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sharkhunter
08-31-2013, 09:29 PM
My squadron is in a dilemma that it might have to cancel ours because we cannot find a location within reason to host ours. The FSS had a base wide lottery for use of their facilities, and we were given a pretty lousy date...Nov 30. For those who haven't checked, that's during our Thanksgiving weekend. Many within the squadron have made it very clear that they will not sacrifice their 4 day weekend plans to go to a party. So, the party planners are really looking hard for a location (more than they should since some are taking time during work), but its down to a few choices...

1)have a party at an expensive location, but have high ticket prices, and very few gifts.
2)have the party at the gym, but limited alcohol, cold cut dinner, but have lots of gifts.
3)No party...there's always next year

Has anyone ever been involved or known of a squadron/unit that actually cancelled their Christmas/Holiday party?

BOSS302
08-31-2013, 09:45 PM
My squadron is in a dilemma that it might have to cancel ours because we cannot find a location within reason to host ours. The FSS had a base wide lottery for use of their facilities, and we were given a pretty lousy date...Nov 30. For those who haven't checked, that's during our Thanksgiving weekend. Many within the squadron have made it very clear that they will not sacrifice their 4 day weekend plans to go to a party. So, the party planners are really looking hard for a location (more than they should since some are taking time during work), but its down to a few choices...

1)have a party at an expensive location, but have high ticket prices, and very few gifts.
2)have the party at the gym, but limited alcohol, cold cut dinner, but have lots of gifts.
3)No party...there's always next year

Has anyone ever been involved or known of a squadron/unit that actually cancelled their Christmas/Holiday party?

Whoever is managing the use of the facilities is a Grade A moron. Nov. 30th...really?

I am certain your squadron has a "Holiday Party Planning Committee". Since their EPRs/1206s will soon read like something out of a Nobel Prize nomination, I would suggest you hold them to a high standard. They can find a suitable location that does not break the bank and does not need to rely upon the base facilities.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
08-31-2013, 09:53 PM
My sq had ours in one of the large aircraft hangers. Pot luck, kegs of beer, designated drivers, magician and bouncy castle for the kids, and lots of gifts. What was also cool is people on shift could stop by for a meal and chance to win gifts. Oh yeah, admittance was free. HUGE success!

Much better than the typical, overpriced event at a hotel where kids need daycare and only 1/3 (if that) of the sq show up.

Vrake
08-31-2013, 10:00 PM
My sq had ours in one of the large aircraft hangers. Pot luck, kegs of beer, designated drivers, magician and bouncy castle for the kids, and lots of gifts. What was also cool is people on shift could stop by for a meal and chance to win gifts. HUGE success!

Much better than the typical, overpriced event at a hotel where kids need daycare and only 1/3 (if that) of the sq show up.


This sounds good... In the end it's what you make it no matter the location.

Or do it on a non typical day,get up close to Christmas and have one on a tues or weds night with the next day being off. I know it would suck for working spouses. Start around 1800 and let the members decide how long to sty after doing the gift giving at say 2000.

Mr. Happy
08-31-2013, 10:00 PM
In 23 years, I've seen these things morph into huge high cost planning efforts compared to the simple, affordable, yet enjoyable Christmas get-togethers we had years ago. You would think units are planning a White House State Dinner with these things anymore. Then you have to practically arm twist people to go. It's become such an expectation anymore, there's a perception to not have one somehow on a grand scale means the unit doesn't have good morale, or doesn't care. All self-inflicted ass pain. If there's a demand for one from the unit's personnel, by all means have one, but it doesn't need to be some grand affair that passes out 47 inch TVs and iPads and serves wine and filet mignon. You see it with other events too anymore. I heard my base's Air Force Ball budget was going to be $40,000!!! Yet tickets are still 60 bucks a pop...ridiculous.

Some of the best ones I attended were simple affairs at some VFW post, with a few kegs, some fun gift swapping games and fundraiser debt payoffs donning goofy elf custumes.

sharkhunter
08-31-2013, 10:28 PM
Some of the best ones I attended were simple affairs at some VFW post, with a few kegs, some fun gift swapping games and fundraiser debt payoffs donning goofy elf custumes.

That's the thing, it seems that whenever we open our email, there's always someone fundraising for something: Booster Club, Special Olympics, Children's Hospital, CFC, etc. Our booster club has been fundraising in the usual and sometimes outrages ways. Yet, it still seems that we're going to pay a high ticket price for the Party if the CC decides to have one. Many people are expecting the high end value items as in years past: large screen tvs, game systems, iPads, stereo systems, digital cameras, etc. If that's not part of the party, why should someone go?

