Planning a Christmas party with a live band

Planning the Christmas party for your company

Have you been lumbered with planning the Christmas party for your company. Bad luck! It's really brave person who can do this because they know they will be vastly different opinions about what is the best entertainment for your party. Some people will want a wild rock band, others will cringe at the thought of this kind of music and yet others will be shy the thought of showing themselves up on the dance floor while some will be looking forward to being exhibitionists.

The most important thing is not to tuck the task away out of sight for as long as you can, hoping it will go away, It won't! Grab the bull by the horns and get on with it. The earlier you start the more choice there will  be of suitable musical acts.  Leave it until the last minute and it will become 10 times more difficult for you and considerably more expensive.

It seems almost silly to say that Christmas is a  busy period. We all know this, but sometimes I we can get so tied up in it that we forget that music groups don't get delivered from the Amazon warehouses by next day delivery. Good bands are in short supply, more like rare antiques or super cars.

The first thing is to set the date. This might have been set by your managing director saying this is the date for the event, but quite often you are asked to find out when most of the office can attend the event. How close to Christmas do people want the party to be. Christmas is a very busy time for families, and they might not be so keen to go out near to this time, so several weeks before Christmas or even into January is a good idea.

What sort of party do people want? If they are younger workforce they might like the idea of a barbecue followed by a function band latent evening. What may work better for a company with mixed age groups could be something that caters for everybody likes a barn dance or a Kaylee. This might be much more suitable.

In terms of booking a venue, Fridays and Saturdays are more expensive and premium, but often will find that bands are not available earlier in the week because the band members have other jobs and only reserve Fridays and Saturdays for band performances.

Talk to people in the canteen, send an email with a number of different choices of party on it to get people's opinions and get them to vote on it. Also ask the day of week I just preferred and how far in advance or after Christmas people would prefer. When she got a majority date and agreement from the management, make sure you understand the budget that you're allowed to use on this event. Size of the budget will have a major influence on the type of Christmas party you can organise returning everything from the food the Venue to the entertainment that you can afford. Covers bands popular with a wide range of people but tend to be very expensive, particularly around Christmas time.  Ceilidh bands in jazz bands tend to be low priced, and can give a much broader range of interest for a mixed audience.

Here is where it becomes difficult. Which comes first the  chicken or the egg? If you've decided on the theme and the kind of band that would suit that e.g. an American barn dance band or 60s covers band, you need to have a venue to suit it. But you can't book the band until you have established the venue, because venues are few and far between at this time of the year, and you need to be sure it is yours. Most venues don't deal with bands themselves and if they do have some recommended bands, they tend to be quite limited in style and range.

Normally it boils down to booking the Venue then booking the band. By now, time has moved on and you're getting ever close to the date of the party. You have no time to waste. You can't afford the luxury of contacting lots of individual bands on their websites, otherwise by the time you’ve done this you will be too late and many of the Bands will be booked. Here is where a good agency can step in. Good agencies have very efficient booking systems, lots of bands and a record of which bands are still available. (Bear in mind of course but available to you can change at a moment's notice, in the time it takes in fact for a band to read an email without a phone call. Around Christmas as the party season gets closer, things can get frenetic.

So, with an agency having a good range of bands and efficient booking system, you can feel confident and be able to source a suitable band in time for your party. But don't leave it to get on with booking the music. You might feel exhausted by all the work you've done in organising the venue and determining what date the party should be on, and it's easy to let things lapse. That's a mistake. Get everything fixed well ahead of time so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy the party you have organsed, and enjoy the compliments you will get the job well done.