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Cost of small but good party?

(24 Posts)
MAYKMI Sat 11-Aug-18 16:34:36

I'm just about to launch my brand new business and am thinking about throwing a little party. As I've never thrown a proper party before I'm a tad bit bit clueless about costs. I'd be looking to hire a small arty bar/cafe for an evening and to feed/alcoholise about 50 people.

How much would you guess that would cost? I've already sent out some emails but my budget is extremely tight what with being a brand new business that is yet to make a single penny. I think the party might be a vaguely sensible use of funds as it'll act as a bit of a marketing tool but if it'll cost a bomb then it's probably a plan best shelved until later...

Sorry- lazy research I know- but I feel like there are lots of party planning experts around here!

RhythmStix Sat 11-Aug-18 16:40:25

Whereabouts are you based? If you are in London I can't see it being under £700 or more if it's a bar.
I had a significant birthday party recently in a hired pub with food drink dj etc and.it was well over a grand. Worth it though.

MAYKMI Sat 11-Aug-18 16:51:42

Oh sorry, that is pretty crucial information- I'm in Bristol so cheaper than London but not North cheap.

MAYKMI Sat 11-Aug-18 16:52:51

£700 might be feasible so that's vaguely encouraging- thank you!

RhythmStix Sat 11-Aug-18 16:55:49

A bar would want to be paid at least what they'd make ifopen for business as usual so a cafe makes better financial sense . Would you need to pay extra for a booze licence thoug?

MAYKMI Sat 11-Aug-18 17:00:34

Yeah, that's a potential spanner in the works of that plan. I'm thinking there may be small hipster-y bar/cafe places that are licensed but don't make a lot of money that may be affordable. Bristol is quite good for places like that! My business is arty so it would be in keeping.

Magicbugkiller Sat 11-Aug-18 17:39:22

£700. Not possible even if self catering.

For a good party you need:
champagne (for 50 people you will need to get 40 bottles on sale or return)
canapés
soft drink

You could go for a blanc de blanc or cremant at £12-15 a bottle rather than champagne. Whatever you do needs to be ice cold so you need freezer/fridge on site.

You could do Pimms which would be much cheaper.

If you are providing drink they won't need a licence , it is like BYOB.

MAYKMI Sat 11-Aug-18 17:48:36

Oh ok thanks, you sound like a proper expert so I will take that on board. Providing own alcohol in non-licensed venue seems like it might be the way.

Magicbugkiller Sat 11-Aug-18 17:54:46

You can get glasses and alcohol from waitrose or sainsburys or similar on sale or return.

Waitrose have quite a good party section with nibbles- you will need 1 person to serve drink and 1 to serve canapes (I would go with cold). M&S have similar but I think a bit pricer and not as good. Do not serve yourself or you won't be able to mingle

Overwater drink and do sale or return. Food id a bit harder to guess- I would allow 5-6 canapés per person (so you do runs around with each kind) rathe than have nibbles set up. You can put out bowls of crisps/nuts/olives if the venue allows which will reduce the canapé consumption

You may be able to hire an art/gallery space and provide your own food and drink?

Or you can go old school. Red wine, baguettes and cheese. Very arty and cheaper probably

Magicbugkiller Sat 11-Aug-18 17:55:25

Over cater drink- don't overwater it!

Goldenbug Sat 11-Aug-18 18:05:18

...an evening and to feed/alcoholise about 50 people.

Can I just say that to "alcoholise" people is a lovely turn of phrase. I shall use it at every opportunity.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 11-Aug-18 18:12:05

The minimum would be half a bottle of wine and three canapés per person. You'd need an interesting soft drink on that too.

Have a start and end time so ppl don't rock up late expecting food and drink! Three hours is fine so a 7 - 10 or even a 7 - 9.

Think laterally about food and drink - can you do a work swap with any local suppliers? Does that new bakers down the road need a new logo? Or Would your crowd be a natural fit for a food and drink supplier to market to? Would the great new yoga space down the road be keen to market to a local arty crowd and host your party? Get creative and cheeky and negotiate. You can have cards in the venue name-checking the suppliers and give nods on your social media too.

Booze places where you can do sale or return and get free glass hire may have a slightly dearer headline price but it's worth it for the extras. And r ally think about how your going to chill things.

MAYKMI Sat 11-Aug-18 23:12:08

Ok, thanks- those are useful things to think about. Vaguely what sort figure would people ballpark if £700 was wildly optimistic? Is £1000 doable?

BackforGood Sat 11-Aug-18 23:21:16

Is this not going to depend a lot on what your business is though ?
Would it be reasonable to assume it is an on-line business, or, if not, could you not save a lot by inviting people to your business premises? then you'd have more to spend on drinks and snacks and / or less to pay out over all.
How are you going to promote the business at this launch, if it is in another premises?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 11-Aug-18 23:26:50

I think you can do it for 700 if you don't have venue costs and can rope friends into serving for you.

bumpertobumper Sun 12-Aug-18 01:21:19

You do not need to give them champagne hmm
Wine is expected, beer a bonus, and a nice soft drink ( jugs of elderflower cordial is nice and cheap)
The thing with how much is a party, it's like asking how long is a piece of string.
The venue is usually the biggest chunk of cost, so ask a few you like and plan from there...
Have a budget and supply food/drink accordingly.
And nice art opening type do should be doable on a grand

Madeline18 Sun 12-Aug-18 01:32:59

I would do 5.30pm - 7pm, especially if this is for industry contacts and clients, unless you want into be a proper party.

MAYKMI Sun 12-Aug-18 08:52:59

So much useful advice here- thank you all. I'm aware no-one can give me a precise figure for a minimum budget but I am (or was) totally clueless about what might be possible so this is really helping me see what's do-able.

MAYKMI Sun 12-Aug-18 09:01:58

The business is online so we don't have premises or anything. I am working with local artists though and looking to "recruit" more of them so I'm thinking this may be a good way to do that. I plan on asking my currents artists to invite friends etc etc.

I'm also already planning some little arty games/ activities based around the business concept but may be getting ahead of myself...

Madeline18 Mon 13-Aug-18 12:00:51

I don’t think I would do games for a launch event. I would give people half an hour to arrive, speech/presentation (keep it short!) you and maybe one of your artists, then more drinks and networking (plus nibbles the whole way through so no one drinks you dry). Deffo invite industry contacts and artists you want to recruit smile

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 13-Aug-18 15:58:57

No games! Madeline is right. Drinks, speech, things to look at, as it's art-based, mingle, done.

RhythmStix Mon 13-Aug-18 16:42:23

Big glass jugs of pimms deffo a good idea plus they look so nice with lots of ice and slices of orange and cucumber smile. Hope it goes well !

FinallyHere Mon 13-Aug-18 16:57:15

Start with the venue, somewhere accessible near public transport / lots of parking and ideally a bit of woe. Art galleries, museums. what strings can you pull, what would be a good match for your business?

Then think about booze (and ice to keep it cool), soft drinks and canapés. Also, some experienced help to distribute it and to keep the place tidy, clear away drinks etc. Not just bored teenagers, someone at least feigning interest in what they are doing.

Every aspect will reflect on your business, so it would be better to do breakfast (coffee, muffins) well than early evening drinks badly.

Finally, make sure that you are present and available to welcome people and joyfullymake connections between them, rather than behind the scenes messing with the catering. Enjoy and all the best.

FinallyHere Mon 13-Aug-18 16:57:54

Ah, yes, with a bit of wow, rather than woe...

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