Absinthe Anecdote
08-31-2013, 11:09 PM
That's the thing, it seems that whenever we open our email, there's always someone fundraising for something: Booster Club, Special Olympics, Children's Hospital, CFC, etc. Our booster club has been fundraising in the usual and sometimes outrages ways. Yet, it still seems that we're going to pay a high ticket price for the Party if the CC decides to have one. Many people are expecting the high end value items as in years past: large screen tvs, game systems, iPads, stereo systems, digital cameras, etc. If that's not part of the party, why should someone go?

To be with your squadron mates and celebrate the season?

sandsjames
08-31-2013, 11:23 PM
To be with your squadron mates and celebrate the season?

You don't really believe this crap...do you? Does anyone go to these things for the reason you stated?

Absinthe Anecdote
08-31-2013, 11:34 PM
You don't really believe this crap...do you? Does anyone go to these things for the reason you stated?

There are a few units out there like that, not many but a few. Do you really despise the people in your unit to such a degree that going to a party with them is so unthinkable?

USMC0341
08-31-2013, 11:35 PM
Obviously I'm not Air Force, and as such, not quite familiar with your holiday/Christmas party. Is this a formal event, or more of an informal, spend some time with your folks and family type event?

If it's a formal event then someone dropped the ball, if its not formal, then I suggest having it at the OIC's house and have him/her supply everything as a show of appreciation.

Oh and I starting drinking a little early so I'm posting here when I normally stay out of Air Force centric things, but now I know the mods will slap your hands if you respond with mean words to me (sarcasm...no wait, that is really what they do.)

Whoever got the largest retention bonus should sponsor the event at a swanky offsite hotel, problem solved.

sandsjames
08-31-2013, 11:37 PM
There are a few units out there like that, not many but a few. Do you really despise the people in your unit to such a degree that going to a party with them is so unthinkable?

Before I retired!!!...I didn't despise anyone. However, I didn't think of the Christmas party as a thing to spend time with my "squadron mates". I know leadership likes to think that's what we go for, but they are pretty out of touch. It's almost embarrassing to listen to sometimes.

Absinthe Anecdote
08-31-2013, 11:50 PM
Before I retired!!!...I didn't despise anyone. However, I didn't think of the Christmas party as a thing to spend time with my "squadron mates". I know leadership likes to think that's what we go for, but they are pretty out of touch. It's almost embarrassing to listen to sometimes.

Why are you so uptight about socializing with people you work with then?

What other reason is there to have a party?

USMC0341
08-31-2013, 11:52 PM
Sounds like some of you need some team building exercises to bring you together and build some comraderie...do they have a CBT for that?

Nickymaz
09-01-2013, 12:07 AM
Obviously I'm not Air Force, and as such, not quite familiar with your holiday/Christmas party. Is this a formal event, or more of an informal, spend some time with your folks and family type event?

If it's a formal event then someone dropped the ball, if its not formal, then I suggest having it at the OIC's house and have him/her supply everything as a show of appreciation.

Oh and I starting drinking a little early so I'm posting here when I normally stay out of Air Force centric things, but now I know the mods will slap your hands if you respond with mean words to me (sarcasm...no wait, that is really what they do.)

Whoever got the largest retention bonus should sponsor the event at a swanky offsite hotel, problem solved.

A lot of it depends on the size and character of the unit. Some squadrons can be as as small as 50 people some can be several hundred, so the venue will likely have to be larger. Usually these are either informal or semi-formal, I've seen some units have themes like ugly sweaters.

technomage1
09-01-2013, 12:08 AM
Use a warehouse, a hangar, or an other large structure you can find. Or use a local park - a lot of them have rooms for rent at a very reasonable price.

And tell the base committee to get stuffed. Nov 30th for a holiday party? They must be joking.

I too wish we could return to the days of simple holiday parties that were potluck and didn't require extensive planning and fundraising throughout the year. I don't attend anymore because its just so full of nonsense.

Airborne
09-01-2013, 12:59 AM
If you dont mind, OP, where are you stationed? Unless you are at the smallest rural-est base there is always a convention hall or something available in town. Im always a big fan of fancy without (or with cheap) gifts. When I worked in a big unit we also did the big hangar thing with people on shift swinging by for a plate and kids welcome. These days its always at night and kids not welcome. Thus making people have to spring for a babysitter when they otherwise wouldnt want to. Since my kid was born I have not been to a holiday party with my spouse as she will not trust anyone with a baby sitter.

