As the end of the year is around the corner and planning a year-end function forms part of wrapping up another year, Quintin Wiehahn Managing Director of The Menlyn Boutique Hotel shares some tips on planning the perfect year-end function.
Choosing the venue
This is the most important part of the process, selecting the right hotel for your event is paramount in ensuring that your year-end function is a success. “Organisers need to look for a hotel that can offer them exclusivity, there is nothing worse than hosting an event with another party taking place two tables away from you,” Wiehahn advises. “Factors that also need to be considered when choosing a suitable hotel is the availability of accommodation, this is not only convenient and accessible for guests but it is also the only way to guarantee the safety of your invitees if they have been drinking,” says Wiehahn.
Planning, the best time to host your year-end function
“As most year-end functions take place during high season, it is important to start planning your event well in advance,” Wiehahn explains. Wiehahn recommends planning three months in advance “this gives you enough time to finalise the finer details.” Many believe that year-end events should take place in December but according to Wiehahn, having your function earlier is better. “It has become common for companies to host their year-end functions as early as October, this avoids the November and December rush. Having your function in October is more enjoyable and is more relaxed.”
“A theme is always fun and is the best way to get your guests to relax, however, a theme should not be an effort or a hassle for your guests,” Wiehahn warns. “Incorporating a theme into your event is recommended but a successful theme does not have to include the invitees,” says Wiehahn. “A theme should be simple and should be consistent,” he further explains. “The theme does not determine the success of the event, it is merely an accessory and is purely there to set the tone.”
“Making sure that you select the right type of food for the year-end function is significant, the food should be specific to the type of end of year event that you are hosting,” he explains. “The food that you serve is also dependent on the atmosphere that you are would like to create,” he reveals. “If you are hosting a large event for a lot of guests, canapés and finger food are the most ideal, this allows guests to socialise and mingle which is an important component, Wiehahn describes. “If you have a smaller group, then a sit down meal is most suitable. This provides intimacy and offers invitees the opportunity to enjoy a full course meal.”
“This delivers an extra element, live music is also a great way to the set the mood. Classical and instrumental music is ideal for more relaxed events, whereas a band is more interactive and is the best way to get your crowd going,” Wiehahn says. “Arranging activities is also a great form of entertainment for guests as this is a sure way to get them to engage with one another. It is good fun and planners can be creative when coming up with activities.”
“When planning an end of year event, it is very important for the planner to be clear on the budget and to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what the budget entails, this will avoid any disappointment or confusion. When meeting with the venue to discuss the budget, make sure that the venue explains their terms and conditions to you i.e. will they charge a penalty fee if the event ends after a certain time or are there policies in place for noise levels etc. Discussing these factors before the event is helpful in ensuring that you get the best out of your event,” he concludes.
About Menlyn Boutique Hotel: Situated in the heart of the Tshwane Metropole, The Menlyn Boutique Hotel provides a 5-star hotel offering the industry’s best in luxury accommodation, fine dining and premium conferencing. Formerly known as the Menlyn Guest Lodge, renovations and re-branding exercises began on what is now known as the Menlyn Boutique Hotel in June of 2012. The intention was to transform the property – originally purchased from the Cuban Embassy – into a world-class luxury destination. This premium hotel caters to business and ambassadorial travelers in Pretoria, as well as to local guests in their chic new restaurant, Black Bamboo.
For information visit www.menlynhotel.com