As the months race by, calendars fill up with year-end functions – so it’s best to get yours in there early… Whether it’s the annual office bash, a function for a sports or social club, or perhaps simply a festive celebration for friends and family, it’s never too soon to get that planning done and dusted. Still wrapping your head around the fact that it’s already 2017, six months in? We’ve put together this list of handy pointers that’ll catch you up to speed on all the important aspects of throwing a party to remember.
First things first, it’s important to get the powers-that-be to sign off on any plans you have. Establish with management (be it the CEO, the club president, or your mother-in-law!) what the objectives are for the event and what budget is available.
Get an estimate for how many people your event will be catering for and book your venue as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Think about the ambience you want to create – will the event be formal with a sit-down dinner, or a more laidback drinks party perhaps? If you’re considering Katy’s Palace or Sir James van der Merwe as a venue (good choice!), you’ll want to bear in mind that Katy’s is a grand, dramatic space that can be transformed seamlessly to fit any theme, while Sir James is a more intimate space with plenty of interest and doesn’t require much décor. Consider whether you will need to hire tables and chairs, silverware, glasses and so on. Will you need any audio equipment, or a screen to show pictures or a video?
Save the date
Send out a save-the-date message as early as possible. Even if you haven’t worked out all the details yet, it’s helpful for people to be able to plan ahead for the silly season – and you want your event to get in there ahead of all the other invitations that are bound to come up.
Selecting a theme is one of the most enjoyable tasks but is not without complexities. Consider the guests and try to choose a theme that will be enjoyed by the majority of them. If people are going to be dressing up, bear in mind that some may prefer to keep it simple (with just a hat or scarf accessory, for example), while others may feel comfortable to go all-out. Having everyone dress up is a great way to break down barriers and unite people on a level playing field. A photo booth is always a hit, and you can supply theme-appropriate accessories for everyone to take fun pictures together as a memory of the occasion.
Plan this upfront to ensure that you don’t miss out on having your choice of entertainment. You may want a DJ or band to play on the day, or perhaps you’d like to book a motivational speaker or a comedian? Fire breathers, dancers… the options are endless! If it’s an office party, remember that people will be looking forward to letting down their hair and relaxing, so try and avoid speeches about the company and its success or long presentations. You may want to organise some fun games or activities, or an interdepartmental competition, but be aware of pushing people too far out their comfort zone. A good idea is to set up different roles – say you were setting up an arm-wrestling contest, a quiz or table tennis games, you could have players, cheerleaders, a scorekeeper, banner-makers, an announcer, a photographer and spectators.
When planning your budget, make allowance to provide safe transport for everyone coming to the function. Hire a bus or taxi service and do away with any parking or safety concerns that people may otherwise have had.
One of the most important considerations of any event – by far! Your menu should be planned according to the time of day your function takes place, your budget and the atmosphere you hope to create. It’s important to send out a questionnaire to find out about any dietary restrictions, and these must be factored into the menu. Katy’s Palace has a list of preferred suppliers that comes in handy here – providing delicious fare, these catering pros guarantee that the crowds will be kept happy and well-fed.
Will your event be fully catered in terms of drinks or will there be a cash bar (in which case, don’t forget to let the guests know in advance)? Our bar service is contracted to Straight Up Bar Services, who do an excellent job of keeping the drinks flowing until the early hours when the venue closes up. Don’t forget that you’ll need a good selection of soft drinks too for those who won’t be drinking alcohol.
It makes a huge difference to have help when it comes to décor. A professional will be able to supply all the necessary trimmings to go with your chosen theme, creating a fun, festive atmosphere. At Katy’s Palace, our trusted suppliers bring their imaginative, playful décor genius to our gorgeous space, which means you can simply let down your hair on the day and enjoy the party!
And there you have it! Remember to keep coming back to your budget throughout the planning process to ensure that you’re still within cost estimates. Happy planning…
If you’d like to book Katy’s Palace Bar or Sir James van der Merwe for your year-end function, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to make an enquiry.