Okie
09-01-2013, 01:03 AM
My sq had ours in one of the large aircraft hangers. Pot luck, kegs of beer, designated drivers, magician and bouncy castle for the kids, and lots of gifts. What was also cool is people on shift could stop by for a meal and chance to win gifts. Oh yeah, admittance was free. HUGE success!

Much better than the typical, overpriced event at a hotel where kids need daycare and only 1/3 (if that) of the sq show up.

Same here.

sandsjames
09-01-2013, 01:10 AM
Why are you so uptight about socializing with people you work with then?

What other reason is there to have a party?I'm not uptight about it. I just don't think of a Christmas party as a time to spend with my squadron mates. Especially since most I've been to end up with people from the same shop hanging out together anyway. I just think that the whole "sharing time with your squadron mates" is a joke.

Chief_KO
09-01-2013, 01:25 AM
I probably only went to about 10 or so during my 30 years. I always enjoyed the potlucks much better. The formal Christmas party is more for the spouses to get dressed up (and usually create some drama during or after the party). The whole gift thing has gotten way out of control, too much $ spent (meaning too many fundraiser$). I think the best ones I remember were the ones not in a hotel or club...the ones in hangar or warehouse or VFW were better. Heck I remember '89 in Korea we had our party at the Top Gun club (we finished around 1900, the dancers took the stage and it was another fun night in Songtan).

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-01-2013, 01:46 AM
The best Xmas party I've attended was the one where I won a blueray player. I immediately called all maintainers up to the front of the room and asked them who was their favorite NFL team. The one guy who yelled out my team received my blueray player. It was an awesome feeling!

Airborne
09-01-2013, 01:50 AM
And it seems like every. single. fundraiser during the year is for the "holiday party". Is it that big of a deal? I seem to have more fun at the summer BBQ or spring fling that isnt as pressured to attend and is sort of self funded and where the kids are invited.

OtisRNeedleman
09-01-2013, 03:08 AM
You don't really believe this crap...do you? Does anyone go to these things for the reason you stated?

Maybe not always now. But in the AF of not that long ago, indeed, people got together to be with their teammates and celebrate the season. Heck, the best holiday parties I can remember were those at my last assignment, at DLI. Our AF Element was small but we had fun together, probably because there were so few of us and we were all spread out during the duty day.

OtisRNeedleman
09-01-2013, 03:13 AM
If you dont mind, OP, where are you stationed? Unless you are at the smallest rural-est base there is always a convention hall or something available in town. Im always a big fan of fancy without (or with cheap) gifts. When I worked in a big unit we also did the big hangar thing with people on shift swinging by for a plate and kids welcome. These days its always at night and kids not welcome. Thus making people have to spring for a babysitter when they otherwise wouldnt want to. Since my kid was born I have not been to a holiday party with my spouse as she will not trust anyone with a baby sitter.

It's funny...as much as I despised being stationed at NSA they did some good stuff for the families. Around Christmas time they'd have a holiday thing for the kids in the cafeteria. The little folks, with their parents, were escorted in. Then you had NSA Day at Kings' Dominion in the spring. Place was open only for NSA people and their families. Great fun all around.

Absinthe Anecdote
09-01-2013, 06:49 AM
I'm not uptight about it. I just don't think of a Christmas party as a time to spend with my squadron mates. Especially since most I've been to end up with people from the same shop hanging out together anyway. I just think that the whole "sharing time with your squadron mates" is a joke.

What other conceivable reason is there for having a party if it is not to spend time with other people?

I'm sorry but you do sound very uptight about it.

imported_KnuckleDragger
09-01-2013, 11:20 AM
The "Holiday Spirit" is strong in this thread. :poke:

efmbman
09-01-2013, 11:56 AM
3303
........................

Wonderful... can't seem to post images... again. *sigh*

sandsjames
09-01-2013, 12:26 PM
What other conceivable reason is there for having a party if it is not to spend time with other people?

I'm sorry but you do sound very uptight about it.

