It’s that time of year again, the office is feeling a little more friendly, your Aunt Sheryl has started organising the biased family Secret Santa draw and your weekend calendar all of a sudden seems to have less time for Netflix binges.

Unfortunately, we can’t help you with your Aunt Sheryl’s antics but we can give some solid advice for pulling off the perfect end of year get together. Here at Gathering Events, you could say we know a thing or two about gatherings… Whether you’re looking to host an intimate dinner for friends, a Friday night Christmas drinks for your workmates or you’ve been left to organise the office end of year function, we’re here to give you some pointers.


1.    Location, Location

Okay so this one seems pretty straight forward, you’re having a function so you need somewhere to host it. Being conscious of the style of event you’d like to host should be an important part of your venue decision making.

For example, if you’re looking for intimate conversations and one-on-one relationship building try a restaurant or venue with scattered tables and plenty of seating. If you’re looking for lots of mingling and group discussions go for somewhere a little more open plan with bar benches rather than individual seats.

We’re big fans of thinking outside the box and love venues that are blank canvases, that allow you to style it as you like, and also hire caters, food stations and bars as you like.

We’re also here for the new trend of businesses hosting events on private properties (business site, homes, etc.). No “house rules” means you have the freedom to host your dream party, with no limits (and less expenses).


2.    The Right Tipple (or Two)

Without sounding braggy, this topic is definitely our specialty! Obviously, the cost of drinks can start to add up as the night goes on so if you’re putting down a bar tab and are not sure where to start (or where to draw the line) we’d suggest selecting a list of basic drinks for your guests to choose from.

Beer, wine, champagne and cider are always awesome options but if you’ve got a smaller group of people or you’re keen to go all out, we’d suggest you read this for the perfect party cocktail list.

You could check both the enterainment and libations boxes by offering a drinks experience that’s a little more interactive, consider a Whiskey, Gin or even Rum tasting with an expert bartender, to wow guests.

Depending on your venue you may even be able to BYO drinks which will certainly help you budget things out. Don’t forget about your sober sally’s, make sure there’s plenty of soft drinks, juices and/or mocktails available for them to let their hair down too!


3.    Nibbles, Bites, Snacks

This one will vary depending on the style of event you’re looking to host. If you’re organising a sit down dinner generally the restaurant will help you out here but a few things to ask are: “is it alternate table drop?”, “do they have a set menu?”, and “are the allergy or dietary friendly?”.

If your end of year function is on a larger scale, a little more open plan or just generally laid back you’ll likely need to make the food decisions yourself. This year’s go-to trend is grazing tables (please don’t eye-roll at this, hear us out)…

While grazing tables seem to be all over Instagram at the moment which can make you feel like a sell out, they’re actually super useful for big group situations and easy snacking (i.e. you don’t need a catered, wait staff or crockery). You can hire someone to set this up for you or if you want to DIY it, just ensure you’re conscious of all dietary types when setting it up (e.g. are there vegetarian or gluten free options)?

Another excellent option is outsourcing the food organising to local food trucks, who make easy and tasty ‘grab and eat’ food which is perfect the perfect to keep your guests up and exploring the event.


4.    Get Hands On

Here’s a wild idea, how about combining all the above awesome tips and adding something a little more hands on into the mix? There are plenty of cool workshops all around Brisbane (and the GC & Sunny Coast) that you and your friends or colleagues can get involved in.

We bet you didn’t know that we run private Cocktail Workshops with some of Brisbane’s best (and most fun) bartenders! So why not learn a new skill and enjoy the fruits of your labour while you’re at it? Chat to us now about booking in a workshop before Christmas!


5.    Extra Things to Consider

o   If your event is a corporate end of year function, you may want to consider a photographer or photo booth to capture the evening and give you content for your next year of comms. emails and social accounts.

o   We’re not trying to sound conceited here but make sure you’re clear about your RSVP date (at least 5 working days before the event) and let your guests know about plus one options, this will save you having answer this about 30 times and chase down slow responders.

o   If this is a work get-together you may also want to consider a theme or organising icebreaker games to help people unwind and play, we love lawn games for this but other fun things can be props for a themed event (think leis for a Hawaiian party).

Finally, have fun! There’s nothing worse than organising the best bash of the year and then spending the entire time making sure everyone else is having a good time! If you need a hand organising a gin tasting, setting up a Pop-Up bar or even just hiring some really groovy bar staff then you’re in luck… chat to us now!