Most corporate holiday party planners face the same challenges as they go about organizing the annual holiday party. How do I create a cheerful and festive party environment without appearing unprofessional or wasteful? How do I emphasize business over frivolity while still making it an event people actually want to attend? How do I control the cost and quantity of alcohol served?
It’s that time of year again when planners are busy tackling these issues while putting together an event to remember. Get busy and your check lists and consider these cost saving tips:
One: Choose a venue that allows you to bring in your own food and drinks. And it doesn’t have to mean using the bosses’ home. There are many creative event venues that allow just that, such as Hub 925 on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row. After all, why pay $15 for a glass of wine when you can buy the whole? And it’s easy to find great wines with online resources like wikihow.com. On a party of 50 people this will save an average of around $1,000. If you’re worried about liability, hire a catering company such as Cater Nation to help you find the resources to staff the bar. Many catering and bar companies don’t require that you buy the beverages from them.
Two: Get creative with decorations. Ideally you could choose a venue that is already decorated. This saves you time, energy and of course, money. Venues such as Hub 925 in Dr. Phillips come fully decorated making the party planning a snap. Warm lighting can also create a comfortable atmosphere without piling on the cost.
Three: Find a Sponsor. Chances are there are a lot of companies that already do business with your company or wish they could. Get creative in crafting a win-win relationship with a new or existing vendor. There are plenty of online resources to help you find a sponsor. Think about who would benefit from gaining exposure to your company or employees. The trick is to execute this is a sophisticated manner that does not come off as cheesy. Many of your vendors simply want to stay in your good graces and may pay for the food in exchange for a well placed sign that says “XYZ wishes to thank our partner ABC for their generous sponsorship of this event”.
Four: Bring your own music. iPods, phones and laptops make it easy to create a great playlist and an inexpensive wireless speaker will give it a strong professional sound during your event. During the holiday season a good DJ will run you between $500 and $1,000. Chances are somewhere in your organization you’ve got a music buff that would love to make the playlist!
Five: Choose the Right Foods. A good caterer can save you 25 – 40% just by tweaking the menu with less expensive ingredients. Passing appetizers can also reduce costs as it allows you to control the quantity offered.
When booking your party this year, remember a little research and planning can go a long way to a successful and economical party. Cheers!