Steps in Planning a Party

by admin on March 1, 2010

Party Planning Tips

What makes a good party? It could be the people, the entertainment, the food, the drinks or the location. Actually it is all of the above. You need to have the right ingredients for a party to come alive for an unforgettable experience. The host is responsible to make sure all the right ingredients are mixed correctly and put into a favorable environment. If this can be done, most any party will be a great success!

However not every ingredient can be expected to mix will in all environments or with certain people. You need to know your guests in order to get the right mix. Here are a few steps that go into having a great party:

What is the occasion? The best parties are for the special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, baby showers and any special event that brings people together. Guests prefer to gather for a purpose, a shared interest or common experience. Otherwise, why have a party? You may want to decorate with a theme focused on the event.

Party Planning Ideas. Once you have a purpose and a guest list, plan each step of the party. Make sure you have enough food and drinks, the entertainment to fit the group and cover the “what if’s” that may come up. Too much food is better than not enough, so plan for success. You may want to use this party as just a step to having more and bigger parties in the future. Always be flexible and have a plan B in case of bad weather, schedule conflicts or just the unexpected.

Party Location is a Key. Based upon the size of the guest list and the people involved, pick a location for the party thatfits well with the group. Is there enough space, easy to move around, area for the planned entertainment and clean? Your guests should feel at home and relaxed.

Formal Party Decorations. Decorations can make most any location or room more appealing and help set the party atmosphere.A party theme can drive what type of decorations you need. The amount of decorations depends upon the room and the event, but remember that too little is a waste and it’s hard to ever have too many decorations. The lighting plays a big part in enhancing the decorations and setting the mood. If planning ahead, there are many internet sites with discount party favors.

The Host keeps the Party Flowing. The party’s host is responsible for mixing the correct ingredients and holding the party together. A host can be the center of attention or kept in the background. However the host does have to lead and make decisions to keep the party flowing smoothly. This could be keeping things on schedule, initiating some activities or to keep the conversations alive. Hosting a party is a balancing act from start to finish.

Keeping Party in Control. Parties can bring out the best and worst in people. It only takes one person to ruin a party with bad conversation, too much alcohol, or just being rude. The host should be ready with a few alternatives for settling a dispute or asking someone to leave before it gets out of hand. If you know you guests, and you should, much of this can be dealt with in advance by not inviting certain individuals or avoiding some activities during the party. It may be advisable to ask for others help in identifying potential problems before they happen.

Party Schedule. Give your potential guests plenty of notice and have the date of the party when most people can participate. Don’t have a party during some other important event, such as a big game on television, unless this is part of the plan. Have people RSVP if needed.Depending upon the group size; phone calls, direct notification and email can be very effective.Snail mail is good for larger formal parties but some of your invitations may get overlooked as junk mail.

Party Dos and Don’ts. There are usually some rules that go along with any party. It may depend upon the location, age of the guests or the occasion. Some areas of the house or facility may be off limits, beware of certain animals, are kids welcome, is there a fixed time to leave and is a certain dress code needed? Most of these are basic and people don’t care, they just need to know the rules of the road.

Guest Participation. People come to parties to have fun and associate with others. Most people will help whenever needed or asked. If you need someone to help serve food, move furniture or select music, just ask. This helps people to feel useful and keeps them moving and associating with others.Let guests use their expertise to do things like taking pictures or video, setting up a game, or singing.

Party Introductions. All guests should have the opportunity to know the other guests if they don’t already do so. The host should meet people at the door as they arrive and then introduce them to others as appropriate. The host needs to provide the motivation and opportunity for all to interact. People come to parties to communicate, learn and have fun. It helps if each guest gets involved. A few ways to promote introductions are name tags, formal introductions, or activities that encourage different guests to interrelate.

The Event of the Party. A party should have at least one event that brings focus to the group. This may be a game, a contest, a toast, a dance or a surprise. This event needs to get people moving, mixing and having fun. You may want several of these events to keep the party flowing. Be flexible and if something is not working, do something different. This gives different people the opportunity to come together that may not otherwise associate.

Variety is the Spice of any Party. Variety means not only providing different ways for people to interact but it starts with the guest list. A party with a mix of current friends and some strangers provides the most potential. If all are complete strangers, it may be hard to get the party going. If all are long time friends, it is hard to provide something new to the group. So you may want to encourage certain guests to bring someone not known by the whole group.

Within any group, there is some perceived social status where people’s experience or reputation will drive the conversation. This is usually good but also needs to be balanced so one or two people do not dominate the group. Be ready to step in with new ideas and topics.

Conclusion: Every party is a mix of ingredients with the host being the organizer and glue to hold it together. People love to interact with others in most any situation but especially at a party. So the host needs to cause the excitement and keep it going. This can be infectious to your guests and help any party be a great success.

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