ILEA Quick Tips for Event Planners: December 2017

How to be stress-free when planning your next holiday party.

The holidays are just around the corner and hosting a holiday party can be stressful. If you take to heart these five tips below, hopefully your holiday planning will be painless and fun:

  1. Choose a date that works best for most of your guests — Send out an invite with time to spare. There are so many options these days; traditional snail mail, an electronic invite such as: evite or paperless post or simply create a private page on Facebook. The holiday season is a very busy time of the year so plan early, and don’t sweat it, if a few guests can’t make it.


  1. Did someone say cocktail — Serve one cocktail and mix in a small variety of quality beer and wine. For your cocktail, make sure to play to the holiday season’s rich palate. Experiment with warm herbs like cloves, star anise, or other classic flavors reminiscent to the holidays. Just remember, seasonal is best!


  1. Choose suitable tableware — Use your own china and/or glassware for an economical and personal touch. Go wild with color or keep it simple with a white or monochromatic scheme. Throw in a seasonal napkin for a splash of holiday cheer. Or, for easy cleanup, opt for the eco-friendly option of compostable service ware. Practicing sustainability creates good vibes and, heck, a little good karma during the season of giving can manifest its own good will!


  1. Set the tone — When hosting a holiday party at your home, use natural tones to dress up the main living area and kitchen. For whatever reason, the kitchen and living area tend to be the main hang out spots where guests tend to always congregate. There’s something about that center island that just makes it a great gathering spot for family and friends. Add a fragrant touch with greenery, winter floral engagements, wreaths and garland. Garnish your table or buffets with seasonal items such as: cranberries, pomegranates, or rosemary for that extra pop of color. And always make sure to add a personal touch to make it your own.


  1. Create the prefect playlist — Put together a playlist, or simply find a holiday station you like on Pandora or Spotify. Know your audience. Holiday music comes in all genres so there is sure a song out there to please everyone. Hey, you never know when that impromptu dance party might break out, so be prepared with good, fun, upbeat tunes!

Happy Holidays!
Jenna Anderson is the Senior Sales and Events Coordinator at Solar Arts by Chowgirls. She’ll be celebrating her second year with Chowgirls Catering this month, but has been in the events industry for 7 years. She’s also a first year board member of the International Live Events Association, serving as the organization’s Director of Administration.

International Live Events Association (ILEA) is the new name for the International Special Events Society (ISES). ILEA represents and supports more than 5,000 members globally — industry professionals who do business together, share knowledge, nurture talent and progress the live events industry. For more information on how an ILEA professional can help you with your event, please contact