One of the most commonly asked questions that we hear as professional event organisers has to be when is the best time to book the work Christmas party? We always recommend booking your tickets as soon as possible and there are a whole bunch on benefits for doing so that you might not even know about.
Looking for a party: View our top shared Christmas parties
Setting a Christmas party date that the majority of your colleagues can attend is often a time consuming and frustrating task. Because we’re realists, we know not everyone is going to be able to make the same date. So, imagine finally settling on a date after weeks of sending out doodle polls and email reminders to find out when everyone is available for the Xmas party, only to be told that your date is completely sold out. That’s a huge amount of time and effort wasted.
So how do you avoid that disappointment? Don’t leave it to the last minute! A lot of Christmas parties tend to be announced around April and May. We know that might seem ridiculously early but when you take into account that some venues have a capacity of 3000+ and thirty Christmas parties taking place between late November and December, you’ll appreciate that a lot of planning and organisation is needed in order to make those events successful and memorable.
Bearing in mind when these parties go on sale to the general public, we recommend you start looking into booking your work Christmas party around the summer. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays tend to be the most popular Xmas party dates and can sell out months in advance, so if you’re planning your work do for one of those prime dates for a large groupmof people then you really need to be booking your party as close to summer as you can.
View: Top London Venues
Another reason why the best time to book your work Christmas party is months in advance is because organising an end of year celebration isn’t always quick and easy. We know from working with thousands of clients over the years that planning a Christmas party is stressful and doesn’t always pan out the way you imagined it.
On top of finishing all of your work on time so that you can enjoy your Xmas holidays without the nagging thought of that report you didn’t quite complete, do you really need dietary requirements, food allergies and drink orders looming over you as well? We thought not. Get all of those nitty-gritty details signed off early so that you don’t have to collect that information in the midst of the December chaos.
So what are the other possible benefits to booking the work Christmas party so early in advance?
By booking early enough, some venues and parties may offer you a small discount or an incentive to secure your booking. You might be offered a few bottles of complimentary bubbly for each of your tables, extra dodgem tokens (should your party include the good ol’ fashioned bumper cars), or even free professional photographs to hang in your office so that your company can remember your party antics for years to come.
An additional bonus of booking your Christmas party sooner rather than later is that you may be seated closer to the stage so that you have front row seats for the extravagant performances set to take place. Alternatively, if you don’t like queueing for your winter cocktails you could also request to be seated next to the bar. By booking last minute, you don’t have these options and we know from experience it’s the little touches that make your Christmas party that extra bit special and memorable.
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What happens if you book your Christmas party and you want to add on extra guests at a later date?
The important thing to remember is that all tickets are subject to availability. Event organisers cannot hold or secure tickets without a deposit or full payment. This means that there is a risk that there might not be any tickets on your party date left over for last minute bookers. If you book your party early, you’ve got a bigger time frame and better chance at there being a few extra tickets available for those friends and colleagues that decide they don’t want to miss out on the Christmas celebrations after all.
For those of you hiring a venue exclusively, you might also be wondering when the best time to book your entertainment is. As with the party it’s best to book as soon as you have your venue and date confirmed. You probably aren’t going to be the only company booking entertainment for that date but you’re definitely going to want to be one of the first.
If we haven’t already emphasised enough in this blog, the best time to book your work Christmas party is without a doubt a few months in advance – aim for around August. It’ll save you a ton of stress, you might get a discount on your booking, a few extra glasses of champagne, potential front row seats for the live performances, and you can enjoy the lead up to the party without the worry of having to organise it last minute.
If you’re in charge of booking your Christmas party this year and you don’t know where to start, get in touch with us, Christmas Connections! We’re a free party finding service and our mission is to relieve you of all of the hassle and stress or arranging your Christmas party.
Running an event can be hard work with lots of remember. But what makes a great event stand out from a mediocre one? Follow these top tips to throw a really great event that will run smoothly and be remembered for all the right reasons…
Top on our list of aspects which make a great event is good planning. In order for an event to run smoothly, you need to plan carefully, ensuring you are organised from the very beginning planning stages, right through to the end. You need to make sure you know exactly what is going on and when so there are no mishaps and make sure your time-keeping skills are up to scratch. Detail each task you must do and write down how long they should take and don’t spend too much time on one thing. With planning, attention to detail is paramount – from details such as ensuring the correct time and date, to numbers for orders and other items. Planning is key!
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One thing which can take an event from potential disaster to a truly great event, is the ability to innovate and adapt to different situations. These can be anything from something slipping up in the planning stages, to something going wrong on the day. With the right skills and quick mindset to adapt to a situation you can quickly turn a potential disaster into something successful.
Connections are such an important aspect of any business and come particularly in handy when planning an event. And we’re not talking Twitter followers or people you’ve engaged with on LinkedIn, for a really great event, you need connections you’ve met in person and forged a working relationship with. A vital component to events and meetings, be sure to make the most your time at other events and conferences by building relationships with fellow professionals and those who might come in handy for your own future events, such as attendees, vendors, exhibitors and planners.
