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Plan that Christmas party package like a pro

It’s that time of year again and you know it’s only a matter of time before the boss wants the works Christmas party sorted. You should have started researching yonks ago – you have 150 people to organise for and you don’t want a last minute disaster – but the big day is now only a matter of months away. So if you have a big party to plan, what do you do? Do you go for the easy option of a Christmas party package, or do you try to make savings by booking the venue, catering, entertainment, decor and security separately?

The CEME Conference Centre takes you through the pros and cons of booking a package Christmas do, so you can arrange all things Xmas like a pro.


Peace of mind with a Christmas party package deal

There’s no escaping it, Christmas party planning is stressful and package deals give you simplicity and peace of mind. If you are booking the venue, décor, entertainment, catering and security etc. individually and one of those aspects lets you down at the last moment, you could be in big trouble when trying to find a replacement in the busy festive season, not to mention you’ll pay a premium for the pleasure too.

However, if you book a package you have everything in one place, at a set price, with a professional events company/venue. The venue is likely to be dressed for the occasion and aspects such as reception facilities and security may well be included in the cost too, ensuring you have all bases covered. Should something go wrong, (such as the DJ going down with flu or the catering company discovering they are double booked), the venue/events company will have a very large black book of contacts and will have more sway when finding a replacement. Not to mention the fact that the pressure is on the events company/venue to find a solution, rather than on your shoulders alone.

Plus there’s the fact that once you have found a package, they have to do all the hard work. Venues such as CEME Conference Centre offer you a dedicated events team (included within the package price) to take the stress away from organizing your Christmas party. It not only means that you have professional help in making it a night to remember, but you will be able to enjoy the festivities too. You’ll still be stuck with chasing numbers, dietary requirements and possibly organising transport of course, but the bulk of the donkey work will be down to the team at your venue.


Are Christmas party package deals more expensive?

A bit like package holidays, there can be savings made if you break each component out and get a best price, but that will come at a cost time wise. As mentioned above, the package deal offers more security and less stress, so unless you have a lot of time on your hands, are a star negotiator (or really enjoy this type of thing), you may be better off sticking with a package.

To save money, look out for Early bird discounts. CEME Conference Centre is currently offering rates at only £79.00 per person (plus VAT) plus a 10% early booking discount if booked before 30th September! Check out our Christmas party page here!


How flexible are Christmas party package deals?

Packages usually consist of a venue’s most popular Christmas party options. They will vary depending on the type of food offered (three course sit down meal vs Christmas buffet) and if drinks are included in the package. Never assume that packages are inflexible. Some venues may offer optional extras or you may be able to negotiate a different price based on a slightly different package.

Excellent venues will cater for different dietary requirements and will be open to discussing changes to set packages. If you have a query or request, just ask, and if on the rare occasion the answer is no, there is usually a really good reason behind it, or an alternative they can offer.


Help I’m booking late, what can I do?

A lot of venues will be booked early on in the year so you could be struggling if you are booking your party really late.  That said, larger venues may still have some availability. Check out CEME’s Conference Christmas party availability on our Christmas Party page.


Should I still visit the venue if it’s a package deal?

Yes, yes, yes! You might not be having to organise every little detail yourself, but it is still vital you visit the venue. This not only allows you check out the size of the party space, but it also lets you check out the attitude of the staff and general facilities too.

When touring a venue also look out for parking arrangements, public transport links and the general quality and cleanliness toilets and communal areas. Also have a good look around the location – Christmas parties end late, often in inclement weather and alcohol may well have been consumed, impairing some people’s judgement! Is the location well lit and safe? Is there somewhere people can shelter while awaiting a lift of taxi? Is there a drop off area accessible by cars? Is the venue close to civilisation or will guests be stuck out in the sticks waiting for a taxi home?

Remember the venue is unlikely to be dressed for Christmas celebrations (especially if you are visiting in August or September), so a bit of imagination may be required. A good venue will be able to show you room layout options and pictures from their previous events, giving you an excellent idea of how your Christmas party will look.


Talk through every single requirement

Last but not least, successful events depend on clear communication. Don’t assume that booking a package means you won’t have to talk through any of the finer details. Your events venue will be happy to answer anything that springs to mind and will be dedicated to making your event a success. An excellent venue will want to understand and exceed all of your expectations and will be keen to retain your business for further Christmas parties or business events.


So if you are searching for a Christmas package for your work Xmas party, the CEME Conference Centre could be the venue for you! Call 020 8596 5151, email events@ceme.co.uk or use our contact us form to get in touch. You can check out our Christmas packages here.

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