It is to spend time with other people. It just so happens that it ends up being the people you hang out with anyway. Very seldom do I see people roaming around (other that Commanders, Chiefs, and Shirts). Everyone hangs out at their table. Oh, and after the "grand prize" is given out, the place empties. Try something this year. Have a party with no prizes to entice people. See how many people show up to spend time with their squadron mates. You'll get the people who have to save face with leadership and you'll get the E4 and below who are getting a free ticket. I didn't make the rules. I just know that your idea of why people is there is way off.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-01-2013, 01:11 PM
It is to spend time with other people. It just so happens that it ends up being the people you hang out with anyway. Very seldom do I see people roaming around (other that Commanders, Chiefs, and Shirts). Everyone hangs out at their table. Oh, and after the "grand prize" is given out, the place empties. Try something this year. Have a party with no prizes to entice people. See how many people show up to spend time with their squadron mates. You'll get the people who have to save face with leadership and you'll get the E4 and below who are getting a free ticket. I didn't make the rules. I just know that your idea of why people is there is way off.

I agree, but making it free, serving free beer, and making it a family oriented event does make a difference, prizes or not.

sandsjames
09-01-2013, 02:01 PM
I agree, but making it free, serving free beer, and making it a family oriented event does make a difference, prizes or not.

It does, absolutely. But having to do those things shows how interested most people really are. Get rid of the freebies and prizes and see who shows. You've seen it, I've seen it. Numbers are low a month or so before the party, so the booster club continues to add incentives to get people to come. If the party was about the ideal purpose we're talking about, those things wouldn't need to happen.

BOSS302
09-01-2013, 03:19 PM
It does, absolutely. But having to do those things shows how interested most people really are. Get rid of the freebies and prizes and see who shows. You've seen it, I've seen it. Numbers are low a month or so before the party, so the booster club continues to add incentives to get people to come. If the party was about the ideal purpose we're talking about, those things wouldn't need to happen.

Maybe I'm missing something. Who would want to go to a Christmas party with nothing to offer? If my squadron said we were having a Christmas party that had nothing - no beer, no food, nothing - then I wouldn't go because that would....well, suck.

So yeah, of course the numbers would be low. If I'm going to go to a gathering outside of work with people I work with on a daily basis, there better be some incentives. I'm cheap and easy - free beer and free food will entice me. No need to spend $7k on bullshit.

Drackore
09-01-2013, 04:16 PM
Ok for starters, screw FSS. I've been stuck with planning Christmas parties for the past five years now, and two of them have been at the club, and FSS can choke on a very long genital of a male elephant. Too difficult to work with, food sucks, staff attitude sucks, and not worth it for the price.

Not knowing your exact location in the world, I can assure you of one thing: There is ALWAYS a place, there is ALWAYS a caterer, and there is ALWAYS booze - all that can be had within reason.

Another thing that can be had within grasp is a great time.

And it all requires a lot of hard work - IF you are willing to put forth the effort.

Some folks put in some great ideas: warehouses, hangars, I did a party in a maintenance bay of a mobility unit. We set up heaters, decorations...we were worried we'd be freezing our rears off...ended up melting our rears off and had to open the bay doors to cool off. Is the CC willing to hold this fiesta on a weekday and give folks late reporting (so they can sleep off their drinking)? Do you want kids there (my parties are never kid friendly..too loud, too drunk) or do you want to set up mutual kid-watching duties with another unit? Same with DD duties.

Gifts...gotta have gifts. One nice big gift...doesn't have to be the 90" Super HD 3D Hologram TV mind you...but something folks will Oooh and Ahh over. Then lots of reasonably priced gifts. We also did mementos. I've done two "Vegas Nights" themed holiday parties now, so the best memento was the Poker Chip, with the unit name and slogan on it.

I've spent from $5k to $15k on parties. All were successes, and not because of *me* but because of the team I had the pleasure of working with. You get them in the mindset that "This year we will put on the best party ever" and guess what...you will.

Granted you are running out of time and under the gun...but shoot me a PM...I can help ya. Let me know where you are. I've worked Germany, Japan, and some US places. I am sure we can find you a location. Yea...people will have to pay...but if you start advertising it soon and hyping it up...you'll make them WANT to!

sandsjames
09-01-2013, 06:54 PM
Maybe I'm missing something. Who would want to go to a Christmas party with nothing to offer? If my squadron said we were having a Christmas party that had nothing - no beer, no food, nothing - then I wouldn't go because that would....well, suck.

So yeah, of course the numbers would be low. If I'm going to go to a gathering outside of work with people I work with on a daily basis, there better be some incentives. I'm cheap and easy - free beer and free food will entice me. No need to spend $7k on bullshit.

Of course you'd have food and a bar...but the point I'm making is that people don't go to hang out with the rest of the squadron. They go to hang out with the people they already hang out/work with.