Speakers are often a great draw when it comes to events, so be sure that whether you have multiple speakers or just one, that they are a good support for the event. Be sure to take the time to find someone who is exactly right and on the day be sure they are able to agree to and follow speaker guidelines that you set, such as time limits.
If there is time and budget for this, extra activities can be great to create and cultivate the event experience for attendees. Extra activities can be anything from putting on a food spread, to giving out awards, photo booths or business stalls. This can be a great way to get people more involved and immersed in the event, staying longer and have an overall better experience. Be sure to get this booked in well in advance to ensure there are facilities to cater for this and that your event goes as smoothly as possible.
The venue and location of your event is one of the most important decisions to making sure it runs smoothly. And it’s important to tick both boxes – you could have a perfect location, but if it’s miles away with no parking it’s going to cause a nuisance for guests. Similarly, if you have a great location, but unsuitable venue, it won’t work either. Think carefully about where your attendees will be travelling from and factor that in. You will also need to think of certain facilities and if it has that – whether it be free Wifi, catering facilities, on-site parking, conference rooms, it is vital that these things are ticked off first.
When planning an event it is important that information and communication are clear and precise. You need to ensure that everyone from attendees to sponsors, exhibitors and staff of the venue know timings and what is happening on the day – before the day rolls around. If the event will have extra costs for wifi, a cash-only bar or parking which has to be paid for, be sure people know these details to avoid any nasty surprises on the day of the event.
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Similar to information, be sure that everything is ready and organised for the day so it all runs smoothly. Make sure staff (particularly if they have been hired for the day) know important things about the venue such as where the toilets are, so if guests have questions they get answers quickly and easily. Make sure everyone there on the day knows their role and what they need to do and that you have your timings for the event ready (with room for movement should something overrun slightly.)
Events are great when run smoothly, and with these easy tips to help tell you what makes a great event, you’re sure to provide your guests with a memorable day. Be sure to plan well ahead and know just what your guests will be after on the day, ensuring you provide them with this. Be clear and concise with your information and follow up with your guests after the event to see how they found it and if there is anything they feel could be improved or changed next time. This will ensure they feel valued and cared for and if there were any aspects they weren’t so keen on, you can improve on this in the future.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia has been controversial, to say the least, but if anything it promises to bring fantastic entertainment, hope and success to at least one nation. Every England fan is hoping to repeat the famous success of 66 but with the Three Lions’ young squad, the team is in the unknown. We’ve put together a blog with our favourite venues to watch the world cup and a few facts that will impress your mates.
The Tower of London is constructing a pavilion on the grounds where you can book tables to watch the match. The pavilion can hold up to 950 guests and you even get a delicious 3-course meal and unlimited house wine, beer and soft drinks!
The London craft pub offers a good selection of beers at a fair price. There are a few big-screens available to watch the game from but if you are wanting a seat then it’s best to book in advance as they tend to fill up fast during the big matches.
Rileys have two sports bars in London that are of equal quality. The bars tend to get extremely busy on match days but there are a number of pool tables and dart boards to entertain yourselves with if you want to turn up a bit early. The beers are fairly priced and the bars have plenty of wide-screens to watch the action.
Greenwood in Westminister is one of our favourite places to watch the football with some high-quality pub grub. With easy access to the station and a good selection of brews on offer, the pub offers plenty of space to watch the game – although expect it to become rather busy come the world cup!
Located in St Katharine’s Docks the Dickens Inn is a traditional, three-storey pub. The venue is very popular with the locals and the Tavern bar has 5 large flat screen televisions that will be showing the England matches. The bar also extends out into a beer garden so you can relax in the sunshine afterwards.
The Clapham Grand features a gigantic 24ft cinema screen which often hosts major sporting events such as the rugby and football world cup. There are also a few popcorn and hot dog machines on standby just in case you get peckish at half time.
If Carlsberg did sports bars they’d offer wall to wall sports on 14 widescreen televisions and two giant ones. Watch the world cup in the contemporary bar in the Empire Casino in Leicester Square, they have ample seating and a wide selection of beers – it’s not all Carlsberg.
The Bavarian Beerhouse is one of two of the UK’s only German-themed pub. The menu includes wine, schnapps and beers served in traditional steins. They serve traditional snacks such as bratwursts, pretzels and potato dumplings and regularly show the Bundasliga.
In London’s Shoreditch, Bar Kick is the home to local football fans looking for delicious food, a wide range of beers and cheap foosball tables. The quirky bar has a good reputation for friendly staff and the raised screens allow everyone to see the football regardless of how busy it is.
The Coat & Badge is a traditional English pub with a large beer garden. It’s one of our favourite pubs in Putney and the large TV screens show football regularly and the kitchens consistently provide high-quality pub grub.
Tucked away down Perth Road the Faltering Fullback is a must-go around Finsbury Park. Time Out has recently rated it as one of their top 10 pubs in London and for good reason. The pub is often full and that is due to the delightful gardens and fairly priced pints. The venue offers live sports every week and is perfect for watching the World Cup with other avid football fans.
