wellpleased | Various Leeds Christmas Party Venue ideas from Wellpleased
Comprehensive guide to planning an office Xmas party for your work colleagues. Includes top 3 event spaces for hire in Yorkshire and some golden rules and top tips for DIY works Xmas parties.
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Planning a Christmas Party in Leeds

14 Oct 2014, Posted by wellpleased in Christmas, Corporate, Private Event

Ah, wonderful Leeds.  Pretty much guaranteed to have no snow, gusting winds and a lot of rain… the ideal place for a Christmas Party!

Well, actually,despite the weather it’s one of the best locations and here we’ll tell you why.  We’ll also tip you off to the best Christmas Party venues in Leeds, give you some Xmas Party golden rules for getting the best value for money if you’re organising your office xmas party in Leeds.

 

Top 3 Christmas Party venues Leeds

1

Your office!

 

Office-Image-for-County-ins-Website

No.  not the worst idea in the world ever.  You can save on average £3,000 in venue hire fees (or extortionate catering fees) by using your office space for a works Xmas party, all it takes is a bit of planning. There are 4 things to remember:

1. Make it look different.  This is where event decor companies (like Wellpleased Events) come into their own.  If people leave work at 5.30, by 8pm they can return to see their office premises entirely transformed!  Wellpleased Events have changed escalators into a pirate ship for the Asda Head Office Christmas Party, so they can definitely create your Christmas Party decor.  And you don’t have to worry about screws in pillars, blue tac on the walls or gaffa tape on the carpet; event management companies are used to working in listed building venues so they leave no trace that they’ve ever been there.  Of course, you could try to decorate your office on a similar scale, but remember, to make a real difference, you’ll need design and event experience, large scale props or a lot of them, a big team of helpers, a health and safety risk assessment that your property manager is happy with, everything needs to be fire tested or fire retardant, and you need to leave time to go back and get changed yourselves.  It’s definitely simpler to get an events management company in Yorkshire to do it for you, and if they’re anything like Wellpleased they’ll work to your budget; limit them to £2,000 and that’s what they have to do; so you won’t overspend and you’ll make a huge impact.  Of course if you want award-winning like this Xmas grotto we did for Selfridges (click here) you might have to spend a bit more!

2. Unless you have a great canteen team who have no interest in going to the party… Don’t.  Even. Think.  About. Catering. It. Yourself.  It can work out very cost effective to get in an external Leeds caterer into your office.  If you have a kitchen (most offices have something) then the caterer will be happy to use your kitchens and you won’t get charged for the hire of ovens etc. They will supply all the glasses, cutlery and crockery, and you can often get £12 per head Christmas buffets which are a lot cheaper than the £30 a head deals at Leeds restaurants. They’ll also clean up the mess afterwards.  Watch out though: you might still have to pay for corkage if you were planning on bringing in booze you purchased yourself.  One thing to remember is that if you ask your events management company to book your caterers they often get up to an 8% commission which they can pass down to you as a cost saving. Go direct, however and this won’t be the case.

3. Lock up everywhere you don’t want people partying on (think photocopiers, server room, kitchens, board rooms and the lifts).  Of course, if you are hiring a Xmas party organiser then they’ll sort that out in advance so you don’t have to worry and can also help provide extra security so that you don’t get any unwanted guests walking in off the street.

4. Plan for the Christmas Party cleanup.  Of course, it you’ve asked an event manager to do the job, then you can stumble home and enjoy some uninterrupted sleep without worrying about it.  However, if you’re doing a DIY Christmas Party, there is no point in booking the cleaners to arrive straight after the last person has gone, because taking the decor down makes enough mess by itself. Then start by taking down the Christmas party lighting, then the larger Xmas props, then follow with the tricky bits, such as Christmas decorations.  Package them tidily noting down any breakages so that you can use them again next year.  Set aside cable ties for this task, they’re great at keeping bits together.  Once all of the items are stored, you can draft the cleaners in.  It’s worth noting that good events managers will get you trade price cleaners too, so they could save you money here too.

