Organising a great summer party

The weather is getting warmer and summer is approaching, which opens up new opportunities for businesses thinking of hosting events, whether they are looking to entertain clients, reward staff or network with potential customers.

Summer parties and barbeques are great ways of socialising, whatever the purpose, and they can be as formal or relaxed as the host desires.

There are a few basic points that businesses or groups must take into consideration when hosting such an event.

Guest lists are obviously very important and organisers must decide whether it will be employees or clients only, or whether their partners will be invited, and numbers will then determine the type of venue to book.

Different needs must also be catered for, especially with a barbeque, where it can be easy to forget that some partygoers may not eat meat, or have other special dietary requirements.

Location is also key to achieving the right ambiance, so below are a couple of ideas to help organisers get inspired.

One venue that knows how to stage a fantastic summer party is Stanmer House, near Brighton and Hove in the heart of the Sussex countryside.

This magnificent country house, which dates back to 1727, was once the ancestral home of the Pelham family and the Earls of Chichester and is now open to businesses looking to impress partygoers and couples seeking an idyllic setting for their wedding.

It is an historic venue, featuring many of its original period features, and as such creates a unique backdrop for a summer party.

Stanmer House promises to deliver an event to remember, whether it is a small intimate celebration or an extravagant affair which takes up the whole house and gardens, or even involves setting up a funfair in the grounds.

Meanwhile, the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) can also offer organisers a party with a difference.

For those wishing to host an event with a backdrop of military grandeur and historical prestige, the company's headquarters, Armoury House, is an ideal location.

The HAC dates back to 1537, when it was incorporated into the Royal Charter, and it still has regiment which forms part of the Territorial Army.

It is now a registered charity and uses its headquarters as a home for the troops and as a venue for functions, weddings and conferences in order to raise funds.

The HAC's stunning property, set in a six-acre garden just a stone's throw from Moorgate, caters for groups of all sizes and has a variety of events to choose from.

Businesses can hire out the Artillery Garden for barbeques or even for sports such as cricket, football, rugby, softball and croquet, for a distinctive take on the summer party.

The HAC has recently released dates for the 2009 cricket season, opening up its grounds for businesses to take the unique opportunity of playing the sport of Kings in the centre of London.

Event organisers can book the pitch from May until September, including the use of changing rooms, from between £2,250 and £2,750 plus VAT and hire the Prince Consort Rooms to entertain players before or after the game.

In July, the company also holds a week of summer lunches in a marquee on the Artillery Garden, for those who want to host a more leisurely party.

Ultimately, organisers need to decide who they are catering for and deliver an event which will best suit the type of guests, purpose of the party and tastes of those involved.

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