If you’re hosting a holiday event this fall or winter season, now is the time to ramp up your planning efforts and get to work. This can be a stressful time of year, so use these fresh ideas to get your creative gears turning and increase your event’s attendance without breaking a sweat!
Kick Back & Hang Out
Make this year’s holiday events fun, and chill by promoting mingling and socializing. Attendees don’t want to feel hindered by a strict schedule or pressured to stay or leave at any certain time. In addition, as an event organizer, you want your guests to feel as welcome and at home as possible. Here are some ways you can create a casual, yet energetic environment:
Smaller Activities: Instead of a “main event”, book smaller games, performances and activities that are more social. This way, people can come and go as they please and feel no pressure to wait until the very end of the event for the headliner.
Music: Whether you want people to get out of their shell and dance to live music, or chill out to your new Spotify playlist, music is essential in helping you establish the mood of your event. So, choose wisely and consider your guest list when creating your playlist, chatting with your DJ, or choosing your band.
Design: When it comes to decorating your event, aim for a simple and elegant touch. Simple white lights, candles, and ribbons are the answer to designing a relaxed atmosphere.
Lounging: High top tables and lounge furniture will compliment your relaxed setting while encouraging chit chat amongst attendees.
For more tips on getting attendees interacting on a first name basis, check out this blog post.
Snacks & Treats: Around the world food stations (Thai, Italian, Mexican etc.) scattered throughout the room will promote mingling and discourage guests from staying in one place for too long. Be sure to spruce up your presentation with this year’s hottest accessory – the mason jar. Yup, use it to layer salads, hold candy, or display flower arrangements.
Turkey Trots and Christmas extravaganzas are great, but take your holiday event to the next level by adding another layer of fun. Themed parties give you the opportunity to mix and match specialty food, music, and entertainment. The best part of all: encourage guests to dress for the theme in costumes or theme-related clothing! There’s also a lot of room to get creative with food and drinks. Just make sure that you’ve got options for everyone. Although it might seem like everyone’s down for happy hour, provide some tasty non-alcoholic beverages for those that choose not to indulge in a cocktail.
Consider The Environment
There are a lot of ways to make your event more environmentally friendly and taking any action to reduce your carbon footprint is a step in the right direction. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Market your event using email, websites, and Facebook.
- Encourage event-goers to reuse their water bottles by setting up free water refill stations.
- Place composting bins around your venue and offer perks for guests who help pick up trash.
- Buy produce and goods from local farmers and vendors.
- Use battery-powered lights.
- Consider web-casting your event so people won’t have to travel to participate.
- Select a centrally located venue that is accessible by foot or public transportation.
- Have a plan for leftover food or supplies so that they don’t go to waste.
Spread The Cheer!
Pass along the holiday spirit by partnering with a local charity or non-profit organization. Ask attendees to bring in canned goods, toys, food, winter clothing, or whatever the organization needs. You can even offer incentives like prizes or discounts to guests that go above and beyond! Take note that it’s important to accurately and honestly advertise your event’s relationship with your charity partner (don’t advertise on your event’s website that all proceeds are going to charity if that’s not 100% true).
For some charities, partnering with an event is mostly about publicity, while others are more interested in getting additional help with funding. Make sure that your expectations, as well as those of your new partner are made clear at the very beginning of your partnership.
For more tips on becoming an ultra-successful event planner, check out this blog post!