How to throw a great summer party, whatever the weather

The lot of the summer party planner can feel a bit bleak mid March; the events equivalent of buying a bikini in the winter. It may seem tempting to bury your head in the sand (or snow!) until the warm weather returns, but by then it's usually too late. So to help you get ahead of the game and to relieve any planning blues, we've put together a three step plan for summer party success:

The basics…it goes without saying, but you can’t get properly started until budget, numbers, date, and the objective of the party are clear. Get ahead of the game by pinning down the powers that be for those all important decisions now. Top tip: channel Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada for those tricky budget discussions.  When it comes to dates, does the party need to tie in with any key events in your organisation’s calendar? Or avoid your boss’ wedding or holiday plans? As a general rule, avoiding school holidays and major sporting events is to be encouraged.

Venue… envisage a beautiful summers day – now add rain. And wind. And some wasps. And now sunshine again. Yes, that should help you plan nicely.  The most important thing here is of course a contingency plan or even better, a versatile venue. Our recommendations for the magical combination of glorious outdoor space and a safe haven for when the great British summer strikes back include:

·      The spectacular Kensington Gardens Restaurant – part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery and designed by Zaha Hadid – perfect for an elegant summer soirée that your guests won’t forget.

·      For urban cool, Old Street Roundabout is hard to beat. A totally unique space offering a combination of indoors and outdoors spaces plus a food market.

·      If you’re looking for a laid back creative vibe, how about Hoxton Rooftop – incredible London skyline views, plus flexible indoor spaces and a great East London location.

Consider a twist…the great joy of the summer party is that it’s not as prescriptive as the Christmas party, and if you’re planning now then time is still on your side. Would your guests be up for an activity or some kind of entertainment? Think how you might involve your colleagues – and I’m not necessarily thinking karaoke here – more an opportunity to showcase something exciting that a particular team is up to this year. Link it to your catering plans and before you know it you’ve got a theme.

Right, now that’s sorted you can return to hibernation for a few more months –TakePlace recommends thermals as outerwear – terribly spring 2016…

Interested in any of the venues mentioned? Or perhaps you would like some other ideas for your event? We would love to help - say hello@takeplace.co.uk

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