Planning a successful and memorable holiday party on a budget is no small feat. Expectations are high, while costs for venue, entertainment, and food can be at a premium for the holiday season. But, there are ways to save so that no one will ever notice that some expense has been spared. With over 34 years experience, Hornblower Cruises & Events specializes in unforgettable, flawless events on the water and their professional event planners are experts when it comes to making budget tradeoffs. They have several “tricks of the trade” to share:
Timing is everything
If you are able to dictate the scheduling, a weekday luncheon or cocktail party right after work can be more economical than an evening affair, when guests not only expect their significant others be included, but tend to eat and drink more. Booking an off-campus party package with venue, food and entertainment included not only manages budget, but lifts spirits with a “vacation” vibe for the day. Hornblower Cruises & Events is currently offering affordable packages, their Silver Bells Luncheon Cruise and Holiday Cheer Cocktail Cruise.
Deals on decor
Choose a venue that is spectacular or unique requiring few decorations, such as a themed restaurant, an entertainment venue, or a Hornblower luxury yacht on the water. If decorating an office or hotel meeting room, get creative with lighting or by draping tulle or fabric from the ceilings and fixtures. Invite office staffers to explore their inner creativity by encouraging them to design their own decorations. There are many clever and easy to make decoration ideas on DIY craft websites and Pinterest.
The trend in holiday party entertainment is to provide a few strolling acts versus a huge headliner. This trend not only keeps guests entertained throughout the event, but with a little creativity also helps to manage a budget. To save, start by asking your staff for recommendations on smaller acts – who knows what hidden talents you might uncover? Or try a karaoke setup or talent show that makes the guests the stars. For strolling holiday carolers, support a local singing group. If you do hire a professional band, stick to the schedule so you don’t get hit with overtime charges.
Another holiday party trend is to provide activity tables and games in addition to or in lieu of entertainment. For old-school fun, set up a bean-bag toss or hold a hula-hoop competition. Sweeten things up with a make-you-own candy bag station or an ice cream sundae bar. Activities can also include crafts, such as providing all the materials to make party hats to wear at the event or holiday ornaments to take home as favors. Throughout the event, encourage guests to take photographs and video for a post-party photo contest, saving the costs of hiring a professional photographer.
For additional cost saving suggestions or to book your Hornblower Cruises & Events holiday party, call 800 ONTHEBAY or visit: www.hornblower.com/port/category/sd+DecHolidayEvents
Submitted by Hornblower Cruises & Events