Being in the immediate run up to Christmas I see a degree of the organisation involved in putting on a wide range of events, typically at this time of year it’s Christmas parties and Balls, however as the year progresses (or passes) this really is just the tip of the iceberg. The evening event management side of things is a bit of a standard formula, the venue, the band plus PA and lighting rig, there is internal decor to consider and of course, the all important bar and catering. But regardless if it’s a military ball, company Christmas party or a corporate event, the formula is essentially the same, the main decisions involved in making the event a success seem to revolve around which providers to use for the individual components which comprise the whole event.
The obvious solution to this, assuming you’ve put on previous events, is to simply use the same suppliers that you used before if they did a good job last time, particularly for the catering, as getting the food right can be quite a challenge when either the team has to use an unfamiliar kitchen or has to transport food to a location already prepared. It’s easy enough for a professional outfit to provide different menus, but what about the other services? After all you don’t want the event to be the same as the last one, particularly if it’s for the same set of people, a common problem for company events such as conferences and christmas parties.
Booking the band is another easy choice if you’ve had them before, as they will undoubtedly vary their set for you, and probably have done anyway if it’s another year along for the works Christmas party.
The key to getting both of these right is to watch your guests, are they enjoying the food? Are they dancing to the band? Make sure you ask people afterwards too, and emphasise that you really do value their opinion and won’t be offended if they say something negative. In fact, what you want are the negative comments, too much rock and roll, or too many sprouts on your plate, these are the kind of comments, which if they come up a few times, can very easily be rectified at the next event.
But what if you’ve never put an event on before?
Now, this depends very much what you want and how much money you have to spend. If thee budget is tight and it’s a birthday party, or even to a lesser degree a wedding, you can afford a few hiccups, provided they aren’t big ones. So ask around, go and see the band you want to book, ask the caterers for a tasting, visit the decor company and see exactly what they have available.
If however you are putting on a large corporate event, you probably have a larger budget, but also want to play it safe, if money allows, you could pass tthe whole event over to a professional event organiser, they will have plenty of experience co-coordinating events like yours (unless, of course, you are planning to hire Wembley arena or the O2!) and will have tried and tested suppliers, who will always (Oops sorry, SHOULD always) do a good job, because they want their regular repeat business.
The middle ground is to use agencies, you may have to pay a bit more as they will be taking a cut, however it gives you another layer of recourse should something go wrong.