Not too soon to lock in end-of-year holiday party plans

The weather is still sweltering and Halloween is a month away, but according to those in the know, it’s not too soon to be making plans for December and January holiday parties.

Stone Mountain Stars and Strikes, an entertainment venue that features bowling, arcade games and laser tag, held an event Sept. 19 to showcase its party room, catering and how it can give its meeting space a holiday makeover with twinkling lights, floral arrangements and more.

Larry Myricks, Stars and Strikes director of sales, said his venue has already been getting queries and bookings for Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve events.

“People have been calling us since mid-August,” said Myricks. “We only have a limited amount of space.”

Olivia Fields of Covington said she attended the Stars and Strikes event to evaluate the meeting space, to network and to sample the food.
“This is my opportunity to network with people for my nonprofit and work from home,” said Fields who runs Desire to Inspire, an organization that focuses on hunger relief, personal growth and neighborhood beautification.

Fields, who has attended the showcase in previous years, said she was impressed with the buffet offerings that included sweet potato souffle, pot roast, pasta, asparagus and a ham carving station.

“It’s beautiful,” said Fields as she looked around the room that included a Christmas tree with lights in one corner. “It just gets better and better every year.”

Chantanell Grayer, sales manager of Doubletree at Northlake, also attended the Stars and Strikes showcase.

“You need to book now,” said Grayer of those thinking of having a special event at a hotel or other venue.

One of Grayer’s Doubletree colleagues Candise Prude added that delays in decision-making can lead to missed opportunities. She recalled that recently a potential customer looked at a Doubletree space for a holiday event but when she called back a couple of days later the space had been booked and was not available.

Prude said venues such as the Doubletree have businesses and other groups that have standing dates and times that they book annually which means fewer available dates for others to consider.

Myricks agrees that corporate clients are usually the ones who book early and that there are only so many weekends in November and December.

Fridays and Saturdays get snapped up quickly. The key, according to Myricks, is to be flexible with one’s dates for an event and to consider Sundays and weekdays as well. It’s also a good idea to consider different times of day for and event and not be solely focused on having it in the evening, he said.

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