Corporate Christmas Functions

We all look forward to the end of the year Christmas work function, it’s a great opportunity to get all the staff together and show them appreciation for the hard work done during the year. Revisit some of the year’s highlights with speeches and awards and maybe even some dancing. Silverstream Retreat is a little piece of paradise, surrounded by native bush and overlooking the Hutt Valley. With two flexible dining venues, delicious food including your favourite Christmas treats, impeccable service and onsite accommodation, we’ve got everything you need.

Our Function Manager is supported by a professional friendly team to ensure your event is successful, with an in-house executive chef and catering team. There are preset menus to help with your decision making, or a menu can be designed for you.

We have beautiful four star plus motels, twin share and bunk accommodation are available as a group booking. We are just 25 minutes from Wellington city and seven minutes from Lower Hutt CBD and there is ample parking available for all guests.

Now is the perfect time to book. Don’t miss out, contact our Functions Manager and start planning your function. Phone 04 562 9080 or email functions@silverstreamretreat.co.nz.

Get-the-most-out-of-seminars-and-conferences

Be prepared for your next conference or seminar

By attending a conference or seminar we gain new skills, find out the trends in our area and network with people.

Before attending the conference make sure you read through the agenda and any other pre-conference information, prioritise the sessions you want to attend. Prepare any questions you may want to ask speakers or exhibitors.

Remember to take plenty of business cards there are always plenty of opportunities when you’re meeting new contacts. When you receive a business card, it’s a good idea to make a quick note about that person on the back of the card so you can remember them in the future. It’s also a good idea to bring paper, pen, highlighter, camera and snacks.

Make sure you are on time, there’s nothing worse than arriving late and having to sit at the back or having an obstructed view, this is also good time to introduce yourself and meet more people.

At the conference, get involved and make yourself approachable. Make sure you practice your introduction, first impressions are important. Describe your business and briefly explain your role.

Be available for the social events, a lot of conferences include cocktail parties and dinners. These events are always a great opportunity to meet new people and network in a relaxed atmosphere.

Most of all relax and enjoy yourself.

Facebook-event

How to create a Facebook Event

Whether it’s a marketing event, product launch, party or fundraiser, the Facebook Event application is a free, effective way to promote an event and reach a wide audience. It is a great way to encourage people to engage, post on your wall and invite other friends.

The Facebook Event application is quick and simple to set up.

    • Click Events on the left side of your homepage.

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    • Click Create in the centre or on the left side under My Events.

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    • Fill in the event name, details, location and time, and then choose your privacy settings. Keep in mind that you must include an event name and time.
    • Click Invite Friends to add friends to the guest list. Check the names of the people you want to invite and then click Save.

Facebook-Event-photo3

  • Click Create.
  • You’ll be taken to your event where you can share posts, upload photos, invite more guests and edit event details.

For more details about creating an event and additional information like adding a place, weather information and sending messages to event guests visit Facebook Events.

Ways to promote your Facebook Event

  1. Create a registration page on your website, you can then direct traffic from your Facebook Event to the site. Here you can have more information about the event.
  2. Update your Facebook cover photo with an image that promotes the event and then include a link to the registration page on your website.
  3. Share the Event on your Facebook timeline, include a link to the Event page and add a call to action such as ‘Register Now’. Images draw the most attention so make sure you use an eye catching image promoting the event.
  4. Keep followers updated with information about speakers, discounts, competitions or pictures of the event preparation.
  5. If you have speakers or presenters at the event you can tag them in your post and encourage them to talk about the event.
  6. Give away tickets and create a buzz around the event. You can give away tickets by running a contest on your page, ‘like this post and be in to win free tickets’.
  7. Post videos from past events, tag guests and business that are in the videos. Videos attract more attention than text posts.
  8. Include a link to your Facebook Event page in your email signature.
  9. As the event date approaches post reminders for guests that have register and create some urgency for those that haven’t registered ‘Tickets selling fast’.

Go-GreenMake environmentally responsible choices for meetings and events

Planning a meeting or event while reducing its environmental impact can be quite overwhelming. Greening your meeting or event not only saves our planet but saves money, energy and can help local communities.

Here are some tips you can apply to your next meeting or event:

  1. Use a paperless system – Email meeting agendas; create a website where people can register online and then email confirmation.
  2. Use recycled paper – If printing is required have all printed materials published on recycled paper, using vegetable based inks, and on both sides of the page.
  3. Meet close – Reduce traveling distances and chose venues with accommodation onsite.
  4. Use local suppliers- This potentially means lower transport costs and emissions.
  5. Manage waste – Provide bins for compostables and recyclable.
  6. Promote transport options – Offer a bus service to the venue for attendees or encourage people to organise a car pool.

Greener Events Guide

Ministry of the Environment – Greener Events Guide

United Nations Environmental Programme – Sustainable Events Guide

Tips to help plan a successful event

Event planners play an important part of any event, they require acute organisation skills and pay constant attention to detail. We often watch with great interest the event planners we have at Silverstream Retreat, you can usually pick them out of the crowd they’re the ones with the clipboards or iPads delegating jobs and directing traffic.