Absinthe Anecdote
09-01-2013, 07:45 PM
Of course you'd have food and a bar...but the point I'm making is that people don't go to hang out with the rest of the squadron. They go to hang out with the people they already hang out/work with.

Why is that a negative? Aren't the people in your duty section also your squadron mates?

Why are you so bitter and sour about Christmas parties?

I don't need a chance to win a prize as a requirement to go to a social function.

Hell, it is all those damn prizes that create a need for the pain in the ass fund raisers.

sharkhunter
09-01-2013, 08:42 PM
If you dont mind, OP, where are you stationed? Unless you are at the smallest rural-est base there is always a convention hall or something available in town. Im always a big fan of fancy without (or with cheap) gifts. When I worked in a big unit we also did the big hangar thing with people on shift swinging by for a plate and kids welcome. These days its always at night and kids not welcome. Thus making people have to spring for a babysitter when they otherwise wouldnt want to. Since my kid was born I have not been to a holiday party with my spouse as she will not trust anyone with a baby sitter.

I'm station in the UK. And you're right about the kids portion. A lot of squadron members who have kids don't normally attend. Last year we made a deal with another squadron: they would babysit children during our Christmas party and then we babysit during their party. It was really popular with everyone involved! Many famility would not have attended because they didn't want to spend the extra $40 for their children or there wasn't enough room.
The party committee is constantly looking for a venue within reason. However, with a limited budget, none of the places off base seem like an option. The cheapest place so far is asking for about $40 per person for a three course meal. Naturally the booster club will cover most of the cost so the ticket cost will be less than $30. But thats still going to be a lot of cash for a family with two children to fork over.
One of the things that's making it difficult to select a venue is last year we had a venue that had a capacity of 150 total...lots of people that wanted to go couldn't. The venues off base have a capacity of less than 150 or do not have a bar.

sandsjames
09-01-2013, 08:50 PM
Why is that a negative? Aren't the people in your duty section also your squadron mates?

Why are you so bitter and sour about Christmas parties?

I don't need a chance to win a prize as a requirement to go to a social function.

Hell, it is all those damn prizes that create a need for the pain in the ass fund raisers.

Work section and "squadron mates" are different. 6-15 people in my shop (before I retired!!!!) and 150 in the squadron. Honestly, I wasn't concerned with anything any of the other shops did.

sharkhunter
09-01-2013, 09:03 PM
Its very unlikely that the CC will allow for a party on a weekday. Although I have seen it before where the smaller units on my base did have their parties at the club on a Thursday. Not sure how they were feeling on that Friday or if they even showed up to work on Friday.
I think the worst part of this is the booster club did a horrible job in fundraising throughout the year and now they're scrambling to raise more funds.
Last year, they had near $7K at this time of the year. This year, its nowhere near that. To save money on spending presents, every flight is asked to make a gift basket up to $50 and that will be one of gifts that will be handed out. There was already push back from some as to why they are donating money to a gift basket if they are not going to the party.

Chief_KO
09-01-2013, 10:57 PM
I see the problem... $7K budget for a Christmas Party?????

BRUWIN
09-01-2013, 11:06 PM
The best Holiday party I ever attended was a formal affair and everyone was kissing my ass. It was a good party.

Chief_KO
09-01-2013, 11:08 PM
The best Holiday party I ever attended was a formal affair and everyone was kissing my ass. It was a good party.

ha ha ha ha ha... It didn't happen unless there are photos:redface:

Chief_KO
09-01-2013, 11:11 PM
It's funny...as much as I despised being stationed at NSA they did some good stuff for the families. Around Christmas time they'd have a holiday thing for the kids in the cafeteria. The little folks, with their parents, were escorted in. Then you had NSA Day at Kings' Dominion in the spring. Place was open only for NSA people and their families. Great fun all around.

I remember those, we didn't do the King's Dominion, but the holiday party was pretty cool. Big turn out too. DIRNSA walked around and shook everyone's hand and talked with every child.

OtisRNeedleman
09-02-2013, 05:17 AM
I remember those, we didn't do the King's Dominion, but the holiday party was pretty cool. Big turn out too. DIRNSA walked around and shook everyone's hand and talked with every child.

On a much smaller and more personal level, I'll never forget my pinning-on to major while at NSA, first duty day after New Year's Day, 1994. A single dad at the time, I brought in my 10-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. We also brought a cake. Forget exactly where we did it. Our division chief, a Navy captain, pinned on one oak leaf while my daughter pinned on the other. Got a picture of that, and afterward a picture of myself, my kids, and the good captain. Those pictures are part of my framed service montage. Only thing from the active-duty career I hang on the wall. As little as I liked being at NSA, sometimes they did some good stuff for you and your kids.

