The holiday season has unofficially begun, and chances are you’ve spoken to at least a couple of clients about booking your venue for their celebrations.
One of the questions you’re most likely getting from potential clients is “What holiday trends should we have at my event?”
We’ve been watching out for what’s been trending for events and holidays. Try these 4 categories of ideas to expand your holiday party offerings.
You’ve probably heard a lot of talk – especially from the Millennial generation – about spending money on experiences, not things. That idea has been picked up by the events planning business. Think about experiences your venue can offer for holiday parties. Check out these examples.
Gingerbread house building contest
Cocktails, candy, and icing? Everyone’s a winner here. Create some friendly competition among your guests and find out who is the most skilled at candy construction. Try a solo competition or get more social with teams.
Beer, wine, or cocktail tastings
As we found out during this year’s EventCamp, cocktail tastings are a big hit at events. Book a professional in the industry to lead the tastings and educate guests on the history and the craft that goes into their favorite drinks.
Holiday trivia night
Trivia nights are a popular activity at local bars and pubs. Try a holiday spin on it and create questions about holiday history, traditions, movies, and songs. If your first thought is, “Won’t these questions be too easy?” you’re wrong. I was on a trivia team that won an entire season’s tournament based on the question “Which musician’s first recording was on the song ‘R2-D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ on the ‘Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album?’” You can find the answer here.
Are your clients interested in trying something new this year? Holiday party themes are moving away from glam and more towards a comfier, cozier setting.
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Party guests can grab their warmest flannel shirt and cuddle up by the fire pit or outdoor heater to snack on grilled cheese, chili, s’mores, spiked cider, and cakes that look like logs. Accessorize with lanterns, pine cones, and birch candles to complete the wilderness experience.
Pajamas and pancakes
This may be more appropriate for a brunch event, but some restaurants are adding a pajama day to their holiday offerings. Encourage guests to show up in their craziest pajamas or comfy clothing, and set up a pancake and waffle bar with pitchers of mimosas.
It doesn’t get any cozier than warm ski sweaters, sheepskin-lined boots, and hats with ear flaps and pompoms. Bonus points if your venue has a fireplace. A fondue bar of cheese and chocolate will satisfy the sweet and savory portions of the menu. Choose some hot, spiked drinks for the full ski lodge effect.
Every holiday event has sweets. Try these trends to present your menu in a creative way.
Try smaller-sized desserts for the holidays. Shrinking your sweets allows guests to try more than one type, and their size makes them portable enough for moving around the venue and socializing. Think about serving tiny mason jars of chocolate mousse or cheesecake, cake pops, baby macarons, and mini pies.
Donut walls have made an appearance everywhere: breakfast events, trade shows, weddings, and more. Why not have one for your holiday events? Set up a peg board painted in festive colors and hang donuts in seasonal flavors from the pegs.
Hot chocolate bar
Why limit your hot chocolate toppings to just marshmallows? Set up a DIY hot chocolate bar with giant marshmallows, chocolate chips, peppermint flakes, whipped cream, and liqueur for a spiked option.
Put the box of tangled Christmas lights and cornucopia centerpieces back in the closet and take a look at these trends instead.
Black and white
A black and white color scheme is a simple and chic way to set the mood for the holidays. Decorate with white lights, black linens, black chairs, spray-painted white pumpkins (for the fall), white candles, and chalkboard cheese plates and food markers.
Painted pumpkins and acorns
Nature is a traditional part of the décor for fall events. Make it more modern by spray painting mini pumpkins and acorns in seasonal colors. Arrange them in a centerpiece or use the pumpkins as place card holders by cutting a notch in the stem for the card.
Like the donut wall, the flower wall has been spotted everywhere, from corporate to formal to casual events. Create your wall by using real or artificial flowers or plants and attach them to a pipe and drape kit or a trellis. A flower wall is not only beautiful, but it creates a nice backdrop for photos that guests will take and share, which gives your venue some word-of-mouth advertising.
Offering a few of these holiday trends will get your venue noticed by prospective clients. If you adopt any of these ideas, make sure to mention them on your website, in your email marketing, and in your social media marketing.
Need more holiday event tips?
Check out our holiday blog posts on how to promote your venue, why you need an event management system for the holidays, and more. We also have a collection of holiday event tips on our Pinterest profile.