Planning any event can take a lot of your time, cost a lot, and just plain be a hassle. Food, drinks and entertainment are just some of the concerns involved in planning a party. Whether you’re throwing a birthday party for your child or just having a casual dinner party with friends, there are a few key steps you can follow that will help to make planning easier and make sure things go smoothly. Here are 6 tips you can follow help make your next party a hit.
1. Pick a Theme
Centering your event around a focused theme is one of the best things you can do when organizing a party. Casual get-togethers can be fun but rely on your crowd mixing for entertainment. A central theme helps get everyone, strangers and friends alike, together and focused on a topic. Not only does a central theme make planning food, drinks, and ambiance easier, a theme gives everyone a feeling of excitement and fun around a topic.
Age-old themes such as Halloween, Christmas, or Thanksgiving are easy to plan since they’ve been around so long and people kind of know how things go. You can mix up your event by trying 80s, island, European, Harry Potter, or other themes that are unique from your day to day lives. Creating a nice setting will add fun to your regular parties and asking guests to dress up or even act in a certain role gives them a chance to participate and have an impact on the event.
2. Know Your Audience
It’s likely you’re going to know the majority of people that come to your party. The few strangers your friends or family may bring along are likely to be the minority. However, even though you’ll know or have met most of you guests before, you may not know some that well. Knowing your audience is a big part of planning a successful party. Know what kind of music, food, and sense of humor some of your new guests may have will help you balance your event so that everyone has fun and no one gets offended.
If you’re inviting a boss or coworker who you’re not super close with, you may want to err on the side of caution and keep things a bit more conventional. This means scantily clad dress, racy images, and even the other guests you invite will all need to be considered. While you want to keep things casual and balanced, you also don’t want to make the party a bore just because you’re afraid of offending someone new. Keeping to your style and not putting on too much of a show will help you decide if that new comer is someone who fits into your group and someone you’re likely to invite again.
Timing an event is a huge factor in determining how successful it will be. Holding a bachelor party at 4 pm on a Wednesday is likely to work just as well as a birthday for your grandma at midnight on a Saturday. Weekends are always good for parties as most people will be out of work, but knowing exactly what time and where your friends are able to travel is even more useful. Don’t forget that adults with kids may not be at the office over the weekend, but still may be occupied.
Along with setting a time that’s convenient for everyone, you should also send invitations or notify your guests well in advance. Even if you know Friday nights are good for your crowd, if you don’t tell them until that Friday afternoon, you may not see much of a turn out at your party. Likewise, sending out invitations a year in advance are likely to be forgotten. Try to time your invitations a couple of weeks or maybe a month in advance, so people will remember the event and give you plenty of notice if they can or cannot attend.
Social gatherings often depend on the guests to entertain and talk among themselves. While this is great and often doable, providing additional entertainment is certain to liven up your event. The exact kind of entertainment does depend on your theme, the occasion, and your crowd, but anything from music, dancing, or other games can all help bring people together and help improve the fun.
Some fun entertainment ideas, that are also easy to do, include karaoke, dance contests, and various drinking activities. If you want to spice things up even more, you can hire outside entertainment such as DJs, live musicians, dancers, or even clowns. Depending on the kind of entertainment you’d like to have, you can even hold your party at a venue designed to entertain. Outdoor activities such as zip lining, water sports, or even something as simple as cornhole all provide a fun way for people to direct their attention somewhere while socializing.
5. Keep it Safe
Common sense goes a long way when considering safety.
You many have heard about a recent incident where five children were injured after a gust of wind blew a bouncy house into the air at a church carnival in Greenville, S.C. Five children were hurt. Safety does not have to be an issue if you follow a few basic steps. Here’s a great list on keeping bouncy houses safe put together by the good people at https://www.lipartyguys.com.
6. Keep It Simple
Lastly, keep it simple. Often times the best parties are small and simple with a great group of friends or family making the event what it is. Keeping things simple not only takes the stress off of you to pull off something huge, but also makes guests feel more comfortable knowing they don’t have to act a certain way to fit in. Take some stress off by renting some party equipment and serve simple appetizers and drinks. This will help make guests feel more at home. If you go over the top with a wild and exotic ten course meal, many people may feel uncomfortable and not have as much fun.
Regardless of if you’re throwing your first shindig or a seasoned dinner party host, try setting a theme and simplifying your party and you may be surprised at how well things go.