Absinthe Anecdote
09-02-2013, 10:57 AM
On a much smaller and more personal level, I'll never forget my pinning-on to major while at NSA, first duty day after New Year's Day, 1994. A single dad at the time, I brought in my 10-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. We also brought a cake. Forget exactly where we did it. Our division chief, a Navy captain, pinned on one oak leaf while my daughter pinned on the other. Got a picture of that, and afterward a picture of myself, my kids, and the good captain. Those pictures are part of my framed service montage. Only thing from the active-duty career I hang on the wall. As little as I liked being at NSA, sometimes they did some good stuff for you and your kids.

It is such a big place that your personal experiences can vary greatly. You could move from one branch in a division to another and have a vastly different experience as to job satisfaction and team dynamics.

I had crappy civilian bosses and a couple who were simply amazing people. I had jobs there that were mind numbingly boring and jobs that were downright exciting.

I did a total of three tours at NSA that accounted for about half of my career, it isn't such a bad place, it just depends.

We used to have some nice parties out at Burba Lake and the summer picnics there were usually decent.

Drackore
09-02-2013, 12:17 PM
Ok so we are in September and you currently have $7K for a party and a CC that doesn't want it on a weekday. Am I tracking on you proper?

If so, we have some problems to work around:

1) Obviously you need to start making some money and fast. Pancake/burrito sales are a good weekly money maker, especially after unit PT sessions. Advertise it, then make sure you have people cooking so the smell hits the offices and work areas by the time people roll in after their PT so they smell it. You'll start making some decent profit. If your base is like mine, that won't count against any "fund raising" as it is self contained within your unit. You can do this on a weekly basis. Yes, your unit will suffer fundraising burnout, but you will need to do it. I was in a similar crisis last year.

2) You will need to get in on any big base fundraisers that your booster club can make the big profits from. I don't know personally what sells big in the UK. In Japan, unfrosted cakes, funnel cakes, and turkey legs were our money makers. In Germany, the big money makers seem to be turkey legs again and beef chili. If your next few big base events aren't letting locals on, then you are stuck with whatever just seems to sell good.

3) Now here comes the hard part. Assuming I read right and your CC doesn't want to do this on a M-Thur night...your options are limited, so you really...REALLY need to book a place NOW! So that causes more grief: Kids, or no kids. Again, my personal preference was no kids. Get a squadron to team up with and take turns babysitting and DD'ing. We would set a few tickets aside and feed the DD'ers. Anyways...that is up to you all. Next thing is: Are you going to price tickets based on rank tiers? E1-E4: $X, E5-E7: $Y, E8 and above: $Z, with X being the cheap price and Z being more expensive? Last year my CC literally DEMANDED we find a way for all Airmen to attend for free...so imagine our stress in fundraising to cover that nonsense as well (but it made selling the whole "no kids" thing even easier).

Ok, all that said. Remember in your budget that as the Booster club covers the costs for tickets, you do want people to pay for some of it, that commits them to attending. Another thing that I did in the past was I allowed them to "top up" their tickets for the "prize drawings" (don't call it a raffle...legal gets antsy). So let's say you sell Amn tickets for $10, NCO tickets for $20, and SNCO/Officer tickets for $30. They each get an admission ticket which also enters them into the drawing for prizes. They can also "top up" for an additional $5 a pop at the time they pay for their entry tickets for additional chances. So Amn Johnny buys his $10 party ticket and wants 5 top-ups, he gives you $35.

The key to doing well with top-ups is to probably have at least the grand prize and/or a secondary prize already announced. (btw: women love coach purses. Getting your male squadron members to tell their wives your unit is giving away a coach purse is almost guaranteed to sell a ticket and a top-up).

As the Booster Club working on low/limited funds this close to the holidays, you will want to ask your Officers and your sq Top 3 to donate. Our Officers and Top-3 put together gift baskets to be part of the "drawing". One did a travel gift basket (luggage set with your typical travel goodies of suitcases, travel pillows, etc) and the other did a video game assortment of Xbox games, controllers, headset). They also pitched in some $20 and $50 Visa giftcards.

Find your own DJ, or even better, if the place has their own sound system that can plug into with an iPod/Zune/whatever...create your own playlist and just learn how to adjust the volume (holiday music for social hour and dinner, dancing music for when the formal event is over). Find your own photographer. Someone in your unit knows someone with an expensively good camera that will do it for really cheap and an EPR bullet.