 

2

The Warehouse

 

Warehouse-Club

Why is the Warehouse such a great option?  Well, it’s close to the Leeds train station, and buses.  There’s parking near by too.  But more importantly, The Warehouse, Leeds is a great blank canvas Christmas party venue.  It holds up to 750 people and has a licence until 8am and has bars already installed.  It features a lot of different spaces, which means you can have a chill out area, a dance floor, seating with booths for sitting down and it even has a garage area big enough to drive huge catering vans into.  They do fantastic deals on drinks for Christmas Parties; they provide security, the lighting is already installed and there’s also a stage there too.  The only drawback is that you will need to make it look Christmassy, but then that’s where Wellpleased Events come in with their warehouse of Xmas props. All you need then is the DJ, the Christmas entertainment, the decor and the photobooth (you weren’t thinking of having a Xmas party without a photobooth were you?), but don’t worry, Wellpleased can sort that too, just tell them what you have to spend and they’ll stick to it.  Click here to see their website.

 

3

The White Cloth Gallery

 

white cloth gallery

A Christmas party venue in Leeds which is even closer to the centre of town but slightly smaller with a capacity of 250.  Another blank canvas, and these guys can do the catering too, so that’s one less thing to think about.  There are 2 galleries and a bar area so you can separate out those who want a dance and those who want more of a relaxed space.  Of course, it’s a white gallery, so again you’ll need some Christmas decor (or any decor for that matter) so do plan that in or it might risk feeling a bit clinical rather than festive, but of course an event management company like Wellpleased Events will sort a package out for you.  Click here for a link to their website.

 

Top Tips for Xmas Party Planning with an events management company

  • Fix your date early
  • Fix your budget with your boss prior to researching
  • Call an events management company and be honest about your max budget – then ask them what they can do at that price
  • View your party venue choices with the Leeds events management company – your events agency will talk you round what they have planned for each part of the events space so that when you’re making decisions you’ll know exactly what they’re suggesting
  • Go to a tasting with your Leeds event management company – your agency will know what’s what but why miss out on a free lunch?
  • Ask your event management company for an itemised list of what they’re providing; if they don’t do this they’re hiding something
  • Ask your events organiser if they’re passing on any event venue and catering commission to you
  • Only sign the booking confirmation when you’re completely happy with every aspect of what’s on the budget; get your legal team to check it if you’re unsure
  • Market your tickets and sell your invites from November onwards
  • Enjoy the party!

 

Top Tips for Xmas Party Planning if you’re doing-it-yourself

  • Fix your date early
  • Fix your budget with your boss prior to researching
  • Call up various Yorkshire Xmas Party venues and do a site visit for each venue
  • Book your Leeds Christmas Party venue early (late Oct is probably the latest you’ll get good deals and a choice of dates)
  • Find a range of caterers and ask them what they can do for a £ per head budget (you set the price, don’t ask for their packages)
  • Make clear to your Christmas caterers that the budget needs to include all extra costs
  • Choose the Xmas catering menu that suits your crowd the best but ask for a tasting first
  • Plan your event space into different areas so that you know where people will be eating, drinking, dancing / music, sitting, standing
  • Pick a theme and work from that
  • Choose decor with impact; if it’s a large room, small baubles will be lost so choose large pieces
  • Don’t forget the ceiling: if you can place items over head so that the whole room is being used
  • Remember, once a room is full of people, decor from the floor to head height will make very little impact
  • Lighting can make a huge difference; an uplighter can ‘wash’ a wall with a bright colour without the need for paint or draping!
  • Always think; how am I going to fix this to the wall / ceiling / floor safely and without damaging anything?
  • Talk to your health and safety team before buying anything
  • Make sure everything you buy is flame retardant
  • Recruit people to help you with your DIY Christmas party event build from October onwards
  • Market your tickets and sell your invites from November onwards
  • Be honest with your team about when they will be needed before AND after
  • Book your cleaners for the cleanup
  • Try to get people out of the office early on the night
  • Give every team member a task to complete and be clear when they need to be finished by
  • Lock away all non-party areas from half an hour before
  • Aim to have a security person on the door to prevent gatecrashers
  • Enjoy the party!
  • Take everything down carefully; a lot of the damage done at parties is during the take down
  • Package everything up carefully – you might be able to reuse it or sell it on eBay
  • Organise a de-brief meeting where you discuss what could have gone better for next time

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