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From Our Blog

Professional tips for holiday party planning

Champagne on wooden table surrounded by couches

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to holiday parties. To help with your planning, we spoke with Michaela Ross, Associate Director of Catering and Events who has brought her talents to many of Boston Park Plaza’s events and celebrations in all our spaces.  

Our property has an extensive range of Boston event venues, including our iconic grand ballroom that can host up to 2,000 people. If you’re planning a smaller gathering, we have a range of distinct options such as our Georgian Room, which can host 300 – 500 guests, Avenue 34 that can welcome up to 300 guests, or The Square, which is ideal for 200 and fewer guests. We also have company holiday party venues that provide a more intimate setting for 100 or fewer guests.

Michaela has years of expertise creating memorable corporate events, social gatherings and fundraisers and shares her tips for successful holiday party planning.

ONE. Understand your guests and their interests

“Not all guests want the same experience,” Michaela says. “Some are looking for a dance floor with a DJ. Others are looking for a quieter lounge experience.” Plan for various settings at your event, so those who are looking to trip the light fantastic have a space they can enjoy, while those who wish to gather and talk also have an area that caters to their needs.

TWO. Consider the timing of your event

If you’re hosting the event on a work night, consider whether guests need to return home first, or if it’s strictly a post-work event. If your event is solely a cocktail reception, your timing can be more flexible. However, “if you’re planning a plated dinner, aim for a 6:30pm – 7:00pm seating, with a light cocktail reception to start,” Michaela says. This way, the event will end at a time that is convenient for everyone. 

THREE. Embrace your creative spirit

Be imaginative when planning your event. From visual elements to food, beverages and beyond, a little bit of inspiration can make for a truly memorable party. 

Consider unique food experiences. “Our chefs can create a menu that captures the spirit of the celebration,” Michaela says. “We can provide stations where chefs are plating food in front of your guests, which gives them the opportunity to choose their favorite items and watch the chefs in action.” Or consider having the appetizers, drinks and desserts passed through your reception. We can craft a signature cocktail for your event, or our pastry chefs can incorporate your logo into your desserts, for a unique and sweet treat. 

Just as the food and drink should be distinctive, so should the room itself. Your theme can be as simple as the brand colors of your organization. Our team can help you design the space, so when your guests enter, they feel like they’ve arrived somewhere special. 

FOUR. Have activities for everyone

In addition to dancing or mingling, plan at least one fun activity that everyone can enjoy. It can be as simple as a photobooth where people can take away a souvenir of the event, or arcade games allowing people to meet each other in a more casual way. “If you’re hosting a fundraiser, silent auctions are a great way to have people circulate and meet each other,” Michaela says.

Five: Invite people early

“The most popular dates for holiday parties start the first week of December and run for three weeks,” Michaela says, which means people’s calendars get busy at this time of year. Ideally, your Save The Date should be be sent out a month in advance. This gives people the chance to make plans and secure childcare if needed. We also provide room blocks for those who want to make the most of the event and spend the night at our property.

It’s a fun, festive time of year, and Boston Park Plaza is one of the best venues for work Christmas parties. By planning your event and thinking through your guests’ needs, you can create a distinctive celebration that will warmly remembered for years to come.  

About Us

Boston Park Plaza is so much more than a hotel. We are a Boston icon, integral to the city’s heritage. As one of the best hotels in Boston, we offer a true one-of-a-kind experience, as richly textured and profoundly memorable as Boston itself.

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