Creating a memorable event is not easy. If there is anything I have learned as social chair, good parties do not just happen. Good parties are made. There is always some poor organizer pulling their hair out in the corner because something didn’t go exactly the right way while everyone else is having a great time all around. Been there, done that! The most successful parties I have thrown have worked out because I put a lot of time, effort, and thought intothem.
It sounds overwhelming, I know. But focusing on details will make things a lot easier. The first one is how you plan to let people know about your event. The way you invite people will really set a tone for your event. For example, if you are throwing a casual get together, it is fine to text people to let them know all the info. However, if you are going for a black tie kind of thing, a printed invitation letting your guests know the dress code will be appreciated. The design of the invitation will also give the attendee some idea of what kind of event it is. An invitation cut in the shape of a bib is going to clue people in that it is baby-related right away, whereas an invite on heavy cardstock with a lined envelope is going to scream “fancy party!”
Always check out a venue beforehand. Really evaluate the space you plan to use so you’ll know what you need. It will help you figure out the best way to use the space. A party at home might have everything you need, but it might require rearranging furniture to create a dancefloor.Renting a banquet hall may give you all the space you want but you may have to provide your own lighting or seating. Knowing that kind of thing beforehand makes your job way easier. This way, you can add setup time into your schedule or get rental equipmentin time for the big event. This is also the time where you plan for how you are going to decorate. It is up to you whether you want to go big with decorations but choose them thoughtfully. I’ve had sorority sisters buy every item on the shelf at the party store that went with the theme of the party with no idea how to use it all. Or you start getting everything ready and realize you are about twelve balloons short for your balloon arch. If people are going to be sitting at tables, a centerpiece is a must. They need something to look at besides just each other. You can go small or tall. Just be sure that it does not block the view of people sitting across from each other. So—tall, thin vase of tulips=great. A medium-sized, bushy topiary=not so much. Decide whether you need to make a seating chart—if everyone knows everyone, you might not need one. But if there are different groups or lots of singles, assigned seating can ease any awkwardness.
Have some kind of entertainment. Don’t just wait for that one drunken frat boy to start building a tower of beers. Have something for people to do. Whether it is a party game, eating a meal, dancing, or something else entirely, be sure that there is more to do than just staring at one another. Don’t assume because they know each other that the conversation will flow naturally. Give them something to talk about and a reason to interact with each other.
And there you have it: get these details right and you are going to have a great party on your hands.