Tips on How to Organise the Perfect Christmas party

We’ve all been there, head down and keeping ourselves busy while your manager decides that the Christmas party needs organising and you’re expected to organise this once a year momentous occasion as well as doing your day job!  So, the real challenge then begins…

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Follow this step by step list and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Find the perfect venue
This is one of the most time consuming jobs in planning your perfect event.  Consider the size of venue, access, disabled access, public transport, parking, do you require overnight accommodation nearby and most importantly is the ambience right for the event you are creating? You’ll need to find a venue which is easy to get to and can accommodate your party numbers (assume everyone is coming for now). Consider the venues you have already worked with or hosted events at in the past. Don’t be shy to ask for a discount if it’s a regular haunt. If you decide to try somewhere new, ask if they have in-house catering, bar facilities and on-site entertainment or if you will need to organise this yourself. This can save a huge amount of time if the venue already has their own facilities.

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Set a budget
What is your budget? Compile a spreadsheet with all the overhead costs.
Consider or not whether you want to invite partners. Will you be providing a free bar for staff?

Set a date
Don’t forget venues get booked up very quickly during the festive period, especially if it’s a large party. Once you have found the perfect venue, ensure you leave plenty lead time to set the date in the diaries, inform all invitees, and parties involved asap.  You need plenty time to organise all the different elements of the event.

Food glorious food!
It is so important to get the food right at the Christmas party!  Check with your venue if they have their own caterers. They may have preferred caterers they work with. If you need to book an external caterer, ask your work colleagues and friends for recommendations on caterers if you don’t have any contacts of your own.  Don’t be frightened to ask for a tasting session prior to booking.  Good food equals happy people.

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Equipment/Dressing the venue
Will you need to hire any equipment? Will the venue include table cloths, flowers or any other decorations or do you need to arrange this yourself?

table-791149_640Entertainment
It’s the party of the year, so you’ll need that all important entertainment booking. Again, check with the venue if they have a resident DJ.  Adding music to an event can really add to the atmosphere and boost the event. Again, if friends or colleagues have recommendations this is a great place to start.  Listen to the band or musician before you book them!  Consider are they right for the event?

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If you plan to hold a Christmas party, but don’t have the time to organise it, The Alternative PA can support you the event planning from finding the perfect venue, setting up caterers, booking entertainment and anything else that needs organising. There is nothing more stressful than trying to be a gracious host while planning everything yourself, so take the pressure off by outsourcing the event planning! Call us on 07888 679118 or email thealternativepa@outlook.comto discuss your event requirements.

 

5 Tips On How Events Can Be Powerful For Your Business

Business owners often forget about holding events when they are putting their marketing strategy together. Events should be a natural element as part of your communications plan.

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Events can be extremely powerful; meeting potential clients face to face can be so much more productive rather than trying to spend lots of time posting on social media, getting lost in the crowd.  When you meet with an individual face to face, you are bound to make a lasting impression. My motto is: People buy from people.

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Here’s some ideas for your business:

Organise a launch event

This is a fantastic way of getting your name out there if you are launching a new business or indeed a new product. Get friendly with the local press, invite them along on the day and all your business contacts and suppliers to gain early coverage for your new business or product.

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Why not hold a promotional evening or VIP night?

Give your loyal customers an opportunity to buy your new products at a discounted price, run special offers and incentives.  Loyalty cards are a great way of retaining customers. Again an event is a great opportunity to showcase your new products.

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Attend industry exhibitions

These events can be a great way of a) getting your name out there and b) gaining new contacts.  Often industry exhibitions will have the right target audience attending for your business so it’s in your interest to engage with them and tell them all about your business. Giveaway freebies on the day so delegates have something to remember you by. Be prepared with your marketing materials in advance and make it a priority to follow up with them after the event. Drop them an email and connect via Linked-In.