Now...back to this location dilemma. First off, if the places you are looking at are too pricey, start thinking a little outside the box. For example, would you rather have a nice place and a boring party...or a drab place and a really fun party? I bring this up because we can all agree that the club can be a pretty boring place to be, but if you plan a fun party and execute it well...it doesn't matter if it's at the E-Club or at the Ritz, right? I've been in aircraft hangars, fancy European hotels, E-clubs, O-Clubs, Japanese Spas, Vegas Resorts, Biloxi Casinos. Some parties rocked...others were disasters (the fancy European hotel...total disaster, the last one I did at the E-club...complete success).

So if you find your funds hurting bad...start looking for caterers only. Get food delivered and find a hangar, a maintenance bay, whatever. Then you start looking to decorate. Make a theme. Night at the Oscars, Hollywood Glitz, Party Like a Rockstar, Vegas Nights, Broadway, a UK/Euro theme. Make it so people can come dressed to the nines...or semi-formal, or even in character. We did a Mafia Vegas theme one year...some folks showed up dressed in character, some came in jeans and tennis shoes. No one cared.

If you pick a theme, create some games and a script to match the theme. Hollywood theme? Movie trivia to win a gift card. Vegas theme? Dice game or a card tower building game to win a prize. Musical chairs and scavenger hunts for table prizes.

You can fill up 2-3 hrs just giving away a dozen prizes with a good script....people will have fun and not care that you are inside a maintenance bay or the ballroom of some glam hotel. It's what you do, not where you are.

Again, PM me if you need more. I can try to dig up last years script if you want it (and if I can find it) tomorrow. Really try to push your CC to open up more calendar wiggle room for you though, if he's limiting it to only F-Sa nights. Ugh.

BENDER56
09-02-2013, 06:35 PM
Last year my CC literally DEMANDED we find a way for all Airmen to attend for free...so imagine our stress in fundraising to cover that nonsense as well (but it made selling the whole "no kids" thing even easier).

Ironically, free tickets often result in more no-shows. The Holidays are hectic for most of us and it's tempting before some event to simply say, "Aw, eff it; let's just stay home tonight and relax." If it's free, people have no buy-in (literally) to attend, but even a nominal fee provides a psychological impetus to go. Five bucks (ten for a couple) shouldn't break even an E-1.

Drackore
09-03-2013, 05:11 AM
Ironically, free tickets often result in more no-shows. The Holidays are hectic for most of us and it's tempting before some event to simply say, "Aw, eff it; let's just stay home tonight and relax." If it's free, people have no buy-in (literally) to attend, but even a nominal fee provides a psychological impetus to go. Five bucks (ten for a couple) shouldn't break even an E-1.

That was my argument. I pushed hard to for a $5 Amn ticket and he wouldn't have it. He wanted free. When drawing time came around, I was calling a lot of tickets and having to redraw because no one spoke up, and there were quite a few empty seats we COULD have sold to people that wanted to go because an Amn signed up saying they would go...and then didn't. It was a good intention that just didn't work, especially if you have a limited venue.

BOSS302
09-03-2013, 08:42 AM
sharkhunter

From: XXXXXX
Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 9:39 AM
To: XXXX
Subject: Holiday Party Reservations


*********** Sent to you on behalf of the Galaxy Club ***********


The following dates and venues are still available for units and individuals to host their evening holiday party at the Galaxy Club:

Sun, 1 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Mon, 2 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Tue, 3 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Wed, 4 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Thu, 5 Dec Wellington at Middleton Hall
Fri, 6 Dec Wellington at Middleton Hall
Sun, 8 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Mon, 9 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Tue, 10 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Wed, 11 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Thu, 12 Dec Wellington at Middleton Hall
Fri, 13 Dec Wellington at Middleton Hall
Sun, 15 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Mon, 16 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Tue, 17 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Wed, 18 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Thu, 19 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Fri, 20 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Sat, 21 Dec Wellington at Middleton Hall
Sun, 22 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall
Mon, 23 Dec Galaxy Club Ballroom and the Wellington at Middleton Hall

Please call 238-7190 for additional information.


************ Sent to you on behalf of the Galaxy Club ***********

Drackore
09-03-2013, 09:19 AM
Well if you don't mind the avg at best food and the elevated club prices....you have good dates to pick from. How many people can they hold in their respective ball rooms?

