Monday, 26, September 2016

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The Bristol

7 ideas for a successful Christmas party

It's never too early to plan!

The Bristol


The secret to a successful Christmas party is all in the planning, and as we know by now (because the television adverts, supermarkets and mass media tell us) it’s never too early to get started. Here at The Bristol we have years of experience when it comes to events, so to give you a hand here are our top tips

1. Budget

This is the logical place to start, without someone dipping their hand into the office pockets there isn’t going to be a party, and to encourage a wee bit of extra good will, remind that person that the government gives every business a £150-per-head tax break for the annual staff bash… Once you’ve got your budget agreed (and you know numbers), look out for ways to make savings. One way, for example, is by choosing an all-inclusive package. The Bristol’s private party menu is from £34 per person and includes a welcome cocktail, three-course dinner, coffee, mince pies, disco, table decorations and crackers. Failing that, a smart alternative to full on dinner is the ever-popular Afternoon Tea, from £17.50 per person.


2. Invitations

Vital to a good party. If you’ve got no guests, you’ve got no party – simple as that. Be sure to plan ahead. Once you’ve secured a date then you can book your venue – and good venues (like good guests) get booked up quickly - so be sure to send out your invitations in good time. Make them part of the excitement by designing something beautiful, an Outlook Calendar request does not an invitation make. Use a website like Paperless Post, which doesn’t require a degree in Photoshop to reap the rewards and it will track the RSVPs digitally for you, so no need to panic over spreadsheets. Alternatively, Canva is a great ‘drag and drop’ design programme, with templates that you can pinch and claim as your own.


Long table set up with white hydrangea and pink candles


3. Venue

Christmas parties are for everyone, not just the big cheeses in the office. It’s a time for the whole team to come together so bear this in mind when choosing a venue. Think about what is convenient for everyone, somewhere central that is easy for people to get home from. The Bristol’s harbourside location is within walking distance of Bristol Temple Meads station and if people are coming from far and wide, there’s the option of an overnight stay in one of the boutique bedrooms. Our special Christmas rate is only £45 per person. Once the location is decided on, think about the room for your party. At The Bristol we have three event rooms suitable for Christmas parties, plus there’s the option of private or group dining in The River Grille or a casual post-work cocktail party in the Shore Bar, and Afternoon Tea in The River Lounge. Choose a space that suits your size party, small groups might have more fun in the restaurant with a pre-packaged atmosphere, while for something quieter pick a private room.

4. Theming and décor

Yes it’s Christmas but that doesn’t mean you need to go overboard on green and red or stick to a festive theme. Save that for your living room. Plus your colleagues won’t thank you for making them dress as Santas and elves for the fifteenth year running – can you really take Kevin in HR seriously when he’s wearing tights? So keep things simple. Classy. You don’t want people to have to spend a fortune on costumes, in fact scrap the costume idea completely. If you’re hosting your party in our Ballroom, consider a black tie theme to match the smart interiors, whereas a lunch in the River Grille should be ‘smart casual’ giving people an opportunity to ditch their suits.

5. Music

The importance of music goes without saying. Background music shouldn’t be too loud, foreground music should get everyone dancing. The Bristol’s Christmas party packages come with a DJ and disco, plus there’s the option to bring in a big band, like the Rat Pack-esque Band we use for our New Year’s Eve parties The Fabulous Lounge Swingers!




6. Food and drink

For us this is the most important element of the party – we take food very seriously here at The Bristol. Our dinner menus have a choice of three starters, mains and desserts, plus we can make vegetarian options and cater for allergies. You’ll be able to pick from the likes of salmon fishcakes with tartare sauce, venison and Parma ham terrine to begin, roast turkey with all the trimmings (of course) or delicious West Country beef with dauphinoise potatoes, while for dessert there’s Christmas pudding, sticky toffee pudding or a choice of local cheeses.

7. Entertainment

Think about a few gimmicks to break the ice. Photobooths always go down well and nowadays they can link up to social media automatically, providing some great content for your brand – you may want to moderate them first if you’ve got a few loose cannons in the team though! Perhaps plan a few games ahead of the day, although people may protest, charades (especially after a glass or two) is hilarious, while a good conversation starter is to write a fact about the person sitting to your right on the back of  a place card. And better still, get the party started with some table entertainment, a magician or silhouette artist for example.

The Bristol hosts Christmas parties from 25th November to 30th December 2016. For more information contact our Christmas Co-ordinator on 011 7923 0333
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