PARTY TIPS AND TRICKS
If you want to create a fun, exciting and stress free party our very own partyologist Marcus Prentice has put together some do's and dont''s when planning a party.
Following some of our party tips and tricks will help you plan a party that people will remember for years to come.
Remember, plan for fun and your guests will always leave Feeling Good.
Venue choice is very important. One of the most important factors in venue choice is choosing a venue that is not too big and that will keep your guests together.
Massive venues with a small number of people is the easiest way to kill that party energy and atmosphere. Small venues or house parties can work a lot better. They instantly add atmosphere with little effort from you. It is always better to have a venue that is a bit too small than one that is too big. However, house parties can also be difficult if your guests are separated into many different areas.
Don't make the mistake of over estimating how many people will come to your party. Unless you have confirmed RSVP's from your guests, rule of thumb is count on about 60% of your invited number showing up.
Make sure that you keep your guests together and try not to choose venues with more than one or two rooms. It is always good to have a small chill out room for older guests but separating your guests too much will also make it hard to create a great energy. If you have a lot of smokers at your party, you can lose half your guests to the smokers area. This is always hard to control but can be ok if the smokers area is not too far away from where the party is happening. Create a great party atmosphere and your smoking guests will want to get back to where the action is.
FUN - The most important ingredient at any party. This should be your number one goal when planning what to do at your party. At its heart, a party is a group of people gathered together to have fun! Simple, isn't it? But everyone's idea of fun is different.
Asking your guests what they like and don't like about parties will help in planning your party so that it is fun for everyone. The people that care more about what their guests will like and less about themselves usually throw the best and most successful parties. Bored guests will have time to pick apart every detail at your party (or worse...leave).
ENERGY - How can you create lots of energy at your party with interaction between your guests. Energy can be created in lots of different ways and the best ways are if you provide entertainment and ways for your guests to interact with each other.
Stimulating your guests 5 senses in as many ways possible will guarantee that your party is one that people won't forget for all the right reasons. Set up your party so that it keeps people together and you will find it easier to create great party energy. Your guests dancing, mingling and moving around will create lots of energy. Your guests sitting down eating and drinking all night will create a lot less energy. Roving entertainers, photo props, sweet and food stations, party props and visual stimulants like video screens are all a great way to create energy.
Not all guests want to dance so give your non-dancing guests something else to do to keep them entertained and not just sitting at a table doing nothing. Even if it is as simple as handing out food, you are well on the way to creating energy at your party.
If you want to keep your party interesting and keep people at your party then you need to format your party properly. Making sure that any formalities are kept to a minimum and done early enough will definitely help in the success of your party. Speeches that go on for an hour, no matter how interesting, will take away from a great party atmosphere.
If you are having a formal occasion or wedding where there are a lot of speeches, look at possibly breaking speeches up and having some before and after courses. The main thing is to do your speeches as early as possible. This will keep peoples interest and won't break up the flow of the party.
Most people usually see the formalities of the night as a indicator that afterwards, the party side of things will start. If you leave your speeches until half way during the night or later the dancing will either be slow to start or if started already will have to be stopped. We see week in and week out at client functions people who have their speeches too late in the night which then kills the party. A lot of guests will leave straight after the speeches which kills the party before it even got started.
Having your speeches early will allow dancing to start sooner and can then continue for the rest of the night. If your speeches are early, it also relieves your speaker's nerves, and your guests are more likely to stay as the night is just getting started.
Nothing brings people together like a common spectacle to ooh and ahh at. “Have a focal point of interest or something to talk about at your party and play a black and white movie in the background, have live entertainment, decorate with crazy decorations or have a photo display that is an easy conversation starter.
Going to some effort with decor and lighting is always a great way to make your guests feel comfortable as soon as they enter the party. Lighting your venue for different times of the night is very important. If you only have party lighting you will have to leave your normal venue lighting on for the first part of the night which instantly takes away from the party mood. Mood lighting such as slow colour changing par cans, water waves or as simple as a mirror ball will create a great atmosphere for the first part of the night. Party lighting for later when the dancing gets started is great to create more movement in the room and can also get the party going. Go to a party where the venue has every light in the place on, and you'll realise that bad lighting certainly ruins a party. Pick a theme. While you certainly don't need to have a fully themed party, all your decorations should follow one central idea. White parties, night pool parties, Mexican fiesta and Hawaiian bikini parties will all create a sizzling atmosphere. Buy the decorations for your party in accordance with your chosen theme or idea.
