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Solving Last Minute Corporate Party Planning Problems

10th December 2015
Corporate Party Planning Guide

‘Anything that can happen, will happen’ Yes, we’re pretty sure Murphy was a party planner. Or in the least he came up with this law three months after he was asked to plan the annual corporate party for the first time. If something has gone wrong, don’t freak out. It can happen to even the most awesome event. Stay cool. We’ve listed the most common problems to occur in the run up to a corporate party and how you can plan to avoid them.

1920s Party Poster

Suddenly, no one can make it

Unfortunately for all you hard working party-planners, flakey guests are a common problem in our world. A 15-20% dropout is normal in this industry, but here are a few tips to keeping that number closer to 15 than 20.

  • Charge for tickets – ‘no shows’ are more common at free events as people feel like they are not ‘invested’ in attending. Even if the proceeds go to charity, it’s a good way to avoid people dropping out.
  • Send out a jolly reminder - make sure you send out an invite reminder in good time before your event. Remind your colleagues of the all the details and let people know how much fun it’s going to be. Don’t forget to a CTA asking people to let you know if they can no longer make it.

The entertainment is delayed

Make sure you’re aware of your participants travel plans before the event. Confirm an arrival time and make sure you leave plenty of time as insurance between this and their performance slot.

Or worse, the entertainment has dropped out

It’s ok. Go back to the list you made when you where researching entertainment options for your party and make a few calls. It’s also a good idea to ask the event planners at the venue if they have any local contacts. Make sure you always include a minimum notice clause in your contract so you have time to find a replacement. Also, try to reserve back-up entertainment as insurance.

Why is everyone queuing?

Whether there’s a line forming for the cloakroom, the buffet or the toilets, having to wait around can really kill the mood. Knowing exactly how many guests you have attending can inform your planning to make sure the facilities provided will be adequate and that you have enough on-site staff to help. Having a few bottles of wine already on the table can really help the queue for the bar, and a welcome drink makes waiting to leave your coat a lot more pleasant!

Half of the company’s gone Gluten-free over night

Speak to your caterers and make sure you have extra vegetarian, vegan and GF meals. Then if all of the marketing team do decide to change their meal order to nothing with eyes you’ll be covered.

XX doesn’t want to sit with XX

You should not pair two worst enemies together unless you want to play Jerry Springer. That being said, one person’s happiness should not detriment others. This is a work event afterall. If you are assigning seats rather than tables, make sure people are paired with at least one person they know. Make tables relatively close by for interaction and focus make sure the event allows time to move around, network and socialise.

Then technology fails

Make sure you book a venue with up-to-date AV technology. Always check the A/V system is working on the day, leave time for a run through with any speakers and void streaming presentations or music from the Internet. At Senate House we have a team of tech specialists who will be on hand to help on the day.

Drunk and disorderly

Of course you want people to have a good time, but as this is a work event you still have a duty of care over your attendees. Make sure there is an appropriate amount/even distribution of drinks and always serve food with alcohol to avoid your colleagues getting too drunk.

We missed the last train home!

Your duty of care extends to making sure your colleagues get home safely. Pick a venue with excellent transport links, send round a list of local taxi numbers before the event or organise coaches.

Where’s everyone?

Make sure it’s clear to everyone in the company whether or not they are expected at work the next day, if they need to be on time or if they can arrive a little later.

If you’re looking for a venue that won’t let you down last minute, choose Senate House. Our stunning original art deco rooms are equipped with the lastest A/V equipment and our experienced staff and catering team can always help solve a last minute crisis. We have catered to some of London’s biggest and best-ever parties. Make yours next. Take a look at our venues here.

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