It’s that time of the year again! You will soon go through that moment where you realise that we’re nearing the festive season and it’s time to start planning for the much anticipated Christmas party.
With just a few more months to go until the silly season is officially upon us, you may be tempted to think that there’s plenty of time to plan the details for this year’s festivities. However, keep in mind that even if you’re taking your time, other companies are not and all of the best venues on the water, including restaurants, bars and boats are booking out fast. So the sooner you start planning for it, the better your chances are of securing the perfect package for your company’s party.
We may be biased, but when it comes to Christmas, we believe that nothing beats a boat party on or close to the water. There is just something about it which brings the party to life. Maybe it is because we have witnessed some of the best!
We’ve put together some advice from our team to plan your party on the water (be it on a boat or on land). Whether you’ve been the designated party planner for a while now or it is your first rodeo, this guide is sure to have some helpful tips to make the experience as smooth as possible.
Find out how much you can spend before you start planning, so you don’t waste your time looking at options that are below or above your budget.
There’re many choices on the Harbour to fit different budgets, however keep in mind that just like everything else, you usually get what you pay for.
Know your crowd so you know where you can compromise. If your guests are big drinkers, maybe save money on food by choosing a simple barbeque package so you can afford an upgrade on your bar package.
- Type of event
This is where you really have to know your crowd to make a decision. Are you looking for something really casual on a warm summer day where everyone can enjoy a swim? Or perhaps a themed party with a DJ to dance the night away?
Either way, it’s really important to know what your guests would prefer, so you can make all the right decisions. A good way of doing that is coming up with a few different options and asking everyone to vote on their preference. A day cruise is a great option to have fun in the water, while the evening ones offer a great sunset over the Harbour and the opportunity to dress up and get your dance moves on.
Consider creating a theme for your party, you can put the option for voting as well to see if it’s something the guests would enjoy. It makes your event unique, engages your guests and gets everyone excited.
Once you know the type of event you’re hosting, it’s finally time to start looking for the perfect venue for it. Entertaining space, catering options and service are a few things to look for when booking the right place.
Consider your budget and type of event carefully when making the decision, since your choice here can make or break your party. A good tip here is selecting a few different options and getting in touch with their events team. Explain what kind of event you’re holding and see what they can offer based on that. The venues on Sydney Harbour usually have a very different distribution of space and features, particularly boats. You can even organise a few site inspections to make sure the space is what you’re looking for.
Also, preferably look for a venue that offers covered space in the unfortunate case of bad weather. You don’t want all of your planning ruined over a bit of summer rain, you can and should still be able to enjoy your event just as much.
- Food and Drinks
The catering and bar selection is essential for a good party, so make sure whoever is supplying them knows their business, because you really don’t want to go wrong here.
Just like everything else, make sure you’re being inclusive in your food and beverage choices, choose the package with the best alcoholic options but don’t forget to check what’s available for the people who are driving home. And be sure to ask around for any possible dietary restrictions between your guests and check whether the venue can cater to these.
Some venues on the harbour offer BYO as well as catered options. If you’re on a budget or have very specific requirements, it’s worth looking for a place that does BYO. Just note that some venues will have restrictions on days and times that this option is available, especially over the busy Christmas season.
Make sure you organise some type of entertainment for the event to ensure a fun and relaxed vibe for your guests.
A DJ or a 2-3 piece band is a great idea to get everyone moving, singing and even dancing if you have the space. At the very least, most venues have the option to plug in a device with your favourite playlist.
Want something more or don’t have a real dancing crowd? Laser clay shooting is very popular from some boats operating on the Harbour or photo-booths are always great fun. Or go for something innovative like a magician or comedian to step in for a portion of your event.
If that all seems like too much planning over the busy Christmas period, some venues offer great all-inclusive packages specially designed for these festivities, so you really can’t go wrong.
Last of all, when it comes to the day of your event, don’t forget to let your hair down and enjoy it! Your job is done, you deserve it and should feel confident that the team behind the venue you chose are experts in their field and will take over from there.