BOSS302
09-03-2013, 09:22 AM
Well if you don't mind the avg at best food and the elevated club prices....you have good dates to pick from. How many people can they hold in their respective ball rooms?

Both Middleton Hall and the Galaxy Club ballroom are a decent size; they can accomodate a squadron's worth of people. You're right in that their food is average and their prices are not military friendly (as one would expect FSS' prices to be).

Pullinteeth
09-03-2013, 01:18 PM
Ok for starters, screw FSS. I've been stuck with planning Christmas parties for the past five years now, and two of them have been at the club, and FSS can choke on a very long genital of a male elephant. Too difficult to work with, food sucks, staff attitude sucks, and not worth it for the price.

If I am not mistaken, the AF REQUIRES you to check with Services before going somewhere else...and yeah, they suck.


So, last year I went to our Christmas party...for our contractor company.

They only ask us to pay $5...just so that they get an accurate headcount, right. I mean, it's like a $45 per head prime rib dinner that we get for $5. The company pays the rest.

Then we do a white elephant gift exchange...which was fun, I got a Crown royal gift set (comes with 2 glasses).

Anyway, the company was giving away a few door prizes, the best of which were 2 $500 checks....so those were drawn out of the tickets and given away.

Then our CEO and Owner, who had a few drinks and was a little tipsy...get's up and says... "Let's do another $500!" Woo hoo...much rejoicing...they did another.

Then...he did again...and another....and again, another....one more time, another....it was awesome...I didn't win, but like 6 people walked away with $500 checks from the CEO. Awesome.

Where does one get an application to work there?


Ok so we are in September and you currently have $7K for a party and a CC that doesn't want it on a weekday. Am I tracking on you proper?

You need a new commander. Tell him to let everyone out a bit early and have it on a Friday. Why does it have to bogart the whole weekend?

Stalwart
09-03-2013, 01:35 PM
Has your senior enlisted worked on the commander to address some flexibility with dates etc?

wxjumper
09-03-2013, 02:16 PM
My squadron is in a dilemma that it might have to cancel ours because we cannot find a location within reason to host ours. The FSS had a base wide lottery for use of their facilities, and we were given a pretty lousy date...Nov 30. For those who haven't checked, that's during our Thanksgiving weekend. Many within the squadron have made it very clear that they will not sacrifice their 4 day weekend plans to go to a party. So, the party planners are really looking hard for a location (more than they should since some are taking time during work), but its down to a few choices...

1)have a party at an expensive location, but have high ticket prices, and very few gifts.
2)have the party at the gym, but limited alcohol, cold cut dinner, but have lots of gifts.
3)No party...there's always next year

Has anyone ever been involved or known of a squadron/unit that actually cancelled their Christmas/Holiday party?
Check with the local VFWs for a cheap location to host the party.

Drackore
09-03-2013, 07:48 PM
Trackin'. Ok, you have a venue for size. Food is so-so...but you also have a bar. You have convenience of location, which makes it easier to set up DD with another unit as well (trade off).

Get an avg cost per head for me to do it there and we can work on how much you can discount tickets for the lower grades. Higher grades (Os and SNCOs) can pay full price. That should save you $$$ for prizes. iPod with a decent song selection saves you $$$ on the DJ.

Pick a theme and if you don't have the time or money to buy the decorations, get the spouses involved to craft your theme decorations. Script your party to lean towards the theme (as well as your iPod playlist for games and events). Basically we just planned your party in this thread. :D


Both Middleton Hall and the Galaxy Club ballroom are a decent size; they can accomodate a squadron's worth of people. You're right in that their food is average and their prices are not military friendly (as one would expect FSS' prices to be).

sharkhunter
09-03-2013, 08:52 PM
Not sure HOW it happen, but if you saw BOSS302's post (or saw the email if you are station here)...it seems that someone dropped the word to FSS about what's going on and sent out a very clear message...we have venues and dates!
Thanks to whoever it was that told FSS or the club.
As soon as I got the message/e-mail, I immediately e-mailed the president of holiday party committee and asked "I thought we were limited to the 30th?" The response was simple "we was (were), I'm calling now to set up a venue and date." Well s
Lucky for my squadron, the 14th is not open, I've scheduled a squadron morale event for that date two months ago (and if you're in my squadron, tickets orders for the morale event are still ongoing),
So again, thanks to whoever it was and thanks to this forum for letting me vent out a bit on what's going on. Now we should be able to shift our focus on a theme, prizes/gifts and food(maybe), which I might need some ideas to pass along the committee, so I'll send you a PM Drackore as soon as we get things settled.