It would appear that in many offices this year, the Grinch really did steal Christmas (or is that the boss?) As organisers of fantastic Christmas parties, we are firm advocats of letting your hair down and embracing the yuletide spirit. However it seems that there is an underbelly of the professional world that doesn’t feel the same way.
For the last two years, we have been plagued with the concept of companies ‘not wanting to be seen to be spending money’. However we fail to see why and how that could possibly relate to cheering up and rewarding your staff at Christmas time. In the absence of Christmas bonuses, pay rises and the like, a party is crucial to keeping morale high and encouraging team spirit.
And the more fantastic the better. CEOs, don’t be afraid to spend at this time of year, you will appear less Scrouge and more Santa and a little more effort and less penny pinching to create that ultimate festive feeling, is well worth it. If you can’t afford the likes of Goodwood House, go for Fontwell Racecourse and spend a little extra on some fab decor and entertainment.
But it isn’t just the bosses who are cutting down on happiness – in an office near you, there are staff complaining of ‘enforced fun.’ Feeling obliged to attend a Christmas do, and heaven forbid, to spend an evening with colleagues not family. Well family is important, but one night a year to enjoy a good old fashioned cheesy night out with the people you sit side by side with all year round, is good for the soul. After all, if you don’t go, how will you be able to join in with the water cooler banter about Gladys from purchasing, air guitaring to Queen at 1am on the Strand?
Staff parties are as much a statement from the boss as they are from the staff. A year round ethos of fun and fulfilment in the work place should be encouraged top down and embraced bottom up. This can be done by having regular socials and incentives, seasonal events and socials attached to conferences.
You spend most of your life at work, so you should enjoy it and not because you are being forced to, but because you don’t want to be a soul-less, angry suit in the corner yelling “BAH HUMBUG” to anyone who will listen.
Champagne, a few photographers and a microphone….that’s all you need to launch your product or new company, right? Spend your budget on advertising and anything left, maybe take your favourite client to a football match for some hospitality or better still, send some Christmas cards out.
It simply isn’t good enough anymore to place a few adverts in the local press and update your website. If you want to be competitive in the marketplace, you really do have to go above and beyond to get noticed and that takes strategy.
It is interesting how many companies still do not know the difference between PR, advertising and marketing. Worse still, how fundamental they are to developing your brand and ultimately, making you money.
A good launch event is crucial to sending your product out into the market place properly and will tie in together those three wise men of business (marketing, PR and advertising). At RDI, we start off with the commercial aims of the event and work with your in house marketing team , or if you are a one man band, we work with you to develop the marketing strategy, PR and where necessary, Advertising. We don’t just take your budget and provide a party, we think strategically about everything your want and need to achieve, then show you how you can get a return on your investment. It’s easy to spend money (and event managers are excellent at this!) but working to a budget and strategically, is an art form.
What message do you want to convey?
Who do you want to convey the message to?
And how? How does your product look and feel to your customers?
Yes, the catering, flowers, AV, invites, giveaways etc are part of what event managers do, but it is only a small part of the story.
A great launch party is a cost effective, valuable start to your business or product and should never be rushed over. For more information on what we can do to boost your brand or launch it from scratch, contact us today.
Deep in the heart of the West Sussex countryside is a village called Climping, home to a beautiful Medieval venue called Bailiff Court Hotel. If you haven’t heard of it, seen it or researched it already, we urge you to check it out. More of a home than a hotel, the main house, thatched cottages and 30 acres of land are a genuine haven from the stresses of modern life.
A hop skip and jump from the beach, if scenery, tranquil walks and pretty architecture is your thing, then this won’t fail to impress. Rooms for nearly 40, a wedding chapel, dining rooms, spa, tennis courts the list goes on. But most of all, it is unique and personal. The moment you drive onto the property you feel at home – or rather how you would like your home to be in your wildest dreams.
For more information on rooms, spa treatments and restaurant reservations visit www.hshotels.co.uk or for information about holding your wedding, Christmas lunch or corporate retreat there, contact us at RDI via our contact page.
In a recent visit to a trade fair, a ‘floral sculptor’ – apparently calling oneself a ‘florist’ just doesn’t cut it anymore – asked if our services were “high end.” Which prompted an interesting question for us here at RDI, what is the definition of high end in this industry?
Easy, I hear you shout:
“… someone who delivers events to the upper end of the market. Huge budgets, celebrity clients. A high quality finish….?”
Maybe….and yes, admittedly we have frequently been labelled high end in articles and by our clients and suppliers, but what exactly does that mean and are we comfortable with this tag?
It’s an interesting point. And as I wandered around this particular wedding fair in Hampshire, I was struck by the variety of quality on offer. I’d like to say that we always endeavour to use local suppliers (to help with the local economy and keep costs for the client down), but when it comes to our events, high quality is an absolute must, and frankly many of these suppliers just weren’t up to scratch. The layout of the stands, the quality of the marketing material offered to visitors and the way in which the people manning the stand presented themselves to me, varied from poor to good (but not excellent). As a bride, walking past these stands, I wouldn’t have known where to start, what questions to ask, or been able to tell which suppliers were better than others – or perhaps more importantly, that there are suppliers who are significantly better than what was on offer.
So knowing what to look for in a stationer, florist, marquee supplier etc, is the first start in being a ‘high end event manager’ because great suppliers are crucial to providing overall great quality. But does that make us high end- our suppliers, knowing how to get the best from them and only choosing high quality providers?
Maybe, but to our next point, high end requires a big budget and preferably a celebrity status….right? Well our clients range from the royal family to local fitness experts, with a big difference in the number of noughts on the budget, so does that mean we are not high end? Does high end mean you ONLY work for the great and good? Well, that is for you ( and the floral sculptor) to decide, and if you believe yes, it does, then RDI proudly confesses we are not purely high end. We do not exclude clients based on their budget or column inches so that we can be judged as ‘high end’.
Instead, we would like to say that if you consider high end to reflect quality and personality, not budget and ego, then indeed, we are the highest of ends! To us, high end is delivering the most creative, memorable event possible, to a very high standard and over and above the imagination of our competitors.
Perhaps we should contact the Oxford English Dictionary and offer that meaning….but for the time being Mr floral sculptor, I would like to suggest that a better question to ask of your event manager is “are you high quality and can you show examples of your work to demonstrate that?” – You’re less likely to be disappointed, than if you ask to see their waffly, self promoting, blurb full of substance-less hyperbole. Hm.