  • Organisation and preparation are key when planning an event. Use the tips below for successful event planning:
  • Set your budget – determine which items are necessities and which are luxuries
  • Create a schedule – create a timeline, when to send out invitations, deliveries etc.
  • Determine the target audience – Tailor the event to suit your target audience, knowing the age group of your guests help you choose catering options and entertainment.
  • Assign roles – e.g. marketing coordinator, treasurer, contact person …
  • Update your budget weekly, give your team regular updates to help keep everyone on track
  • Communicate clearly, be specific with your instructions to staff, clients and vendors
  • Evaluate the event – provide and evaluation form at the event

Common food restrictions and allergies

Silverstream Retreat is committed to meeting the needs of guests who have special dietary restrictions (such as a food allergy, intolerance or other medically restricted diet) and recognises that many of our guests may also adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet. The Silverstream Retreat Function Manager can safely and reasonably guide event planners in making menu selections which can accommodate their guests.

Below is a basic outline to provide some knowledge into the most common restrictions and allergies. We have not included religious food restrictions as they are vast and complex.

 Gluten free (Celiac)

Gluten is a protein found in all forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, and spelt), rye, oats and barley. When people with celiac disease consume gluten, the absorptive villi in the small intestine are damaged, preventing the absorption of many important nutrients. The long-term effect of untreated celiac disease can be life threatening. However, with a completely gluten-free diet, the intestinal lining will heal completely allowing most patients to live a normal, healthy life as long as they remain free of gluten in their diet. Even a small amount of gluten can cause symptoms to reoccur.

Gluten is hidden in many unsuspecting foods such as liquorice, soy sauce, vinegar, some flavourings, most processed foods, self-basting turkeys, some cold cuts, and many prepared stocks and soups. It’s also used as a binder in some pharmaceutical products and can be the starch in unidentified food starch, modified food starch, caramel colouring, and vegetable protein. Avoid products where the ingredients are of questionable origin or are listed as simply “natural flavourings, flavour extracts, or spice extracts.”

Products to be avoided in any form are;

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Spelt, semolina, millet, buckwheat
  • Couscous, kamut
  • Commercial salad dressing
  • Instant coffee, malted milk
  • Canned stock, soup
  • Avoid white vinegar, beer, ale and anything made from grain alcohol
  • Curry powders, dry seasoning, some gravy mixes
  • Oil that was previously used for frying breaded foods
  • Canned tuna (except tuna containing only water and salt)

Diabetics

There are several types of diabetes. The most common are type 1 and type 2. In type 1, the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Individuals with type 1 need insulin injections in order to stay alive. Type 1 can occur at any age, but is usually seen in children and young adults.

With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces some insulin. Type 2 diabetes need insulin to regulate their blood glucose, while others respond well to diet therapy and exercise alone, or a combination of diet, exercise and oral medication.

Starches (pastas, rice, bread, cake, potatoes, corn, etc.), fruit and milk are high in carbohydrates. Once in your body, they break down into your cells’ preferred form of energy glucose. Insulin is needed to help your cells take in the glucose. With diabetes, your insulin cannot do this task properly. A diabetic diet helps you schedule your carbohydrate intake so that your cells can get the glucose that they need. Consuming too many carbohydrates – containing foods can raise your blood glucose way above normal; eating too few, can hurt your body by denying it the high quality energy that it needs. The timing of your meals is also important. The more that you eat at one meal, the more insulin you will need to utilize the energy from the breakdown of those foods. If you eat smaller portions throughout your day, you will not need as much insulin to bring down your blood sugar.

There are many types of diabetic diets. Some require a lot of measuring; some don’t require any measuring at all. All are planned to provide you with the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, along with vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients needed to keep you healthy. It would pay to have the guest give you some guide lines to what would be a suitable meal.

Medical and food allergies

True food allergies come in various forms. It can be a slight case such as a headaches or a rash to a certain product to some causing severe reactions, including death. The most common individual food allergies include those to peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans etc), fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, corn and wheat. If you are given information a guest has a food allergies to a product make sure you consider all the ingredients used in the meal being served. Read the ingredients on the packet of any products used in the guest’s meal.

Do not ever think that “little bit should not matter”. Allergies can kill!

Milk Allergies and Lactose intolerant (dairy free)

Lactose intolerance is the inability to properly digest milk sugar, also known as lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal bloating, gaseousness, flatulence, cramping, and diarrhoea following the consumption of food containing dairy products or by products. Milk protein allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins commonly found in cow’s milk. It is caused by your immune system reacting because it believes the protein in the milk is a threat to your body. Your immune system will do it’s best to get rid of the invader, just as it would a foreign virus or poison. During the allergic reaction your body releases histamine, a chemical which causes blood vessels to dilate and leak, mucous membranes to start producing skin rashes, vomiting and other effects.

