The summer sun may be shining, but it's never too early to think about booking the office Christmas party in Maidstone, particularly with the need to book early to avoid missing out on key dates essential. When it comes to organising the office Christmas party, however, there are lots of options to choose from. But how do you know what sort is right for you?
Packaged or bespoke - what’s best?
If you’re planning an event for a small group, you may find that a local restaurant or bar will be able to accommodate you. But, if you want something a little different or you’re a larger group, then you’ll need to choose from a packaged party or a bespoke event.
These are generally organised by specialist event management companies and, increasingly, by venues themselves. Typically they will have a specific theme (fire and ice, winter wonderland, 70s or 80s, movie themed, etc.), which will be carried through the whole event. There is usually a set menu (three courses with a few options for each) and themed entertainment (e.g. bucking broncos for a Wild West theme, or a casino for a ‘James Bond’ theme).
- • All the organising is done for you
- • No restriction on group size - you can book a single table or exclusive use
- • Themed decorations
- • High-quality entertainment
- • Fixed cost (price per head may vary depending on the night of the week, but once you’ve chosen a date, there are no ‘hidden extras’)
- • Restricted to venue’s chosen theme - may not appeal to everyone
- • Limited menu
- • If your group isn’t large enough for exclusive use, you’ll be sharing the party with other people which means you won’t be able to make any company announcements/awards presentations etc.
- • No flexibility on start/finish times
Unless you can afford to employ a specialist event management company, the chances are you will end up doing all the organising for a bespoke party yourself. You will have to find a suitable venue, organise catering and entertainment and make sure the whole place looks fabulous with decorations and any extra touches. It’s a lot of work, but can be very rewarding.
- • You have total control of your party
- • You choose the theme, so you can make sure it’s completely right for your group
- • When it comes to food, you’re not restricted to a set menu so consider external catering for something really different - hog roast anyone?
- • You can choose your entertainment so why not opt for a live band instead of a DJ (if your budget will stretch to it). You can also mix and match so if you want a bouncy castle with a casino then go for it!
- • Freedom to start early and/or finish later (subject to local restrictions)
- • It’s a lot of hard work! It takes time to source the perfect venue, find a caterer that meets your requirements and sort out all the entertainment.
- • Costs can quickly escalate making it harder to achieve the party you want within your budget.
- • Some venues may insist you use ‘preferred suppliers’ if you decide not to use their in-house facilities. This can limit your options.
- • Sourcing suitable decorations may be quite tricky, depending on your theme. Check with the venue whether they will be putting up any decorations themselves - this may or may not assist with your plans!
- • There are likely to be a number of different suppliers/contractors involved, which will require greater coordination and planning.
Whatever type of party you’re planning, Conference Maidstone can help you find the perfect venue. Check out our ‘Christmas Party’ venues and the ‘Special Offers’ page for details of bespoke and packaged party options.