HOW WE ORGANISE 100,000 GUESTS EACH YEAR
INTERVIEW WITH OUR CUSTOMER SERVICES MANAGER, LAUREN.
30TH JULY 2019 //
Organising a Christmas party may sound simple. But making sure over 100,000 guests arrive at the right place, the right time, sit in the right seats and eat the right food is no small job!
We catch up with Lauren, our Customer Services Manager, to find out how it’s done…
HI LAUREN! IT’S JULY AND THE SUN IS SHINING… ARE PEOPLE HONESTLY BOOKING THEIR CHRISTMAS PARTIES NOW?!
We get asked the same question each year!! We have customers ringing as early as January wanting to get booked in even before we have even decided on the themes… It’s mad! Tickets for 2019 are selling fast with over 50,000 tickets sold already and some peak nights now SOLD OUT!
WHAT’S THE GENERAL BOOKING PROCESS FOR GUESTS THROUGH THE YEAR?
We have always ensured that our booking process is kept simple from start to finish to make it as stress free as possible for our customers. Everyone has the option to hold tickets for their preferred date for 10 days whilst they confirm their numbers and gather deposits. Once the deposit has been paid the organiser isn’t required to do anything else until 10 weeks before the event, which is when we send a gentle reminder for their balance payment, guest list and menu choices which is required in 2 weeks’ time. The organiser then has the option to pre-order drinks for their table(s), which we do always advise. Once this has been done their booking complete and they will just need to remember to turn up on the evening!
YOU MUST HAVE SOME PRETTY FANCY SOFTWARE TO KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING?
We are lucky in the fact that we have invested in some bespoke software which allows us to track all of our customers from their very first enquiry right up until the night of their party, so we can ensure that they are fully aware of everything which must be completed prior to the event. This is a must have when we are dealing with 100,000 guests.
HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THE RISE IN ALLERGIES OVER RECENT YEARS? IT SEEMS NOW EVERYONE’S ALLERGIC TO SOMETHING?!
It wasn’t until I started working for Vivid Experience that I realised the high volume of allergies and intolerance’s people have when it comes to food. Due to the high volume of guests we cater for each night, we ensure that full training on all allergens and intolerance’s within our menu is given to each and every staff member at head office and at the venues. Once our Head Chef knows exactly where they are buying all of the ingredients from, we will then have a meeting and go through all the allergen information and make notes where adaptations to the current menu can be made when needed. Once this has been done and signed off by each Head Chef onsite, we can then pass this information onto our customers ready for when menu orders are placed prior to the event to ensure every request is dealt with.
WITH 100,000 GUESTS TO ORGANISE EACH YEAR, BE HONEST, YOU MUST HAVE HAD SOME SPECTACULAR FAILS?!!
In all honesty I can probably count on one hand the amount of major issues we have experienced on the evening since I started in 2015. A couple being when at two of our venues a table has been missed off the table plan by accident which resulted in a party nearly having nowhere to sit for dinner. Luckily, final checks are done each night, and this was picked up in enough time to scramble a spare table and chairs together without any of the party noticing…Phew!
Thanks Lauren, we can’t wait for this years parties.