September 13, 2016

Stress-Free, Last-Minute Holiday Party Planning

It's now Fall of 2022, and the burden of putting together the company Holiday or Christmas party has suddenly fallen upon you.  You've been given few resources, a limited budget, and--worst of all--very little time to put it all together, and it still BETTER BE GOOD!

Take comfort in the fact that  you're not alone.  I know it actually ISN'T that comforting, but it really does happen to a lot of event planners every single year. Regardless of how and why it all came together this way, planning a fun and highly-successful holiday party is not as difficult as it seems.  Just following some basic steps can help you put it all together quickly and easily.

A Simple Checklist

  • Set A Date

    Quickly determine a date that works best for everyone involved. If few can attend, nothing else matters.

  • Find A Suitable Venue

    While a lot of venues may already be booked, don't rule anything out. You may just get in ahead of other last minute planners! Don't rule out having the party right on company premises if necessary.

  • Food and Drink

    If your budget allows for catering, start getting bids and checking availability right away. Don't rule out the possibility of a potluck dinner. Events where everyone brings something can help add to a good company atmosphere.

  • Find Suitable Entertainment

    This is one area you really don't want to cut corners! Fun and professional entertainment can be found in your local area by a simple web search using such terms as "Holiday party entertainment" or "corporate event entertainment." Many of the best entertainers will be booked months in advance during the Holidays, so contact them as soon as possible for best pricing and availability.

While this is just a very basic checklist for event planning, following these simple steps provides a solid backbone to putting together a successful company holiday party even if it is late in year.

Important Tips for Hiring Corporate Holiday or Christmas Party Entertainment

Christmas Party show set up for Curtis The Mentalist at the Crown Uptown Theatre in Wichita, KS
When it comes to hiring corporate entertainment for your company Holiday party, it is highly recommended avoiding going "cheap."  It is very true that "you get what you pay for" when it comes to holiday party entertainment! Stories abound of no-shows, late-arrivals, and even drunken entertainers--not to mention those who just do not have a professional show or who embarrass themselves and others during their performances.  Don't trust your event, even with a limited budget, to the likes of an amateur.

A good, professional corporate entertainer will have the following:

A Good-Looking, Professional Website

One that is easy to navigate and contains good, up-to-date information about how to contact the performer.

Quality Promotional Videos and/or Audio

Look for live video of the entertainer performing before crowds at LIVE events, and not just street performances or one-on-one video clips.

Real Testimonials from REAL Clients

It's best that they have SEVERAL. Quotes with names attached are nice, but prefer videos showing the people themselves at real events.

In today's world, an entertainer who cannot provide at least THREE good references, or who cannot supply sufficient client proof or proof of their performances info is not worth pursuing.  Do not waste time chasing down those that don't return phone calls, emails, requests for quotes, etc.  Most professionals should reply within 24 hours, even when they are busy.

Corporate mentalists and magicians are an excellent form of after-dinner entertainment for a company Holiday or Christmas party.  But buyer beware to follow the above steps closely as there are many entertainers who have an excellent social media presence--short videos of them performing on the street for individuals or passers-by.  This is no indication that these individual magicians or mentalists can entertain a banquet hall full of 300 company staff members, vendors, or clients with a 60-minute stage show.  It is easy to become "internet famous" or "social media famous" these days, but that is often not the ideal indication that they can help you have a successful event.  Make sure the magician or mentalist you are considering actually has real-world experience doing the very thing that you are looking to hire them to do.

The cost for hiring a magician or mentalist for your company Holiday or Christmas party, however, can vary greatly.  For more details as to what you can expect to pay for such performers for your event, click here.