With the holiday season now upon us, the annual flood of holiday parties in Austin is about to begin. If you’re planning or hosting one this year, we wanted to share a few tips to make your party a hit:

Jon Klekman Quartet

Jon Klekman Quartet

1. Set the mood:

Whether a big office holiday party or a small gathering of friends, setting the tone of the party with music, lighting and decorations is key. Think about the vibe you want the party to have, and plan the playlist accordingly--maybe making multiple set lists for different phases of the gathering. Inviting guests to add to a Spotify playlist can be a great way to get them excited leading up to the event. While most party hosts consider the decorations, lighting is an often-forgotten detail that can really help to set the tone of any event. A venue with strong support staff can help you set the scene in all these ways.

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2. Cater to all tastes:

For many, the food and drink is the most important, “make-or-break” detail of a party. It’s important to ensure that you not only accommodate dietary needs, but also offer a good selection. Depending on the event type and crowd, think about the kind of food that’s appropriate--from lighter snacks to comfort food or festive holiday goodies. Finding a caterer that can help you get this right is super important, and a venue that’s locally connected can hook you up.

High Beam Events posing for a photo op at our 2018 Event Trends Panel Discussion

High Beam Events posing for a photo op at our 2018 Event Trends Panel Discussion

3. Make it shareable:

One thing everyone looks for in a party these days is a good photo opp, and there are a few easy ways to ensure your event is an experience your guests will want to share. Photo booths are a big crowd-pleaser, but you can take a step further to encourage sharing, for example creating a hashtag for the event, or setting up a geo-located, temporary Snapchat filter. At the end of the day, a party space that looks great will be something the guests want to capture and share.

ILEA "Gold Event" at our Monroe St. location, taken by Lisa Hause Photography

ILEA "Gold Event" at our Monroe St. location, taken by Lisa Hause Photography

4. Create “spaces” within the space:

The space itself is one of your best assets to set the tone for your event, if you view it as flexible and get creative. Different arrangements of the same space create totally distinct moods--groups of seating give a more casual and homey vibe, while tables and chairs work best for formal dining, and high-top tables encourage mingling. With the help and guidance of your venue staff, play with the layout of the room(s) to create a mix of spaces that suit your guests and party style.

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5. Give both structure and space:

An ideal party has a good mix of both structured and unstructured time, so that guests can get to know one another, enjoy the space and amenities at the party, and be entertained. Think about the flow of the event, and when any speeches, awards, activities or programs should take place--but be sure to factor in plenty of unstructured time for mingling as well.

To ensure all these elements come together, it’s important to find a venue with a strong support team who can help you realize your vision at each step of the way.


If you’re looking for the perfect venues for a holiday party in Austin, please contact Catherine Kuchar (catherine@vukacollective.com) at Gather Venues or schedule a tour of our venues online by visiting http://www.gathervenues.com/tour. Happy Planning!