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CHRISTMAS PARTY PLANNING: DO’S AND DON’TS

Written by Frankie White on 7th November 2019

Here at No.4 Hamilton Place we love a Christmas Party. The lights, the food, the music, the atmosphere… every little detail plays its part in creating a magical night for you and your colleagues. Between us, our team has organised hundreds of London Christmas parties for a wide range of businesses and we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. We’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts below to help you plan and host a memorable event – but remember that our team are always on hand to help too!

 

Food & Drink

Do – ‘give staff the opportunity to mingle and spend time with colleagues who they wouldn’t normally work with. A standing Christmas party with canapés and bowl food rather than a sit down meal can help to encourage everyone to mix.  The informality of this set-up gives guests from all departments and levels of seniority the chance to rub shoulders and make new friends.’ Jo Maish, Senior Events Manager.

Do – ‘spend time creating a delicious, alcohol-free cocktail menu. Thoughtfully cater for the non-drinkers as this number is going up every year. You can even offer festive hot toddies with spiced apple and pear for example – the perfect way to welcome guests to marquee parties on our roof terrace!’ Edmar Evangelista, Catering Manager.

Don’t – ‘be boring! It is a given that you need to think about the mix of guests you will have and make sure you offer interesting vegetarian and/or vegan alternatives – every single guest should feel special and not like an after-thought. Kick off with canapes such as Jerusalem artichoke and sage risotto cones and Red pepper, olive tapenade and butternut tart, followed by a hearty starter and then Mushroom and chestnut pie, smoked potato purée, swiss chard and truffle sauce, finishing with Griottine cherry trifle, sherry syllabub, toasted almonds for a truly sensational experience.’ Paulo Ferreira, Head Chef.

 

Entertainment

Do – ‘organise some games for your guests. Office Christmas parties are about celebrating and having fun, so what better way to encourage people to let their hair down? Just make sure your games can include everyone and don’t let them get too competitive!.’ Bharat Dave, Senior Events Coordinator.

Do – ‘think about having some interactive elements like a photobooth –  everyone can get involved and your guests end up with keepsakes of the night. Plus, at No.4 we have a fabulous mezzanine level which works really well for this.’ Frankie White, Events Coordinator.

Don’t – ‘limit your playlist or setlist to just Christmas tunes. It’s a great idea to get some festive songs in there – in fact it’s a must – but make sure there’s also a range of pop and classic party anthems, too.’ Frankie White, Events Coordinator.

 

Decorations

Do – ‘go classy with decorations. There’s nothing wrong with novelty and Christmas fun but it’s not the only way to create a festive atmosphere. Think green, white and red seasonal flowers (holly, mistletoe etc.) and don’t forget the extra details like place settings and table plans.’ Olivia Easby, Event Coordinator.

 

 

 

 

Planning

Do – ‘get ahead when booking your venue. ’ Key dates at popular venues can get booked up nearly a whole year in advance. Get in early to avoid a Christmas party on a Tuesday lunchtime in November! Bharat Dave, Senior Events Coordinator.

Don’t – ‘change your schedule last-minute. Bringing your dinner forward by 30 minutes might not seem like a huge deal to you, but the kitchen will have planned their timings with precision to ensure that our dishes are served at their best. Make sure you only sign off on the party timeline when you are 100% sure of your decision and have a chat with our team beforehand to make sure it’s realistic.’ Debbie Heath, Catering Operations Manager.

 

 

Logistics

Do – Make full use of the space! ‘don’t expect people to circulate around the  spaces without help from you. To make a party flow it really helps to create different zones – food stations, entertainment, a bar and a dancefloor are all great for encouraging movement. Our heated marquee is really useful as it adds a lot of extra space and a completely different feel to the Argyll Room – included in our Christmas party package.’ Darren Easmon-Dura, Venue Services Coordinator.

Don’t – ‘max out your budget too early on. Put about 10% to one side for extras as you never know what might come along later on that you really want to splash out on. We recently hosted a party with a gold dancefloor – it was absolutely spectacular and all of the guests will remember that special touch for years to come.’ Olivia Easby, Events Coordinator.

 

 

Your Christmas party at No.4 Hamilton Place

We still have a handful of Christmas party dates left at our exclusive London party venue. Renowned for their innovative and delicious creations our caterers, Blue Strawberry, and our events team are highly experienced in creating festive celebrations your guests will love. To speak to a member of the events team about your London 2019 Christmas party, call us on 020 7670 4314.

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