Whether you’re putting together a birthday party, a Christmas party, a retirement party, or just a nice dinner with friends, there are a few tricks you can use for just about any party to ensure that the occasion is really special. Here are the absolute must-do things that every great host needs to know to throw the best possible party:
- Keep things interesting but simple. People tend to remember the big impacts of things, not the little details. Go for events that are going to have a lot of “wow” factor, but that aren’t going to cause you a lot of stress in trying to organize. Guests aren’t likely to appreciate or notice all of the energy you put into getting each and every thing just right, but they will notice the “wow” factor of each thing.
- According to expert party planners, there are a few main factors that go into a good party. They can broadly be lumped together as entertainment, food, and ambiance. As long as each of these three components has some decipherable “wow” element, there’s no doubt that people will be talking fondly about your party.
- When considering entertainment, you need to think about what your audience wants out of the party and what kind of entertainment they will most enjoy. Do they want to dance? Do they want to just listen to music or just socialize? All of this will help you figure out what will best suit your crowd. But once you feel like you’ve figured this out, don’t just leave it at one answer. Don’t assume that because your guests want to dance that they might not also enjoy some sort of show. Consider giving them multiple things to enjoy, or a variety of similar kinds of things. For example, if you want hire a band, also hire a DJ to play in alternating hours or half hours. Spend some extra time checking out local options to make sure you’re really getting something good. People might not remember that their food was just okay if the entertainment was really something else.
- When it comes to choosing really special meals, make sure you’ve considered all of the possibilities for food sensitivities or special dietary needs. If it’s an RSVP event, ask in advance for specifications on food needs and sensitivities. Be prepared, just in case, with options anyway for common ones like vegetarians, gluten sensitivities, dairy allergies, and peanut allergies. At least make sure there are enough options in side dishes that someone with a dietary need will be able to put together a decent meal with what is available. And don’t try to do the cooking yourself unless it’s a small event. It’s worth hiring a chef or caterer to take care of the food for you to make sure you can really present some special and memorable options.
- The next thing to consider is ambiance. This refers to a whole host of factors in making your party just feel right. The things to pay attention to here are lighting, décor, and flow. Make sure lighting is appropriate to the different areas. Darker in the dance area, brighter by the food, etc. Try to go for mood lighting in appropriate situations. For décor, look through style books and magazines for ideas and try to copy these yourself with materials that are available to you if you’re on a budget. Check out a discount party supply store for cheap, but essential, items. Finally, pay attention to flow. Make sure the flow of the party keeps people from crowding around the stairs, preventing people from getting through, and make sure the food isn’t right by the bathroom, for example, making it hard for people to easily walk by.
- Pay attention to as many details as you can! While most people won’t notice all of the embellishments and details, adding in some good ones can really make guests feel good about the event. For example, complimentary hand lotion by the sink in the bathroom, or party favor EtchingX personalized mini bottles can really leave a lasting impression on your guests.
- Keep your guests from having any unmet needs. Anticipate anything that they might need before it happens. Did a guest have too many drinks? Make sure it’s easy for them to take a taxi home and that their car won’t be towed over night. Did someone have an allergic reaction? Make sure there’s a first aid kit on location with an EpiPen.
There’s no doubt that it takes a lot of work and planning to make a party really exceptional. Don’t be afraid to hire extra help and to assign roles to friends and family to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.