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Attend local networking events

I have met most of my clients at networking events.  You’ll have an opportunity to introduce your business and meet with local businesses. Talk with your business contacts and ask which ones they attend in the area. Check on Facebook and Eventbrite for your local networking groups. Make it a priority to attend at least one meeting per month. Make sure you have your business cards with you too as I often see attendees without them!

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Speaking at Business seminars & expos

This is a wonderful way of sharing your expertise and knowledge and telling your story about your brand.  Not only does it give you an opportunity to talk directly with attendees; people will be interested in what you have to say and don’t forget to inject some personality into your talk – people buy from people!

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If you require support with planning an event or indeed organising some marketing materials, please get in touch @ thealternativepa@outlook.com or call 07888 679118.

For more information visit: http://www.thealternativepa.com

Tags: events eventplanning eventmanager networking eventtips marketingmaterials

 

10 Tips for Organising a Successful Event

Whatever the event is you are planning; excellent event management is essential for any successful event.

Set your objectives

Be clear, concise and measurable.
Are you raising awareness about your business?
Are you launching a new business?
Perhaps your fundraising for a charity?

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Set a budget

What is your budget? Compile a spreadsheet with all the overhead costs.
Consider or not whether you will you charge an entrance fee for your event to cover costs?

Find the perfect venue

This is one of the most time consuming jobs in planning your perfect event, consider size of venue, access, disabled access, public transport, parking and most importantly is the ambience right for the event you are creating?

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The stunning Buckminster Barn

Set a date

Once you have found the perfect venue, ensure you leave plenty lead time to set the date in the diaries, inform all invitees, and parties involved asap.  You need plenty time to organise all the different elements of the event.

Brainstorm

Hold a brainstorming meeting with your staff, volunteers and anyone else you think may be beneficial to the meeting.  This can set out a plan of action and don’t be afraid to assign jobs, after all organising an event isn’t an easy task!

Food glorious food!

This is so important at an event – ask people you know for recommendations on caterers if you don’t have any contacts of your own.  Don’t be frightened to ask for a tasting session prior to booking.  Good food equals happy people.

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We can help style the venue and tables

 

Equipment

Will you need to hire any equipment? e.g. OHP & screen, generator if outdoors event, marquees etc?

Entertainment

Adding music to an event can really add to the atmosphere and boost the event. Again, if friends or colleagues have recommendations this is a great place to start.  Listen to the band or musician before you book them!  Consider are they right for the event?

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Live entertainment can really add that certain something to an event

Sponsorship

Think about your business partners and suppliers, would they like to be involved and gain press coverage out of the event?

Marketing

Organise a communications plan and list all types of marketing which will be required, print, Eventbrite, e-shots & social media. Social media can be extremely powerful marketing tool. Why not run a competition on social media giving away free tickets to your event.  Ask people to like your page and share the competition.  Also, don’t forget to ask your suppliers to share the event on their respective pages too.

To enquire about our event planning services, please contact us on 07888 679118 or email thealternativepa@outlook.com. We love to hear from you.

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What our clients think

“So, less than 12 weeks left until our big day!  To be honest, at first, I didn’t see the need for or the additional expense of a wedding planner. After a free initial consultation with Debbie, I realised that her expertise and wide range of contacts could be of real benefit to us when planning our wedding. It has been, for us, financially a cost that we have recovered in time and savings. Debbie has sourced  a fantastic caterer, a local musician to accompany one of my friends who is going to sing for us and knowing that we were on a budget, encouraged me to go into charity shops to look for dresses and accessories.  Very quickly, I found a near-perfect dress which is now being “up-cycled” to become my dream dress for a starting price of only £75!! I highly recommend Debbie to assist you with your wedding planning. She is great to work with, has a wealth of knowledge and is professional without ever losing sight that it is your big day.
Marie, Newark

“Wanted to say a big thank you for all your hard work that went into such a great day yesterday, the music and dancers were brilliant and certainly kept customers in the room for longer! The feedback from customers is that they really enjoyed themselves and were asking when’s the next one! You did a great job and just wanted to say a big thank you !!”
Vintage Trader

