Venues/Hotels

The Brewery: Fixing the cost of the Christmas Party

Great Britain. London’s event space, the Brewery, has launched a seasonal guide to getting the most out of the Christmas party budget. Whilst the capital’s employees put out a rallying call for a seasonal celebration, many organisations are tightening the purse strings. Simon Lockwood, who overseas the Brewery’s seasonal offering, is no stranger to managing event budgets and has created a sure fire way to getting the party started in 2009:

Fixed Costs: Whilst you may want to recreate Disney’s blockbuster ‘Christmas Carol’ be mindful of the costs of hiring staging and sets for one night only.  If you can spread the fixed costs over a 3-5 night run, you will find that the overall cost is reduced dramatically. Even better, book a package that has already been created such as Simon’s beautifully conceived ‘A Winters Tale’.

Style vs. theme: Less is definitely more when it comes to creating a look for the event.  Use lighting and sophisticated table decorations to help create the ambience.   Music: Choose your band or DJ carefully, making sure that they can adjust to the audience. There’s nothing worse than an empty dance floor and a half hour set of Queen classics.

Eat, drink and be merry: Rather than a three course seated dinner, look at a buffet as this can help reduce costs. Equally, opt for cocktails instead of Champagne as this can be half the price in some cases. If you are being charged on a per consumption basis, assign someone the task of counting how many bottles you actually had. 

Control the variable costs: Keep an eye on your final numbers. Remember that people will pull out right up to the day of the event.  It is very easy for a venue to add in a few covers and of course charge accordingly - but they will never give money back for no shows once you have confirmed your final numbers. 10 no shows at £90 per person soon adds up.

Simon Lockwood, Event Design and Marketing Manager at the Brewery said: “One of the absolute key areas to get right when budgeting is your fixed costs - I.e. the costs that are needed to get the event off the ground. This could be the venue hire, hiring in backdrops, a marquee or even the cost of bringing in caters and their equipment. If you are determined to do this, try and share the costs with another division of the company by them having a party the following night. The most cost effective way is to buy in to a package that has been especially designed with seasonal celebrations in mind.” www.thebrewery.co.uk