Christmas parties, A great opportunity to gather everyone together and treat your colleagues or friends and family.
If you've been given the task of turning your corporate work space (or living room) into a festive venue - then phew,The Pop-Up Dining Room have got years of experience in this field so listen in as we share all our top tips...
Finding the right space
Firstly, you need to identify a good-sized space. This needn’t be huge – parties are more successful when everyone is brought together. Think about how many people will be attending the do to give yourself a sense of what would work.
Event Planner’s Tip: A cosy hub creates more atmosphere than a big gaping room with guests dotted about.
The space required also depends on what you are planning to do. Do you need some long tables to lay out a spread of food? Do you need a dance floor? Will there be any speeches or entertainment? Do you need a projector? Plug points? Sketch an idea in your mind of what will happen throughout the afternoon/evening.
Some buildings lend themselves in a very obvious way to hosting a party but if yours doesn’t then it’s time to think outside of the box. Could you use a showroom, forecourt, warehouse associated with the company? Is there space to put up a weighted marquee? These can be set up on hard standings as well as grass and can be even used inside a building to create a new space and bring everyone together. Is there an interesting foyer in your building that could be decorated or a meeting room? Ideally you don’t want to hold the party where everyone sits day in and out amongst all the computers. This is a time to relax and treat the team after all.
Event Planner’s Tip: Have you considered an outdoor event? In December it can often still be relatively mild. Why not have a barrel fire or chimineas, mulled cider, hog roast and set up a marquee with glowing lights. This is something very different from the norm.
Once you have found your space have a good long look at it and think about what might be a great focal point in terms of decor? This could be a low, suspended ceiling wreath, a garlanded mantelpiece with candles, the tablescape or even a hired band. Soft, warm lighting creates a great atmosphere and can really change a room dramatically. Your options are real candles (floating ones are safer) amongst greenery, tealights in glasses and string lights. Nets of lights can be set up within the marquee ceiling or hung as a backdrop looking fabulous on a dark wall and string lights can be wrapped around pillars, wreaths or nestled in jars.
Event Planner’s Tip: For a really show stopping look why not wrap some around varying sized hula hoops and fix them to or lean them against a wall. Harsh fluorescent lighting can be muted by hanging draped fabrics in front.
Whatever your colour theme use long strands of ivy and greenery for a sophisticated, rustic look. Pinterest is full of ideas for winter tablescapes in every imaginable shade. We recommend you bypass the novelty and opt for a Nordic white and green, red and white or even grey, wood and red. Your table decorations needn’t be a headache. A smart tablecloth, a few candles/strings of lights woven along the middle and some nice napkins and you’re almost there.
Arrival drinks and Catering
Christmas is a time to indulge so make sure the catering reflects that. Even if you opt for a buffet rather than a sit down dinner choose hearty components and desserts that feel as if they are a treat to eat. Add some winter mulled cocktails (a laid out table of arrival drinks are a nice touch to kick things off) or lavish Irish coffees/hot chocolate beautifully laid out with miniature gingerbread men for after the meal and your team will really feel spoiled.
Event Planner’s Tip: Make sure you find out everyone’s dietary requirements so that these can be included in your buffet selection in the right proportions. It’s a thoughtful gesture and expected at most events these days.
If drinks are flowing a photo booth can be fun and is relatively simple to set up. You just need a box of props (hats, masks, glasses and feather boas are the type of thing commonly gathered) a backdrop and a suspended frame. You can book a professional photographer, ask a colleague to be in charge or even just set up a laptop with a camera for guests to snap pictures of each other on. A sign inviting people to take part is often useful too. The popularity of this depends on the group of guests invited to the party!
Event Planner’s Tip: If you want to create an evening to remember we recommend that you book a great band. Even a gypsy jazz duo can add a satisfying buzz while people mingle.
This year The Pop-Up Dining Room are offering a great Christmas party catering package so why not let us help you with your event. We can provide you with a marquee (inside or outside your chosen venue) prepare and lay out a festive buffet and stay to serve (optional). We can even help you transform your office into a venue if required.
For more information or to talk through your party plans contact Jennie on 01395 445525.
For more details of our package and to look at the menus click here...