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Checklist for your New Years Event

December 14, 2023

Celebrate your New Years Event safely and in style

Planning a successful New Year’s event requires careful preparation and attention to detail. To ensure that your celebration goes off without a hitch, use the below checklist to guide you through the key steps of organising a memorable New Year’s gathering.

Whether it’s a wedding, party, fireworks show, festival or fair, this checklist contains the biggest concerns when hosting a new year’s event.

Here are the contents of what we go over in the article:

Select a venue

Finding the perfect place to host your party, fair or wedding is a priority. The venue needs to be suitable for your guests and the entertainment to expect to put on. Consider factors such as space, accessibility and amenities. Does the venue have suitable disabled access? Do you require a smoking area? Is there enough power sockets and space for the entertainment you have in mind?

Write up your guest list

Your guest list should not exceed the capacity of your venue. Whether it’s a home, private premises, pub, bar or marquee – determine the capacity and write out your guest list accordingly. Only invite those

Price up tickets

If your event is ticketed , you need to think about pricing the ticket so it is affordable but still covers your budget. If your event is not ticketed, such as a party or wedding, then don’t worry – but do keep your budget in check.

Plan the entertainment

No new years event is complete without entertainment. Ensure your entertainment is suitable for your venue space and appropriate for your guest list.

Entertainment ideas for a New Years Event:
  • Live Band
  • Live DJ
  • Costume Contest
  • Games – such as charades articulate, board games
  • Interactive trivia or quizzes
  • Photo booth
  • Karaoke
  • A display from professional dancers
  • Firework display

Managing a firework display at a New Years Event

Bring in and entertain the crowds with a fireworks event. Fireworks are iconic on New Years, and are easily accessible. However larger Category F4 fireworks will require a trained professional.

We’ve provided an essential guide here including Tips for Running a Safe Firework Display


Decorate the venue to align with your chosen theme, or with the New Year. You can reuse Christmas decorations or décor from previous event, but add a new year twist.

Some decoration ideas for a new year event include:
  • Balloons
  • Confetti
  • Centrepieces – such as a clock, or champagne bottles, or a chocolate fountain
  • Table settings – noisemakers for the big midnight moment
  • Fairy lights (these can stay up all year)
  • Signs and messages
  • Backdrops and themed settings
  • Mirrors and glitter balls

Food and Drink

Depending whether you are putting on a spread, serving a three course meal or making sales, choice of food is important to a good new years event. Appetizers and finger foods are always a great option, often including quiches, skewers and bruschetta. New years appropriate main course meals include roast beef, goose, baked salmon or fresh salad to symbolise renewal.

Festive dessert are far and wide, including chocolate fondue, Christmas pudding, mince pies, champagne cupcakes,

Make sure your guests stay topped dup with drinks. It’s a celebratory time and you’ll need enough drinks to last all night – and beyond!

See our article featuring the top 12 festive cocktails to make this year.

Risk assessments

Risk assessments are necessary when running any event. Any heavy items or shelving need to be secured. Hot food and drink should be checked, as should trip hazards. Cloths, sheets, wires all need to be stored safely or clearly marked.

Be wary of spillages, and have a proper procedure in place in case of bad weather or floods and you need to pack up quickly. Have firefighting equipment in case of tackling fires or vandalism, and have a first aid kit on hand.

Our risk assessment template will help you identify risky areas and know what to look out for to increase chance of avoiding an incident.

Public liability insurance will require you to perform a risk assessment of your venue and explain the entertainment you plan to put on.

See our easy-to-use insurance risk assessments here


Insurance is essential to keeping you, as the event organiser, financially secure. Public liability insurance will protect you from the financial consequences of slips and trips or guest injuries. It will protect you from third party damage compensation claims, and equipment hire costs in case of loss or theft. New Year event insurance will cover cancellation in case the event doesn’t go ahead, and from bad weather cancelling your outdoor event.

Here are some reasons why to use Insure Our Event as your insurance supplier:

  • Tailored flexible plan
  • Cost-effective
  • No administration costs
  • Easy to apply

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