Hints and Tips, planning the office Christmas Party - Event Planning
Planning a corporate event or party is a mine field (which is why event planners exist). There are many aspects to consider some of which are obvious but there are some things that only an experienced event manager will think of. Having worked at live events for over well over a decade I have some hints and tips to share to help your event run smoothly.
Choosing a Venue
Before you select your venue have a think about the type of things you would like to have at your party.
Catering: If you are thinking of using a particular caterer you will need to enquire with venue to ask if they charge corkage when you bring in outside suppliers. A lot of venues do this and customers find themselves having to cancel caterers or suffer the often very large corkage fees. The same goes for bars, dessert carts etc. A quick chat with the venues event manager will let you know what is allowed as some venues only charge corkage on catering and allow drinks, desserts etc. Things that the venue does not offer are generally allowed corkage free.
Performers: If you envisage acrobats hanging from the ceiling, fire breathers making a spectacle or stilt walkers you need to consider very carefully if the venue is equipped. Any aerial acts will need a lot of ceiling height and either load tested rigging supplied by the venue or they will need to be allowed to install their own. This can be tricky in listed buildings as they often have restrictions on erecting structures. Stilt walkers generally need a ceiling height of 9ft but this varies with the costume.
Most Performers will need a secure room somewhere to change and leave their belongings while they perform. For stilts bear in mind that they have to get from this room to the event space in costume. Performers generally do a couple of sets with a long break in between, it is always appreciated if some snacks and certainly water are provided for them.
With fire, certainly check with the venue if they allow this, usually fire will be allowed in outside space at the venue. Do remember that around 2 metres between the performance and the guests is needed and a sheltered area is best as a fire performance may not be safe in a windy area. All of our performers are highly experienced, insured and used to speaking directly with venues to ensure everything they need is in place.
To avoid any power outage on the night consider what electrical items are being plugged in. This applies especially to events taking place in Marquees or very old buildings. Overloading sockets is an extremely common problem. Once you have an AV system, dance floor, caterers plugging in ovens and the many other power hungry things happening at your event, there can be a strain on the buildings power. It is wise to ask all suppliers coming on site what power they require and work out if your venue can handle this. Try not to overload sockets each 13amp wall socket should not exceed a 3kw load. With marquees your generator does need a slightly larger capacity than you work out your'll need, many items such as water urns draw power very quickly and you need a bit extra to prevent the generator cutting out. On another note I once attended an event once where the client had hired in their own generator, they surrounded it with straw bails to cut out the noise, unfortunately it caught fire!
Those are some of the major things to look out for, this article is getting rather long so I'll do a follow up shortly.
As you can see we offer all sorts of event services, do feel free to call and discuss with us. We are always happy to give advice to help your event run as smoothly as possible.
Happy planning :-)
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