Planning a holiday party can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you aren’t a professional event planner. And even for the pros, the holiday season can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! Finding ways to simplify the party planning process and remove stress will go a long way to making the event more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Whether you’re planning your first family holiday gathering or your company’s epic holiday shindig, save these tips and simplify your party planning.
DO: Stay within a defined budget
It may seem simple, but costs add up quickly. Think reservation deposits, decorations, liquor…the list goes on and on. Do your research ahead of time and set a realistic budget for your event. Don’t forget to consider seemingly small costs such as invitations in your budget — sometimes, the smaller costs are the ones that add up the fastest.
Not every party will have a humongous budget — and that’s ok! Work with what you have, and find the right venue for the price.
DON’T: Get sucked into the tiny details
It may be tempting to go over every possible worst case scenario in your head. Maybe mean old Uncle Bob needs to be kept as far away from the cousins as possible. Maybe you should have set up a valet service at the venue because parking is tight. Before you know it, the party seems like little more than impending disaster, and you just want to cancel the whole thing.
But not so fast! It’s important to be prepared for unexpected obstacles, but taking the time to list out what needs to be done, and by when, and making sure the basic details are taken care of will go a long way for setting an event up to run smoothly.
DO: Communicate with your event space
If your party is taking place at a venue, communication will be key. With PEPPR’s event planning platform, more information is available that will be relayed to the venue. Specifics such as allergies, menu choices, seating needs, A/V needs, and much more can be outlined with a click of a button.
Remember: the more information the venue has about your party, the less chances there are of hiccups or snags. Communicate regularly with the venue (and for event coordinators or restaurant managers, this is a good pro tip for you as well: make sure you keep the line of communication with your customers open!) and you’ll be less likely to be surprised with last-minute changes or forgotten agenda items.
DON’T: Forget to communicate with guests
In addition, remember to communicate with your guests! This may seem like a no-brainer, but it shouldn’t be assumed that guests know much about the party. Sending invitations can be a nice addition, but if you’re pressed for time a Facebook event can also be a great solution.
Using platforms such as Facebook can give party planners a single place to provide updates to guests as well as maintain an accurate headcount. Timely communication will not only give guests the information they need, but it will also get them amped to have a great time at your event!
DO: Find the right venue for your party
Finding the right venue is crucial, and this can also be an overwhelming process. Right now, many restaurants are seeing their calendars get close to full for the holiday season, but there’s still time to fill in some empty spots on their calendar with your party.
Shopping around using platforms such as PEPPR can help reduce stress if you’re tasked with finding a venue with less notice.
Given more time to plan ahead, event planners should factor in things such as the size of the space, policies for children, deposit size, and menu options. Not sure what type of venue to choose? Consider selecting a theme for the event that might help narrow down options for venues based on the aesthetic you want and the type of food your guests prefer.
DON’T: Overthink it
At the end of the day, events such as holiday parties are meant to bring people together over a shared love of food and drink. Try to remember this when you’re at your most stressed during the party planning process.
Event planning doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it have to be a headache for both event planners and the venues hosting the party. Keep it simple, plan ahead, and stay organized and your holiday party is sure to be a hit!