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How to throw the best Christmas event ever

I know, I know, it's not even Halloween yet and I've mentioned the C word. No, not that C word, I'm talking about CHRISTMAS. Believe it or not we're already up to our eyeballs in Christmas preparation (and it's only September) and since it's only going to get crazier we thought we best get in there now with a quick 'how to' on planning Christmas events.

1. Set a date EARLY
Christmas is a busy time for everyone, so our number 1 top tip is to send your Save a Date as soon as possible.

2.Venue and decor
Whether it's a church hall, a fancy hotel, a home or a nightclub, you need to consider a few important things; weather in December can be cold and wet so everyone will bring a coat (and need to hang it somewhere); the foyer area will need to be spacious enough for guests to get in and shelter quickly without having to queue outside; think about heating - you don't want your guests to be cold; will there be parking or public transport access, especially at night and in high season; the venue will need to accommodate your dining needs, whether that's a buffet or a sit down (we'll talk more about this below); and you will need to consider decor costs for some of the more DIY venues - many hotels will already be decorated in a festive fashion, so the hard work will be done for you.

3. Dining
Never underestimate the value of a good caterer. There are so many independent cooks and caterers who will do everything from fancy grazing boards to canapes, hog roasts, mulled wine stands, full a la carte dining experiences and more. Check out their social media pages and reviews - the last thing you want is to be let down on the night with poor service or poor quality food.

4. Entertainment
Great decor and food is often enough in a domestic setting, but in larger venues with guests who may not all know eachother (or even enjoy eachother's company - but that's another conversation altogether), there's huge value in booking entertainers to break the ice and bridge any gaps between food. Our Nutcracker ballerina is a great icebreaker as she invites guests to turn her LED key and make her dance. Bands and musicians, themed performers, aerial and circus acts, table entertainment and dancers are all excellent choices for a Christmas bash. We love Christmas events.

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Welcome to the Moulin Rouge

It's been months in the planning, with all kinds of rigging challenges, complicated choreography, rehearsals and costume preparation, so it was hugely satisfying to watch all our hard work come together for Solent Forts' run of amazing Christmas corporate parties.

Guests arrived to the marina at Gunwharf Quays and were escorted to the Fort by boat, where Parisian showgirls and Can Can hostesses welcomed them with a glass of bubbly and a photo opportunity.

The singing trio set the scene whilst our aerial bartender topped up guests' glasses as she hung upside down from her hoop.

Guests were treated to a tour of the iconic building before kicking off the festivities with a high-energy Can Can show and a dynamic aerial hoop performance, all in the traditional French style, for that all important nod to the Moulin Rouge.

Then after a four course a la carte meal partygoers were ushered into the intimate Cabaret Bar for more music from the singing trio and an impromptu pole performance from our aerialist, who simply couldn't resist having a freestyle before encouraging guests to have a go too. 

A huge thank you to Michael Palmer for the fabulous photographs, as well as to our team of choreographers, performers, costumiers, riggers, musicians and event managers who pulled together to make this project such a success. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

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