Banff Jasper Collection

So you’ve been tasked with organizing your team’s Christmas party. If it seems early to start thinking about this, don’t be fooled. There’s never been a better time to get going on decking the halls, says Megan Bowman, team manager of Group Sales and Event Management for Banff Jasper Collection

Banff does wintertime really, really well and the demand for amazing events that time of year is high. “The best venues book up fast,” she says.

Here are some of her tips to help you get your head in the holiday spirit, and some of her top ideas.

Plan Ahead: The earlier you start planning, the better. “There tends to be lots of scrambling for Christmas parties,” Megan says. Some of the most sought-after venues like Sky Bistro at the Banff Gondola, book up early. Megan suggests getting started at least a couple of months out.

Pick a Great Spot: The best venue for a holiday party is somewhere that feels different from the office. Hands-down, Megan’s favourite choice for wow-factor is the Banff Gondola. “It’s really unique and unforgettable up there, completely different than anything else in town,” she says.

Santa on the rooftop patio at the Banff Gondola

Go Big or Go Small: You need to figure out how many people you’re including. Megan says options run from a private table in a restaurant like Sky Bistro or the Toque Pub with a set menu for 20 to renting out the entire venue and inviting up to 200 people. Once you determine how many people are on your list, then you can get down to the event’s theme.

Casual vs Formal: For something extra formal and upscale, Megan recommends renting out the entire restaurant and bringing in entertainment. For a more casual event, food stations make a great option – they’re informal and great for mingling! The menu can range from AAA steaks to poutine and pitchers of beers. Megan and her colleagues work with each client on their own particular needs and wants based on who their guests are.

Downtown Banff

Set a Budget: When it comes to pricing a holiday party, there’s generally a set base price, and then a slew of exciting options available to load on from there. Host bars, entertainment, transportation and extended hours can all be included. Menus can also be customized. Megan says there’s really good value at the Sky Bistro, where for $109 per person, guests get a spectacular four-course meal and gondola tickets to the beautiful top of Sulphur Mountain – a long way away from any office! “It’s actually really good value,” she says. “People may be surprised it’s such a good deal.”

Be Creative: “Every program we do is different, every client is different – that’s what I like the most about my job,” Megan says. From stargazing with professional astronomers at the top of Sulphur Mountain to caricaturists doing individual cartoons for guests inside a pub, there are so many fun options for making your party unforgettable. To tie in some holiday spirit, Megan suggests a gingerbread-making competition or an ice-carving demonstration. And Santa’s always an option too!

Outside in Winter

Details, Details, Details: So you’ve decided on an amazing venue and  you've come up with some creative ideas. Now what? Megan says she and her colleagues are “really well organized people – that’s what it takes to do this job!” You can rely on them to pull it all together for you. The most seamless event can include round-trip transportation from Calgary or Bow Valley on a Brewster motorcoach and a night at the Elk & Avenue Hotel, for example. The Banff Jasper Collection Group and Events Team can cover it all. “That means you don’t have to go anywhere else,” Megan says.

For unique and high-quality holiday parties at reasonable prices, contact Megan and her team. The sooner the better!

Call 1.888.345.8649 or email groups@brewster.ca.
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