Organising a Billy No Mates Christmas Bash could not be simpler.
Finding a venue
We would suggest you find a local good quality, owner-managed restaurant or hotel. They are more likely to be flexible and enter into the spirit of providing a great atmosphere than a chain would.
They will need to have a separate events room, which is big enough to allow expansion as the event grows year on year, but with character so it is nice even when not full.
You will need them to provide a fixed price for a three course meal (with plenty of choices), glass of wine and coffee/tea at the end. They will also need to have a bar so party guests can buy drinks as the event goes on.
It would also be useful if they are not too fixed about when the event ends. We have found that party guests like to loiter and chat after the meal has ended.
At this point it is worth saying that the Billy No Mates event is not a money making opportunity for the organisers. The price agreed with the venue is the price which should be charged to the party goers. For this reason it is easiest to agree a price in round £ – you may well find people like to pay with cash.
Choosing a date and time
We would suggest choosing the last Friday before Christmas, unless it is Christmas Eve in which case the Friday before that.
We would also suggest the event starts at 12 for 12.30 sit down.
Getting the message out
We will publicise your event on this website – just give us the details of the time and place.
Then just tell everyone you know!
If you start with your business contacts and people you like you will soon find people will want to join in. Make it clear that the event is open to anyone who works on their own or with just one other.
Start promoting the event as soon as you can – we promote the Wells event from the beginning of September onwards.
Use LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media to get the message to as many people as possible and mention it at networking events.
Running the event
For the Wells event we have developed the following procedures which you may wish to follow:
- Once we have the menu from the restaurant we send a pdf of it to anyone who has shown interest in the event along with the basic details of date and time, venue and cost.
- We ask people to register their interest and menu choices via the website booking system as soon as possible and to confirm their place by sending a £5 deposit.
- You will want to make sure that each party guest has paid before the event, so in Wells we ask for the balance to be paid and choices conveyed at least two weeks before the Bash.
- We then create a spreadsheet with the choices along the top and No Maters names along the side which we can then pass along to the venue a couple of days (or whenever you have agreed) in advance.
- It is worth asking the venue to be flexible about people who have to drop out at the last minute because of illness. Beah at Wells only charges us for people who actually attend (as long as we are only talking about a couple of no shows and we know exactly which choices they have made).
- Because you have collected all the money in advance it is just a case of clearing the bill with the venue on the day.
- NOTE: Make sure that party guests know they have to pay for additional drinks themselves as you don’t want any surprises when you come to settle the bill!
If you would like to contact me to discuss your proposed Billy No Mates event you can reach me on: