Tips on organising a great Mess Xmas 'Do'?

This Xmas will be my first as a member of the Mess. I have in the past worked at Sgt's Mess Xmas functions as bar person so know the usual format (always the same - music/dinner/band/xmas draw/more band).

At a Mess meeting last week where we discussed this year's event I put forward the idea that maybe we should introduce a bit of variety to proceedings. It was agreed by all that this would be a good idea and on the strength of this I was later voted in as PEC! I am about to organise a committee meeting to discuss and want to turn up with a range of ideas but wondered if anyone here has any tips on what works well/what really doesn't work at all?

It will be a Saturday evening function, mess dress (for the first time in years - again my suggestion but agreed by all but one), mess members are on the whole party-type animals (those who aren't will depart at an early hour), outside guests in attendance, funding not a major issue.

Any help appreciated to make it a good one. :?
Entertainment wise, with the dress formal as it is you are pretty much stuck to the music comedian routine but how about a casino night and/or magician and disco? :idea: The main act's could entertain your mess in one room while next door they have a bit of a flutter on the roulette table.
how about just lots of stella dj and a foam machine
At our last Summer Ball we purchased two of those disposable cameras and invited guests to use them as they saw fit then the mess paid for their developement and then anyone wanting copies could get them.

I can only say what an excellent laugh and a vote of thanks goes to TESCO's for printing them ?
The best Xmas Mess function that i have ever been to was held at a Buntlines type holiday Camp hired for 24hrs by the Sgts' Mess. The whole mess was transported by coach to the venue where each mess member had his/her own chalet. All the entertainment was organised by the professional entertainment people from the holiday camp and it was an excellent night. The mess i belong to is a large mess however i am sure there is a venue at a hotel country club within travelling distance to your location.

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