Xmass Parties

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With continued budget cuts, the traditional ‘jolly': the Christmas party is more likely to have to be organised by you: the PA, secretary or Office manager Saints. Here are some top tips to ensure your Christmas party is enjoyed by all.

1. Visit the venue and taste the food. Don't get fobbed off with a ‘Christmas package' that has inferior food.

2. Preparation; you cannot do enough! Organise a check list of things to do; schedules with timings and briefings of your team. Use expert help from your venue, caterers and entertainment for their advice where required.

3. Send out invitations in good time, with a clear date to reply by. You don't want to waste money by over catering for absent people. Factor in chasing up responses before the last date to respond to. Ensure there is an option for ‘dietary requirements and access on any invitation.

4. Alcohol. Check what your budget is and offer accordingly; perhaps each guest could be served ½ bottle of wine: the bar is free for all guests for the night, or that all drinks have to be paid for. Let guests know beforehand to warn them.

5. Budget Christmas Parties. Even if the party budget has been drastically cut, it is still possible to have a good event. Cancelling it could affect morale. Ideas for a low budget party include keeping it in house and arranging caterers to do snacks; self organised entertainment such as ‘Secret Santas' and singing seasonal songs or even limiting the event to a ‘drinks' party with nibbles.

6. Entertainment: Some venues you choose will have entertainment: such as a disco included. You might wish to organise after dinner entertainment such as surprise singing waiters or a magician Ask the entertainment agency for advice on what will work in the venue with the budget you have.

7. Prepare yourself: it is going to be a long day, with you being on duty throughout the party. Eat before hand and make sure you drink plenty of water. Enjoy yourself: and also the messages of thanks and congratulations after the party!

Susan Heaton Wright from NSN Productions Limited, which supplies live entertainment for corporate and private events. http://www.nsn-productions.com 0844 576 3015

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