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Corporate Christmas Party Planning Tips

Posted on 29 September, 2016

Whether party planning is your forte or you have been delegated the task of arranging your next end of year celebrations, there are many key considerations for organisers to entertain. As a rule of thumb, if you stick to choosing a great venue, great food, theme and company carefully, then organising your own event or opting for an all-inclusive gala spectacular, can both be relatively simple. GCCEC event manager Belinda Crofts, recently shared her tips in the August edition of Executive PA magazine. Below is her comprehensive guide to weighing up the pros and cons of private and all-inclusive ticketed end of year events.

The Venue

Choosing the right venue is truly important – location and a distinct offering that advocates value in a product or service, like an event that you can personally connect with is paramount.  A venue that is central, easily accessible for guests with public transport, parking, nearby accommodation (walking distance is ideal) and a nightlife to dance the night away post-event are attractive when weighing up options.

The Planning

The type of event of your choosing is a driving factor and is typically connected to budget constraints. Standalone events have minimum requirements for attendees and will usually cover the costs associated with food, beverages and basic AV. Our service includes a friendly experience where our sales team guides you through all your requirements and your own event manager will provide guidance and oversee all the finer details.

Ticketed festive events such as our own iconic Centre of Christmas are a great alternative for smaller groups of colleagues and friends (groups of < 100 persons) and will include the works, beautifully themed and catered to ensure no stress for the organiser.

The Theming

Entertainment and theming are often additionally catered for private functions and how elaborate they are all depend on your budget. The right look and feel often dictates and has great impact on the atmosphere thereby creating greater engagement between the event and guests. Just because you have a budget, it does not mean you have to scrimp on all the trimmings. Ticketed events offer inclusive packages and cover the larger must-haves such as food, beverage, theming and entertainment.

The Menu

Menu choice for celebratory events often marry the desired event ambiance, and mouth-watering festive menus coupled with fresh and sustainably sourced local delicacies, provide variety for guests whilst catering to intolerances or special dietary needs. Beverage packages are a great option and offer variety to appease guests. Opt for premium packages that provide quality beverages and last for four-hours or more in duration – this represents great value.

Stand-up vs. Sit down

Who you are celebrating with can influence whether you choose a seated dinner or a stand-up cocktail function that encourages socialising and networking. Client entertaining is more suited to sit down options, offering a sense of formality usually accompanied by a three-course meal. Stand-up celebrations encourage socialising and the ease of mobility are a winning factor for team/staff gatherings seeking a varied menu of canapés and cocktail cuisine that are easily digestible on the go.

The Numbers Game

Is your celebration a private gathering or part of a larger combined event? A flexible venue like GCCEC will offer you the best of both worlds, and both event styles have their advantages. Key considerations you should ponder include; are you celebrating the end of year with key clients, or thanking your team for a successful year? Or a combination of both?

If you don’t have the minimum numbers required for a private function, opt for a combined ticketed corporate function. You can create a sense of intimacy by booking a whole table and still soak up the good vibes of a larger corporate crowd, there to enjoy a stylish little Christmas.

GCCEC is home to the largest corporate Christmas event on the Gold Coast - The Centre of Christmas in addition to catering for private intimate Christmas events

For more great tips please visit Executive PA magazine, August feature article ‘Great Summer Parties Start in Winter’.

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What Our Clients Say

I have conducted two major formal dinners at GCCEC for approx 700 people each time, the more recent of these being held in March 2015. I am completely satisfied with all aspects of working with GCCEC and their performance in presenting our function. They were completely professional and were willing to do things exactly the way I wanted them done, even meeting some unusual requirements. When I requested to make layout changes only hours before the dinner the request was accommodated immediately and with professional ease. The dinner was an alternate drop three course full service meal with drinks package, and it was without a doubt the best formal dinner I have ever attended. I have managed many similar dinners in the past but this dinner achieved by far the best result, it was the easiest to organise and to then manage on the night. Our GCCEC functions manager was a competent and willing professional who achieved an absolutely flawless event. I am still trying to understand how the catering staff were able to prepare almost 700 perfectly cooked and presented meals and get them to the tables whilst still hot. An excellent event perfectly presented by cheerful and competent professional staff.

Bruce Schmidtchen
Chairman, 5RAR Assoc Inc 50th Anniversary Reunion Committee

We have held our major event, the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF), at the GCCEC on six occasions since it opened in 2004. Through holding our event at the GCCEC we have established a terrific relationship with the venue. Each and every staff member works tirelessly to ensure that our event is run to the highest calibre. Any task, no matter how little or large is undertaken to ensure our expectations are met and our event is delivered successfully.

AIST Events Team

It’s the small things that make such a big difference. My organisation has held its conference annually at GCCEC since 2008, during which I’ve experienced unparalleled service. I continue to be amazed by the dedication, friendliness and professionalism of all staff – be it sales and event management to back of house and floor staff. They know my event inside and out, making the experience seamless. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every conference I’ve held here!

Marika MacKenzie
Communications Manager, Optometry Queensland Northern Territory

You guys did it again! It is such a pleasure to work with a dedicated, proactive and friendly team. Your can-do attitude, your attention to detail and your willingness to try something new all help to make our lives easier and to keep our event fresh and interesting. Once again, the food was superb and the level of service provided by everyone at the centre was exceptional.

Julie Hood
Director Events Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association

There is no doubt that next time we need to be ‘creative’ on the Gold Coast; the GCCEC is the only venue we’d choose. No matter how difficult or unusual our demands prior to the event, nothing proved impossible for you and during the conference your professionalism and attention to detail ensured that everything ran without a hitch enabling us to focus properly on the job in hand. Last, but not least, the catering was superb!

Greg O’Neil
General Manager - Rural Merchandise CRT Rural Supplies