that should be at the top of your brief.
Step 4 – Ask for help
By enlisting the help of a professional venue-sourcing platform like Venuemob, you can halve the amount of time spent trawling across the wide web for venues. You can enter your budget, number of guests, preferred date, area and bam – a whole list of unique venues, complete with with availability and pricing information, ready to take your booking. Using a venue sourcing platform also allows you to message each venue directly, but all from the same website. No need to keep a million tabs open.
Step 5 – Keep your options open
Know the old adage, ‘beggars can’t be choosers’? When it comes to booking a venue for your last-minute Christmas party, it’s harsh, but true. The Christmas (party) period is one of the busiest in the hospitality world. When enquiring with venues, keep an open mind and consider all the options. This could include: considering a semi-private space within a bar rather than a function room, expanding your search area slightly, or even going from a formal, sit down banquet, to a more informal cocktail event, or vice versa. Make sure you chat to a handful of venues too, so if your first choice isn’t available, you have a couple of fall-back options.
Step 6 – Be savvy
Just because you’re planning a last-minute Christmas party doesn’t mean you should blindly hand over the company credit card. Maybe you’ve found a space, met the minimum spend requirements and have the deposit ready to go. But is AV included? Is there a security or cleaning fee? Be open and honest with your potential venues, and they will in kind. Otherwise you may end up with surprise additional charges piled up on your invoice.
By following these tips, hopefully, come that Friday afternoon in December, you’ll be kicking back with colleagues in a great space, celebrating the year that was.