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.

 

10 things a Virtual Assistant can do for you in the lead up to Christmas

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With not long now to go until Christmas, it’s an extremely busy time for everyone, especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs. There are presents to organise, parties to attend, cards to send and a whole stack of work that needs to be finished before the end of the year!

When you think about it like this, Christmas can quickly feel like the most stressful time of the year, not the most wonderful! But there is a way you can relieve the festive pressure…..

Hire a virtual assistant!
A Virtual Assistant can help you with a wide variety of seasonal tasks, helping you to enjoy the Christmas period, rather than feel increasingly stressed as the end of the year draws closer.

Here are 10 suggestions for tasks that you can delegate to your virtual assistant to make your life a little easier on the run up to Christmas:

1.Organising presents
Are you planning to send present to clients and colleagues? If you have something in mind, or even if you don’t, brief your virtual assistant on what sort of present you would like to send out, your price range and they will do the rest, including ordering and sending!

2.  Christmas cards/e-cards
Want to send some Christmas cheer to your favourite business contacts? No matter whether you choose the traditional card, or opt for the more environmentally friendly e-card, your virtual assistant will be able to put them together and send them out without you having to lift a finger!

3.  Organising your Christmas party
If you plan to hold a Christmas party, your virtual assistant can help with finding the perfect venue, setting up caterers, sending out invites and keep a list of RSVP’s. There is nothing more stressful than trying to be a gracious host while planning everything yourself, so take the pressure off by getting your VA to help!

4.  Bringing festive cheer to your home
Haven’t quite managed to bring some festive cheer to your home as yet? Let us go buy the tree and decorations for you and decorate your house for you, garlands, baubles and snowflakes can adorn your home.

5.  Newsletter
Got something to shout about? Provide your assistant with a draft with your latest news, tips and offers, and they can send out a festive newsletter to your mailing list for you. Now is a great time to send a newsletter wishing your clients a Happy Christmas and letting them know your plans for next year.

6.  Chasing outstanding payments
Got a few outstanding payments due from earlier in the year? Now’s the time to chase them, when everyone is full of merriment and cheer! Your VA can send out a few polite, gentle reminders to tidy up your books, ready for the new year.

7.  Manage your diary
Lunches, dinners, Christmas parties, it can seem never ending! Ask your virtual assistant to keep track of all the invitations and enter them into your diary and set reminders so that you are aware of what you are doing and where you need to be! Plus we can get your diary organised for next year’s appointments

8.  Updating social media
We all look forward to closing the doors over Christmas, shutting down our laptops and switching off from work for a couple of weeks, but you still need to be active on social media! Your VA can schedule some festive content for you so that you don’t drop off the radar.

9.  Last minute travel arrangements
You’re off to spend Christmas in London but haven’t booked your train tickets and you would really like to book tickets for a show and dinner while you’re visiting, then let us take care of this for you

10.  Unfinished projects
If you have a list of unfinished projects that need to be complete by the end of the year and you are struggling for time, hand it over to your virtual assistant who will finish them all off so that you can have a fresh start in 2015.

These are just a few ways that your virtual assistant can help you to feel less “Bah-humbug” and more “Merry Christmas”!