Belushi’s have a few different venues in London with our personal favourite being the London Bridge Dugout. The pub is a fantastic hit with young football fans looking to kick back and watch the match on large 4K screens that are dotted around the venue. There’s a large selection of international beers and if you’re quick enough to get a table they offer table service so you never need to miss a second of the action.
Details are yet to be released for this year’s screenings but Somerset House often hosts what is widely known as the most beautiful open-air cinema in London. They’ve previously hosted the Rugby world cup and other global events as well as film festivals. If it’s sunny, then this is the place to watch the football.
This London boozer is super busy on a hot, summer’s day and there are even projector screens so that you can watch the game in the sunshine! If the English weather decides to turn up then you can head inside and watch the game on the widescreen televisions. The kitchen is headed by Andy Evans and there are always a good selection of ales on tap so worry not, you will be fed & watered.
The Lighthouse pub and gardens regularly show live sport so come the world cup, the venue will be ecstatic. They have fantastic pub grub, a great selection of beers and a beautiful garden to relax in after the match.
It may seem rather early to book a Christmas party but London’s top exclusive venues sell out their key dates (Thursdays & Fridays) in January! If you have over 200 people you will most likely need a large private venue to host your office party and London has plenty to choose from. This year we have compiled a list of the top exclusive Christmas venues in London so you don’t have to.
Billingsgate Vaults is located on the river Thames, underneath Old Billingsgate, opposite London Bridge. This Christmas party is capable of hosting between 300 – 800 guests in the historic basement. The venue is divided into three sections so that the party continuously has a good atmosphere. The drinks reception is held in the right-hand side of the vaults and waiters will be serving sparkling wine to your guests. The night then progresses to the right-hand side where a sumptuous three-course dinner is served by award-winning caterers. Both sections of the venue overlook a stunning dance-floor where a live-band or DJ plays. The venue is subtly themed with traditional decorations but the venue truly is the wow-factor for this Christmas party.
Bloomsbury Big Top is a temporary Christmas structure which is constructed every November – December near Brunswick Square, London, in the shape of a giant circus tent. The venue is then decorated with the year’s theme along with thousands of LED lights to create a starlit ceiling. The Christmas venue can hold up to 800 party-goers and offers a sit-down dinner and also bowl food. The seating arrangement is based around the stage where live entertainment can be performed. This area is then transformed into a state of the art dance-floor with sound directional speakers!
If you’re looking for an iconic venue then it doesn’t get much better than the Tower of London. The pavilion is based around the East side of the tower offering a beautiful backdrop to your xmas party. The hosts can even project your company logo onto the walls of the Tower!
Cutty Sark is the world’s last tea clipper. The 19th Century venue now offers traditional company Christmas parties for all of London to enjoy. The vessel has been raised above ground and now offers a unique event space beneath the berth of the ship to eat, drink and dance the night away.
If you’re looking for a different work Christmas do, London Zoo offers a Christmas party that includes a meet and greet with the animals! The party is then moved to one of the zoo’s event spaces for either a seated dinner or bowl food style meal, which is followed by a DJ & disco.
Earth Halls within the Natural History Museum offers a stunning Christmas party for Christmas party goers that are looking for a unique, party venue in the centre of London.
Battersea Evolution is the go-to place for West London Christmas parties. The theme changes every year but the party includes stunning live entertainment, delicious seated meals and a large, state of the art disco.
Widely known as the Christmas party in the sky, Landing 42 provides a view of the London skyline, located just behind the Gerkin, 500ft in the sky. The dedicated event space is on the 42nd floor (hence the name) of the Cheesegrater. The venue can be split to hold between 40 – 300 guests exclusively, at any one time.
Located just 5 minutes from London Bridge, the Hop Exchange is one of London’s newest & hottest Christmas party venues. As you enter the venue you will be greeted with a chilled glass of prosecco and then the curtains will drop to announce dinner. The multi-storey building has twinkling lights falling from the ceiling and traditional ornaments to mark the Christmas season.
This chic riverside venue is perfect for Londoners wanting to stick to the centre of the city. Located on the second floor of the Oxo Tower, the space boasts river views throughout the entire room and can be dressed in a bold theme or can be tailored to your request.
If you’d like to see more Christmas party ideas please check out our London page.
Experienced events management company Christmas Connections has just acquired the Office Christmas website to create the biggest, and best, festive party website in the UK.
The new revamped website will have a slightly tweaked name – Office Christmas Party – and is due to launch at the beginning of August, just before the crazy Christmas party booking season begins.
As time is of the essence, advertising rates have been heavily reduced and there are plenty of special offers for advertisers to take advantage of.
Christmas Connections has been running for more than 10 years and prides itself on taking the hassle out of Christmas party organisation, delivering stress-free nights full of festive fun.
In the last two years, the Office Christmas website has had more than 1.8million page views, and with Christmas Connections’ huge newsletter database, of more than 20,000 Christmas party bookers, there are plenty of opportunities for you to connect with potential customers of the future.
So, contact us now to find out how we can help you promote your services or venues and be a part of the biggest Christmas party website in the UK.
For more information:
Telephone: 01273 858206
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