Learning From Holiday Events: An 8 Point Checklist

Christmas ChecklistWhether you threw Christmas parties for your clients or organized year end meetings or events that included a festive celebration, it's important to pause, take stock and reflect. The quieter time just before Christmas and early in the New Year is an ideal time for this type of assessment. The lessons learned from holiday events will be helpful as you plan next year's festive event and, in fact, all events over the coming year. 

Here is an 8 point checklist of areas to review:

  1. Do you need to start your planning earlier for next year's Christmas event?
    One of the biggest contributing factors to event fails is starting the planning too late. This leads to a hectic planning process and also cuts down on options for venues, travel, and entertainment.When is early enough? Savvy companies book their preferred venue early in the new year. Certainly it's best to start planning all other aspects for Christmas in July?
  2. Was your event delayed due to an unexpected snowfall?
    You may want to schedule next year's event a week or 2 earlier. Be sure to send out a "Save the Date" notice.
  3. Did transportation flow smoothly?
    If guests had difficulty getting to the event on time or parking was a problem, you may want to consider bussing or shuttle busses from a bigger lot for next year. One of my clients always selects a venue on the subway line but outside the downtown core so that guests can arrive safely and easily. 
  4. Was the venue a good choice?
    This covers everything from quality of food, service, whether or not the room was large enough, audio-visual, and ease of access for your own set-up and the entertainers.
  5. How can you add some variety to the event?
    Do you need to hold your holiday event in a unique venuespice up your festive menu with foreign fare, or come up with a fresh Christmas event theme.

    Bonus: In addition to the many themes I've presented, to inspire you, here is an Alpine Christmas, a truly original event theme:

  1. How well was the entertainment received?
    Many event planners now face the challenge of appealing to boomers and Millennials at the same event. Mix things up by adding some variety to your music, dance numbers, and entertainment choices to keep everyone happy. For example, it may be time to throw some hip hop into the mix.
  2. Were there any bottlenecks?
    Check-in and speed of meal service are 2 areas where there are often challenges. You may need to increase staffing in those areas. Check out the Cvent Event Blog's 15 strategies to speed up meal service
  3. Were there any logistical challenges?
    If there were any glitches with audio-visual, lighting, set-up or truck in/truck out, it is important to identify them and iron them out in time for next year.

The Cvent Event Blog has many posts that will help you with your holiday event planning including 4 Fabulous Christmas Event Themes, Cool Christmas Event Venues, What's Hot: Pop-up Christmas Event Venues, 7 Inspiring Ideas for Christmas Event Decor, Creating Classy Christmas Centerpieces, and 8 Great Places to Find Holiday Goodies.

Photo Credit: Camknows

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