Reboot and Rebook
3 Essentials for Repeating Event Success
So, it’s January. You just held your Annual Staff Christmas Party at a great venue and everyone had a fabulous time! Notes of congratulation and emails expressing how much fun people had are landing in your inbox on a daily basis. You pat yourself on the back for planning another wonderful, successful corporate event, and you say to yourself, “Christmas is another 12 months away – I’ll rebook my vendors soon enough.” Are you sure?
Secure Your Venue Early
The most important thing to do after a Staff Christmas or Holiday Party is to rebook your venue the very next day! Especially if everyone had a great time and your party was on one of the prime Friday or Saturday evenings in late November or early December. But while you’re basking in the glow of your success, someone else is scooping your great venue. When you call in February to rebook, you’re already the second or third hold. Note that depending on the venue, you don’t have to financially commit, you just have to express interest. This makes you the first hold and gives you the first right of refusal whenever anyone else calls the venue expressing interest.
Hold All of Your Favorite Suppliers
Maybe you will change the theme of your Staff Christmas or Holiday Party, or perhaps you’ll stick to the tried and true – a template that you know your guests just love! Regardless of your plan, there are likely some core suppliers that are crucial to your success. What happens if you don’t get them again, for your next event?
The caterer that made your guests absolutely fall in love with the food. The band that had everyone up and dancing into the wee hours. The photographer who just gets it and was constantly in the right place at the right time to capture every detail, every huge smile, every sparkle and twinkle – be it from the décor or your guests eyes! You need to ensure you’ll have them on your side. Because if they’re good, they’ll be booked fast.
Just like the venue, these suppliers are known for their professionalism and high quality of service provided, so you’re not the only one calling them. If the outcome of your event might be impacted by their participation, you should be calling them the week following your event to hold the date for your 2015 event. Not only is this a huge weight off your shoulders, but they will thank you later, too, for not putting them in any awkward positions if you beg and plead and they turn down other business because they hadn’t heard from you!
Talking about Theme
If you have a template for success, then read no further: you have already figured out your crowd and they love you for giving them exactly what they want! If it’s time to spice things up, let’s talk about switching your event’s theme.
If you’re planning your Staff Christmas or Holiday Party along with a Social Committee, it’s a great idea to come prepared to your first brainstorming session with a style sheet filled with suggestions – even if you are just dreaming at this point. In broad strokes, develop two or three distinct themes. Each theme should have a name, some activities guests might participate in, and ideas about customizing your theme – your thoughts on how you might transform the venue to transport your guests into your vision using various décor pieces. Always start big, because this will help you commit to your theme and really decide which elements are non-negotiable.
So, it’s February. A month ago, you put a hold on your great venue and you got quotes from your favorite suppliers. You’ve just concluded your first brainstorming session with your Social Committee. You sold them on one of your two developed event theme concepts and notes of congratulation are still landing in your inbox, describing how impressed the members are at your organization and dedication. You can say to yourself, “the 2015 Staff Christmas or Holiday Party is 12 months away and it’s in good shape because my foundation is laid.”
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