“I can highly recommend this lady , she is very well organised and has an eye for detail.  She is an experienced PA and Event Organiser. If you are a sole trader, SME or a larger company , Deborah has the experience in marketing on Social Media, managing your website or in traditional marketing role and for event organising she can organise a wedding, conference, relaunch of your business or the opening of your business. Deborah has organised several vintage fairs and if you go to www, Facebook.com/beasboutiquegrantham you can see the events and reviews. No business to small or large, give Deborah your brief she will cost the job on a hourly rate”.
Carol @ Quirky Quirky.

 

Learn how to take the perfect picture

We’d like you to join us for our next ‘Grantham Women in Business’ networking meeting, which is being held at Belton House (National Trust) on Wednesday 13th June.

Belton House

We’ve planned a Summer evening visit to Belton House with a chance to brush up on your photography skills with one of their volunteer photographer’s Jon Scrimshaw, so if you have a camera hidden away at home, don’t forget to bring it along on the evening! Plus, enjoy a picnic by the Boathouse where you have the opportunity to buy a slate for the new roof and be a part of this fantastic restoration project. Belton House are aiming to raise £100k to help restore the Boathouse to its former glory and every donation helps.

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You’ll also have the opportunity of introducing your business in our ‘Round Robin’ session to all the ladies in the group and lots of opportunity to network on the evening.

Join us at 6pm for registration as the meeting will be kicking off at 6.15pm promptly.

If you have any special dietary requirements please email katie.harper@natwest.com.

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Pay £10 on the door (refreshments & picnic included in the price) but please register to secure your place.

We confirm attendee numbers to the hotel the day before the event. In the event of any cancellations less than 24 hours beforehand we will still have to charge the £10. 

BOOK YOUR SEAT HERE

We look forward to seeing you on the night.

Debbie, Katie & Alyson
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Free Family Arts & Craft Fair at Hanwell Wine Estate

On the afternoon of Sunday 14th May, Hanwell Wine Estate in Hickling Pastures, Nottinghamshire will be hosting a free family arts & craft fair. With activities for all ages, it’s a great opportunity to have a go at different arts and crafts free of charge, with local experts offering live demonstrations.

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Learn the secret to creating beautiful flower arrangements with Flowers From Holland,  try your hand at pencil drawing with Louise Cann, discover the health benefits of homeopathy with Wendy Jackson and find your inner artist with Sara Penrose. There will also be loom weaving and sewing demonstrations.

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Local artists will be showcasing their hand-made products on a range of arts and craft stalls featuring unique items and gifts to buy, alongside live entertainment, fun activities for younger children, wine tasting, hot gourmet food from ‘Gourmazin’, tea, coffee and delicious home-made cakes.

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The event will be open from 1pm to 6pm with free parking at Hanwell Wine Estate, which is located off the A46 on the A606 Melton Road, Hickling Pastures, Nottinghamshire, LE14 3QG. For more information visit http://www.hanwellwine.co.uk or telephone the vineyard on 01949 81393.

Hanwell Wine Estate Craft Fair Poster

 

 

Gallery

All of the above photos were taken by Chris @ England’s Finest Photography, check out their website http://www.efpics.co.uk/

If you require a photographer for a special occasion; wedding, christening, vintage fair or family party then contact thealternativepa@outlook.com.

Organising a Conference

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You have been given the monumental task of organising a conference, which entails a to-do list about a mile long. There is the conference venue, travel arrangements, the delegate list, overnight accommodation, team building tasks, the speakers, the materials, the technology and even the catering to think about and plan!  If this all seems too much and you don’t have the time or inclination, then get in touch with ‘The Alternative PA’, the event management specialist and let us help with organising this huge task.  Contact us at thealternativepa@outlook.com or call 07888 679118.