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Planning A Christmas Event & How to Avoid The Pitfalls

Published on 06/10/2016

It may only be October, but planning a Christmas event takes time, coordination and patience. From creating an attendee list to organising and confirming suppliers, your timing of each step is crucial in the overall timely delivery of the event. Start too soon and you might catch people off guard; start too late and you’ll catch nobody. So to support you in your Christmas event planning, we’ve created a sensible outline of the various elements to factor in and when they should take priority.

So take a deep breath and get ready to divulge into the busy world that is Christmas event planning!

Step 1: Save the Date
December books out quickly, so you need to already have an indicative number of guests to play with so you can begin your venue enquiries.

Avoid the pitfalls
• Get in touch with several different venues to increase your chances of securing a location. Source venues that have additional features that could help in the chance of emergency contingency planning on the day, or that can provide catering to minimise  the amount of suppliers you’d be working with.

• Send out feelers for potential dates to key prospective attendees and base your search around this period of time.

• If possible, have a few dates in the pipeline that could work so as not to limit yourself.

Step 2: Set a budget
Whether it’s you or the powers above that determine the budget, it’s crucial you set one so you’re aware of the kind of event you can put on. It’s about having boundaries and being able to set the right level of expectation.

Avoid the pitfalls
• Always leave room for contingency. Always. There could be a snow blizzard, or Father Christmas may not be able to deliver the presents on time. Having room for manoeuvre in the budget not only ensures disasters can be averted, but it makes your event profitable

• Negotiate with venues and vendors and make sure you set a decent markup to make what you’re doing worthwhile from a business perspective

Step 3: Finalise Venue & Date
You may already have been luckily enough to have scoped out a venue in step 1 that aligns with your agreed budget but if not, here’s when the date and location should be finalised.

Avoid the Pitfalls
• Conduct a recce of the location so you can plan the logistics such as arrival, parking, public transport, disabled access, heating. Remember, during December you’ll want a venue that can keep your guests comfortable away from the cold.

• If you’re not outsourcing your own hospitality, befriend the staff at the venue to get them onside. In doing so you could open up the door for special extras or rake in more staff at the last moment should you need to.

Step 4: Invitation Time
Designing your invitations is often a muchly anticipated task for event planners, especially at Christmas when the theme is a cause for celebration. Make sure your invitations are consistent with the rest of your event for seamless marketing.

Avoid the pitfalls
• Don’t miss any details! Make sure you have all the essential information necessary so people can; show up at the right place at the right time, dress accordingly, eat beforehand if necessary, arrange suitable transport and book time off work if they need to.

• Ensure your email or direct addresses are correct so you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Step 5: Organise Suppliers
Now is the time when you can begin to reach out to various different suppliers to make your event come to life. The options are endless; a champagne luge for a fancy soiree, a temporary outdoor structure to host a special VIP lounge, a real life Santa Claus to greet guests on arrival. Just make sure it all coincides with your wider theme for a professional execution.

Avoid the pitfalls
• It’s integral to get in touch with potential suppliers as soon as possible to check their availability for your event if they can deliver what you’re seeking.

• If you’re after bespoke temporary event structures, you’ll need wind of the dimensions you have to work with so they can be built fit for purpose.

• For those of you who have a specific vision for your event, this process can be conjoined with Step 1, in that some suppliers will work with you and help determine the style of venue to suit your supplier needs.

• Be vigilant when catering for food in that every dietary requirement can be catered for if stated by particular guests.

This isn’t here to overwhelm you, but to simply help your Christmas event be a raving success.

Our bespoke inflatable event structures are guaranteed to create a buzz at your Christmas event and can be customised to any shape, size and colour. For more information on our creative products and services and how they can fulfill your Christmas event planning, contact your nearest Global Partner or UK HQ.