Weekend Poll Results: It’s Time to Start Planning Your Event

With thanks to all my readers who are participating in my Weekend Polls feature, here are the results of this past weekend’s poll, which I’ve now closed. 
The core question: How do you manage event planning for the holidays?

The results: 

If you’ve not already begun coordinating your office event, you might want to start scoping out venues soon if you don’t host your event onsite; a total of 67% of respondents have already begun work on their organisation’s 2015 events. For the most part, gatherings are relatively intimate; only 34% of respondents are coordinating events for more than 200 people.

When it comes to venue, reputation won out over other considerations, and 40% of respondents have a budget of $1 – $5K. Another 33% will be spending somewhere between $5 – $10K, and budgets are, for the most part, unchanged from 2014.

The majority of us are coordinating informal events, but formal and semi-formal plated dinners are still on offer. It’s nice to hear that live musicians are still in demand, but a full 27% will rely on whatever mix their selected venues have on offer. Likewise, 67% of respondents will rely on their selected venues for decor, but 33% will be bringing in their own flowers or decor. Our organisations are expecting people to be responsible in their drinking choices; only 26% of organisations offer taxi/cab or other “safe” rides home.

What’s in a name? Are we hosting Christmas parties, holiday parties, or seasonal parties? Read through the results below, and you’ll soon find out!

LEAD TIME: 40% of respondents plan such events three to six months in advance – while 7% get rolling on the booking asap after the prior year’s event. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 40% of respondents plan such events 3 – 6 months in advance
  • 20% of respondents plan such events 1 – 2 months in advance
  • 20% of respondents plan such events 2 – 3 months in advance
  • 13% of respondents plan such events less than a month in advance
  •  7% of respondents plan such events asap after the prior year’s event

Party Lights copyright Shelagh Donnelly

TURNOUT: 33% of respondents anticipate a turnout of 51 to 100 guests – while while the largest turnout anticipated this year is 401 to 500 guests. See below for the overall picture.

  • 33% of respondents anticipate a turnout of 51 – 100 guests
  • 27% of respondents anticipate a turnout of 1 – 50 guests
  • 20% of respondents anticipate a turnout of 301 – 400 guests
  •  7% of respondents anticipate a turnout of 201 – 300 guests
  •  7% of respondents anticipate a turnout of 401 – 500 guests

VENUE: Reputation is the dominant consideration for 38% of respondents – while budget is the next highest ranking consideration.

  • 38% of respondents cited reputation – including past experience, quality of food, and service – as the dominant consideration
  • 19% of respondents cited budget as the dominant consideration
  • 13% of respondents cited ambience/atmosphere as the dominant consideration
  • 13% of respondents cited location as the dominant consideration
  •  6% of respondents cited business/strategic considerations as the dominant consideration
  •  6% of respondents cited capacity to accommodate group size as the dominant consideration
  •  6% of respondents selected “other” as their response, and one added the note, “internal”

GUEST LIST: Out-of-Towners included in 43% of such events

  • 57% of respondents do not have out-of-towners on their guests lists
  • 43% of respondents do have out-of-towners on their guests lists

São Bento, Porto 5476 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

BUDGET: 40% of respondents have a budget of $1k – $5k, while 33% will spend $5k – $10k  – Here’s the rundown on budgets.

  • 40% of respondents have a budget of $1,000 – $5,000
  • 33% of respondents have a budget of $5,001 – $10,000
  •  7% of respondents have a budget of $15,001 – $20,000
  •  7% of respondents have a budget of $20,001 – $30,000
  • 7% of respondents have a budget of $50,000+
  • 7% of respondents have a budget of less than $1,000

BUDGET VARIATIONS FROM 2014: The majority of budgets are unchanged.

  • 79% of respondents are working with an event budget that is unchanged from 2014’s
  • 14% of respondents are working with budgets that are lower than those of 2014
  • 7% of respondents are working with budgets that are higher than those of 2014

EVENT TONE: The vast majority of respondents are coordinating informal events.

  • 80% of respondents describe the tone of their 2015 events as informal
  • 13% of respondents describe the tone of their 2015 events as formal
  •  7% of respondents describe the tone of their 2015 events as semi-formal

FOOD SERVICE: There is no single dominant choice for respondents’ 2015 events.

  • 36% of respondents are planning buffet dinners
  • 36% of respondents are planning to offer canapes/appetizers
  • 29% of respondents are planning to offer plated dinners

Music

MUSIC: Musicians are still in demand, but many also rely on whatever music the venue provides.

  • 40% of respondents will arrange for live music
  • 27% of respondents will rely on the venue’s muzak/pre-recorded mix
  • 13% of respondents will bring in a DJ
  • 13% of respondents stated that music isn’t a factor
  • 7% of respondents selected “Other”. One noted, “Department Video Highlights of the year”

Party Beverages 9456 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

SAFE RIDES HOME: Half of all respondents reported that their organisations encourage responsible choices.

  • 50% of respondents reported that their organisations encourage responsible choices
  • 19% of respondents selected the “N/A” option
  • 13% of respondents reported that their organisations provide taxi/cab rides home
  • 13% of respondents reported that their organisations provide “safe” rides home via other means
  • 6% of respondents reported that their organisations encourage use of public transit

DECOR: The majority of respondents rely on the venue for decor.

  • 67% of respondents reported that they rely on the venue for decor
  • 33% of respondents reported that they bring in their own florals/other decor

THE PARTY IS THE PRIZE: The majority of respondents do not plan on having door prizes at their events.

  • 71% of respondents reported that they will not offer door prizes
  • 21% of respondents reported that they will offer door prizes; they have a budget for this, and also resource complimentary prizes through contacts
  • 7% of respondents reported that they will offer door prizes, and that they have a budget for this

Grouse Mtn Christmas Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

WHAT’S IN A NAME?: 43% of respondents are coordinating holiday parties, while 36% are coordinating Christmas parties. 

  • 43% of respondents refer to such events as holiday parties
  • 36% of respondents refer to such events as Christmas parties
  • 14% of respondents refer to such events as seasonal parties
  •  7% of respondents selected “Other”; one noted, “Celebration of year highlights”

Watch for the next poll this Thursday. You can also find Exceptional EA’s Weekend Polls, and the Results, in the new Exceptional EA LinkedIn Group

I’ve recently launched a members’ only Exceptional EA group on LinkedIn, and encourage readers to have a look on LinkedIn and make a (ridiculously simple!) request to join the group.

 

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