Sharla Payne, Hand Picked Hotel’s Director of Agency Sales, is no novice when it comes to planning and hosting events! Here she gives her top tips for making your end of year event productive, fun and of course full of Christmas cheer!

1. Don’t panic!  If you’ve not already booked, there is still time.  But venue hunting is a priority. Like ours, many hotels get booked up way in advance of the festive season but good things can still come to those who wait with a few last minute offers in the running. With the added bonuses of amazing food, great choice of beverages and bedrooms on site, hotels are a top choice for end of year corporate celebrations and party nights, so start the selection process today!

2. Mix business with pleasure – who says you can’t?  It’s the perfect time to book your end of year meeting for the chance to debrief with your team and review objectives for the year ahead.  Then, with everyone in the same place, you’ve the perfect environment in which to put the business agenda to one side and reward your colleagues with a fantastic Christmas party in a private function room or join a party full of festive cheer.

3. Theme the day meeting – yes there’s still work to be done, but its Christmas after all! Work with the event specialist at the venue to theme the meeting room. It could be a simple as crackers, table decorations and a traditional Christmas tree or a room decorated in your brand colours and theme.  Secret Santa activity anyone? 

4. Book a private element before joining the main party.  With ample private dining rooms and multi-functional spaces, there’s so much we can do for your group pre-party; private drinks receptions, mini award ceremonies or senior management speeches work particularly well. The whole team really groups together, has chance to mingle and let their hair down before heading into the join-a-party night where the dining and disco with other groups take centre stage. 

5. Stay the night. Depending on your group size, consider staying overnight or highlighting it as an option for attendees given it’s far easier than a taxi home – and ultimately more cost effective – and rewarding too!  At Hand Picked Hotels we have a selection of double and twin options available and our bedrooms include a (much needed) full traditional breakfast the following day. At selected hotels we have health club and spa facilities that can also be enjoyed all day post check-out. 

It’s not too late! There are still dates available across the Hand Picked Hotels estate, with some amazing themed join-a-party-nights still available. Plus some not-to-be-missed book and benefit offers with complimentary Christmassy treats and upgrades included when you book a day or residential event.