As we enter into the autumn season, the one thing on every organisation’s mind is Christmas.
With Christmas parties to plan and banquets to arrange, the season is a busy time for hotels and venues that are looking to secure bookings.
After all, with large corporate bookings, you not only gain a substantial profit, but you also increase footfall of new visitors to your venue, so it’s a critical time to really pull out all of the stops and show people what you can do.
To help you prepare your venue for the Christmas rush, we’ve compiled a list of all the areas you should be looking at to ensure that you can cater for a big event, and ensure it all runs smoothly.
Promote Special Event Packages
During the Autumn months, it’s essential that you put your efforts into creating packages for a variety of guests. This could include;
- Corporate party packages
- Family Christmas dinners
- New Years party packages
Without detailing what your venue can do, it’s unlikely that you’ll secure any bookings.
Get your team to put their heads together to create packages that excite people to book with your venue.
As the Christmas season is also highly competitive, it would be beneficial to think outside the box around the style events you could do. For example, could you do a black-tie corporate dinner party or a themed banquet?
With each package ensure to detail exactly what people can expect including, menu, entertainment, and cost.
Many organisations will leave it up to an assistant, or secretary to book the event, so ensure they have all details and costs. Remember they may have been set a budget for the event, or they may have to take the costs to their managers, so make it easy for them to say yes. If they have to keep asking questions, it may frustrate them and wonder what they’re getting for their money. Be clear and keep things understandable.
Create A Festive Menu
While your hotel or venue may currently do food and catering, it’s important to create a festive menu that will appeal to your customers. After all, that’s exactly why they’re booking a venue – because they want to celebrate with something special.
When you’re creating your festive menu, it’s important to think about whether this will be a set course, or large banquet style feast. You can do both, but by putting these into packages it will simplify your booking process, and the expectations of your customers.
Bare in mind with any festive menu creation that you will have to be able to cater for various dietary requirements. Therefore, it’s essential your staff can cater for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free needs.
As Christmas is a very busy time in a hotel and conference venue, it’s critical that you organise staffing months in advance to ensure you have the team available to support any events.
There is nothing worse for an organisation to be let down at their Christmas party when they can’t get a drink at the bar or the food takes too long to come to the table.
Think about the needs of your audience, and make it a priority to organise your team for each event.
Even creating a team for each event that gets booked will help people understand their roles and responsibility, and ensure there is enough staff to cover the usual running of the venue.
During winter months it may be beneficial to get temporary staff to help with your events. As they can add extra support during your busiest time.
Check Your Tech
If you’ve had a busy year at your venue with a number of conferences and parties taking place, it is wise to check the technical assets such as screens, speakers, and lighting etc.
Getting ahead of this will ensure that there is no power failure during a big event, or that you cannot facilitate a bespoke event because your lighting is not up to scratch.
As they say, the small things make a big impact, and if the event is a failure because of poor-quality technical equipment, it will make an even bigger impact on your reputation as a venue.
Update Your Furnishings
A clean and comfortable environment is what any guests expect from a hotel or conference centre, so while a spring clean may get done, an autumn clean should also take place to freshen-up space for a busy winter season.
Review any spaces that need updating or redecorating in the run-up to Christmas.
Outdated and tired looking spaces will speak volumes about your venue and will leave visitors with a poor impression. If your walls look unmaintained can they expect the same from the service they will receive?
As Christmas will see your footfall potential increase by the hundred’s it’s essential that you make a good impression on all that visit, so that there is a potential for future bookings.
Once you have cleaned and redecorated key spaces, the next step is to assess the state of the furnishings.
Broken, wobbly, or tired furniture, creates a mournful atmosphere, as nobody wants to be surrounded by dilapidated items. This is especially true for any celebratory events, as any faults in the furniture could lead to mishaps which make the event feel amateur. For example, a wobbly table could lead to an attendee having gravy from their dinner being spilt on their lap, or a broken chair could rip someone’s outfit.
These are all possible circumstances which could ruin an event for an attendee and put your venue in a poor light.
Take the time to fully assess your furniture, and even practice laying them out in different ways to ensure that it works for the event type, and highlights any issues prior to the big event.
If you’re looking to update your stacking chairs, Grosvenor can help you create a stackable chair with custom options that is in tune with the branding for your venue.