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Five Tips for a Sparkling New Year’s Eve Party

November 30, 2011 By: Alissa Ponchione


Without question, New Year’s Eve brings out party-goers looking for a memorable night. They expect over-the-top food, drinks and entertainment and look to bars and clubs to fulfill those large requests. It’s not easy to put together and plan a New Year’s Eve party that reaches the masses, but, as an owner, it’s your obligation to create an unforgettable night for guests. With a smart and organized game plan, plus these additional helpful hints, your venue will be the No. 1 spot to ring in the New Year, and you’ll have patrons talking about your party for months to come.

1. Start planning early. When you’re thinking about planning an event as big as New Year's Eve, start early — at least six months in advance — to plan something extravagant. Patrons will be willing to spend money for this once-a-year event, so use what you have to your advantage to create that unforgettable experience. Entertainment for the evening often is the hardest element to secure for New Year’s Eve, as most of the most popular DJs and musical acts are booked well in advance. When you’re putting together your New Year’s Eve strategy, make booking an act your No. 1 priority and get a commitment from the act of your choice a few months before Dec. 31.

2. Do something special. If you own a club, sports bar, high-end lounge or local watering hole, it’s important to do what works for you while also making your guests feel they’re taking part in something special. For example, The Tavern Downtown in Denver, Colo., is known for its Olive Drop and Fireworks every year, drawing a huge crowd of excited spectators to see the 2-foot illuminated olive drop 20 feet into a 15-foot-tall/7-foot-wide illuminated Martini glass on top of the Tavern’s very popular rooftop bar.

3. It’s all about preparation. If you have an organized plan and schedule, you’ll know what is are being delivered when — from balloons to floral arrangements to caterers and more. This makes any unforeseeable emergency easier to deal with. Make a timeline on the first day of planning, naming the parameters of the event, including start and end times, ticket prices and the theme for the evening. Creating a timeline for your whole staff to follow will help your event fall into place.

4. Focus on your key staff. When planning a New Year’s Eve party, the key people involved — from managers to head servers to bartenders to bus boys — are an integral part of the process. Before the event, have staff come in a couple of hours early and walk through how the night will play out, making sure they understand their roles during the party. Don’t forget to meet one more time before the event gets started to give out a few more reminders. If you have a smart person in charge that will delegate responsibilities, your event will go off without a problem.

5. New Year’s Eve isn’t like any other holiday event. Guests arrive earlier than usual for a New Year’s Eve party, meaning that they leave earlier, as well, usually right after midnight. Understand this influx and decline of crowds and think about after-midnight promotions to entice guests for a couple more hours. A New Year’s Eve after-party will keep crowds around longer and add to the appeal of your venue when guests are choosing where they want to ring in 2012.


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