Rice milk and soy milk and tofu are excellent substitutes. Avoid any dairy products such as butter, cheese, some margarines, cream and milk powders.

Vegetarian

Lacto-ovo Vegetarians eat dairy foods and eggs as well as plant foods. They do not eat the following;

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Ovo-vegetarians eat only eggs and plant foods. They do not eat the following;

  • Dairy foods
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Lacto-vegetarian eats dairy foods and plant foods. They do not eat;

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Vegans eat only plant foods and products. They do not eat any;

  • Animal foods
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

Acknowledgements

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org
Harvard University http://www.universityevents.harvard.edu/

What’s popular this year

So you’re trying to think of a great idea for this years Christmas party. We thought we’d do a little bit of research ourselves and find out what the most popular christmas party themes are this year. We were quite surprised to find the ‘Ugly Jumper Christmas Party’ was one of the most popular themes, while the all time favourite is the ‘Winter Wonderland Party’. One our favourite themes is the ‘Beach Christmas Party’ perfect for a New Zealand christmas.

Ugly Jumper Party Theme

sweater2The Ugly Jumper party theme is a great opportunity to show off those items of clothing hiding at the back of the wardrobe loved but never before worn in public. Complete the look with a pair of 80s stone washed jeans and some cheesy christmas music, everyone will have a rollicking good time.

Image source: http://whimsydream.wordpress.com

Winter Wonderland Christmas Party Theme

Winter-WonderlandAside from being the title of one of the most beloved christmas songs of all time, you can have fun in the snow while remaining nice and warm, with snowflakes and ice sculptures. Enjoy all the festive magic of winter without the cold.  At Silverstream Retreat we have a beautiful open fire place perfect for snuggling up by with hot chocolate and marshmallows or perhaps frozen martinis to celebrate at the end of the night.

Image source: http://beauxandbelles.net/winter-wonderland/

 Masquerade Ball Party Theme

Masquerade-ballMasquerade Balls are all about masks, the mystery and intrigue. Traditionally at a Masquerade Ball guests are encouraged to conceal their identities from one another until the final dance at midnight which ends in the unmasking. Bright colours, glamour and luxury should be part of the venue decorations, perhaps even a black carpet at the entrance with a masked string quartet.

Image source: http://www.partyearth.com/san-francisco/parties/shades-of-blues-masquerade-ball-1/1st-annual-shades-of-blues-masquerade-ball-1/

Hollywood Christmas Party Theme

HollywoodLadies and gentlemen! Welcome to the land of the rich and famous! The place where dreams come true! Celebrate in style and enjoy your christmas like a celebrity with a glitzy Hollywood/black tie themed party! Have a VIP welcome, as guests walk down the red carpet, with the flashing cameras of the paparazzi on hand to take pictures of your grand entrance, enjoy champagne on arrival and indulge in a traditional christmas dinner. Sing along to all your favourite movie songs.

Image source: http://themers.com/hollywood/

Willy Wonka Christmas Party Theme

Willy wonkaRelive the glory days of childhood with a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory inspired party. Ditch the diet for the night with chocolate fountains, sweet feasts and candy floss machines with Oompa Loompas on hand to serve you and your guests. Treat your guests with a chocolate bar – who will find the golden ticket?

Image source: http://tsjphotography.com/blog/a-birthday-party-willy-wonka-style/

Beach Christmas Party Theme

Inflatable Beach BallWhy not embrace the kiwi christmas and have a beach themed party. Hang a surf board on the wall, through beach balls around the room and serve up some hearty hotdogs and cranberry burgers. Your guests can wear their flip flops, sunnies and favorite summer shorts. Let your guests entertain themselves with a game of backyard cricket or a more leisurely game of petanque.

Image source: http://partywarehouse.co.nz/hire/inflatable-beach-ball-luau-cooler-9991587.html

If you have any other fabulous ideas for Christmas parties, let us know.

Christmas FunctionsChristmas Functions at Silverstream Retreat

Daylight saving has now started and Spring is well underway. It’s a scary thought, but Christmas is just around the corner. If you are in charge of organising your workplace Christmas function this year and you are looking for a venue in the Wellington region, make sure you put Silverstream Retreat first on your list. Silverstream Retreat is the perfect Christmas venue. Our two function venues have beautiful timber rafters, ambient lighting and a characteristic modern rustic feel, the boardwalk complex come complete with a cosy stone surround open fireplace.

Our Christmas function packages include a private function room decorated with Christmas cheer; table linen and Christmas centrepieces. Canapés on arrival followed by a three course specialty Christmas buffet menu. Local
Wairarapa wines, full bar service, including a selection of beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

We also have a variety of accommodation options available, bunk rooms, twin share rooms, studio motels and fully self-contained two bedroom apartments. We have facilities to accommodate groups of up to 250 guests.

What better way to celebrate a year of hard work than a gathering with great food, wine and friends at Silverstream Retreat? Bookings are filling up fast, so don’t be disappointed book today. For a copy of our Christmas function packages give us a call or send us a message.