If you decide to take the costume party plunge, make it accessible. Many guests will have loads of fun choosing a costume that is a play on words or is a clever interpretation of your theme and this will lead to great conversations and people generally having a fantastic time. Worried about reluctant dresser-uppers? “People don’t like to look stupid, but they are happy to look silly with everyone else”.
From our experience, you will find that guests who make more of an investment both personally and financially in dressing up will usually stay longer at your party to justify any expense and effort they have made for the event.
Throwing a themed party is a big winner especially if you theme your venue to match. Party props or lighting to suit your theme will add atmosphere and a good vibe.
If you ask most people, food and drink are very important at any party. The more the better would be most people's opinion. Lots of different types of finger food early in the night is a great first impression. If you are planning to do the food yourself, a lot should be done prior to the party so that you will have more time on the night to enjoy yourself and less time catering. If you are on a tight budget, and can't afford a full bar, beer, wine, and soft drink are usually the go. If you have a specialty drink, one type of cocktail or a punch will add a bit of more fun to your party. Our frozen cocktail machine or a champagne fountain can be very popular. When choosing drinks for your party keep in mind how many males and females you have and what your guests like to drink.
There is no point in buying slabs of beer if most guests are women or the guys you know all drink something else. If you are planning a sit down dinner have your food as early as possible so that it allows plenty of time for dancing later. A variety for both food and drink is a key element in keeping it fun and different and not running out of either will help make your party more successful.
No matter how impressive your lighting and party decor may be, unless you have your basic creature comforts covered, your guests will end up uncomfortable. If you are having an outdoor party don’t forget appropriate lighting, portable heaters (it cools down at night even in the summertime) and insect repellent. If it’s summer and you are indoors, make sure that your home is well ventilated.
If your event space is too hot or too cold your party will end a lot quicker than you want. If its too hot, people may not dance, or if its too cold, they will probably just go home.
The more control you have over these basic things the better success you will have with your party.
If you don't love the idea of party planning keep everything as simple as possible. Keep choices to a minimum when it comes to food, drinks, decor etc. Don't get overwhelmed and regret the party before it even happens. Alternatively, hire professionals to do all the party planning for you.
At Feel Good Events we tend to see the worst end results with customers who come in with an “I know what I want, just do what I tell you” attitude. Hire an expert because you want to use their expertise. Let them do what they feel is best and they’re more likely to meet, and often exceed your expectations.
If a guest spills a drink, don’t overreact. The last thing you want is to make your guest feel more embarrassed than they already are. Keep the big clean-up for after the party. Don’t chase your guests with a vacuum cleaner, pick up after them, or give the impression that you are a slave at your own party. Tidying up a little here and there, and doing things like checking the bathroom to make sure there is enough toilet paper, is proper hosting etiquette. Your guests will certainly appreciate it.
If you are planning a party at home inform your neighbours. Let them know what you plan in terms of size, hours, music, etc. Tell them that they can contact you if they have problems with your party. Then, have the designated party monitor talk with any neighbour who calls or comes over, and make definite, permanent changes to fix the problem. Also, keep in mind that the neighbours don’t have to put up with the disruption just because you told them you were having a party.
If you let your neighbours know exactly what time you plan to finish then they are more likely to put up with noise until then. If you don't let them know they may assume you are planning to go all night and call the police early ending your party quicker then you want. Be aware that noise restrictions start after 11.30pm so you need to turn the music off or at least down after this time.
Too many rules or pre-designated party activities can make your party seem unnatural, forced, and less enjoyable. You want your guests to feel at home at your party, so the more ‘hands-off’ you are the more content your guests will be. Make games and activities available, but let your guests decide which they would like to do.
It’s natural for some partygoers to break away from the core of the party to do other things. This doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying themselves. The trick to having a fun and lively party is to make it easy for people to feel comfortable and to be themselves. The more you seem to be having a good time, the easier it will be for your guests to do the same.
An uptight host is one fast way to kill the party atmosphere. If you want your guests to dance the host should be leading by example and, who knows, you may even enjoy yourself a bit more.
Music sets a party’s mood, so having no designated DJ or a set playlist can kill the atmosphere. You don’t want to be stuck at the sound system, fiddling with your smartphone every few minutes.
Pick music that suits the event. If you want people to dance, play something mainstream, fun and upbeat. If it’s more of a low-key gathering, choosing something more chilled, jazzy and light should do the trick.
Hiring a DJ may cost you more money but if you hire a good one you won't spend all night worrying about the music. A good DJ is worth every cent if you want your guests to dance and you want to create good party energy. Don't spend all night running your party when you should be enjoying it.