Hosting a party is an intimidating task but also a challenging one. You may have control over whom you can invite into the party and how you want the events to proceed, but truly, you can never tell how things will unfold throughout the night. That’s why even though the task can seem like a huge challenge, it’s also one that’s definitely fun to plan.
One of the most glaring challenges you will face when throwing your own party is coming up with the best ways to keep your guests happy all night long. If you’re only throwing a small, intimate party for like-minded friends who already know one another, chances are, you already know what they want and the group will wholesomely proceed to have a good time, thanks to shared similarities that don’t require too much friction to slide into deep, cohesive conversations.
But if you’re throwing a party for a larger group and are inviting different groups of friends with different backgrounds, you’d have to consider a slightly varied number of factors to make sure that your party does what it’s intended to do.
Whether it’s your first or hundredth time being the party host, here are timeless pieces of party advice you can always count on when it comes to keeping the vibe alive all night long.
Come Up with a Theme
Come up with an awesome theme that you know everyone will be up to play with. It could be pop music, a historical period, a TV show, etc. Having a theme makes it easier for you to decide how to decorate the party area, how to direct the lighting, and even to convince people to play dress up and go to the party with a ready talking point.
Keep the Music Going
Music is a great filler and mood setter. Use your digital music player if you have great speakers. Ready your playlist so you won’t have to micromanage it throughout the evening.
If it’s within your budget, it would add to the thrill to invite a DJ who can direct the party vibe through some contemporary jams and classic grooves. Keep the playlist diverse, tasteful, and upbeat.
Use Creative Lighting
Just like good music, proper lighting will help set the atmosphere for the party. There are different lighting arrangements you can use, depending on the vibe you’re going for. Strobe lighting is perfect if you’re going for festive summer-night parties where one expects a lot of dancing and all-out dance-floor fun.
If you want a more mellow, intimate kind of warm evening feel, opt for lamps and other indirect lighting sources. Dim lights help keep the party mood soft and welcoming.
Make Sure There’s Enough Food
Casual party food like party mixes, candy, or nuts is a staple in every late-night party. It’s good to keep your supply in abundance so your guests will always have something they can reach for to pair their drinks with.
Place the snacks in small plates or bowls throughout the party venue, and see to it that they’re replenished from time to time. You can also prepare something special if you’re up to the task and there’s enough time for you to do the necessary preparation and number of portions.
. . . And Drinks
Nothing announces “party is over” more than discovering the last shot of booze. Be sure to keep the party flowing by having a healthy supply of available alcohol. That also means there should be enough cups to accommodate every head in the party.
Not to mention the ice, if you don’t have any way to keep every bottle of drinks chilled or cold. Have plenty of ice for distribution and backup.
The key to making sure everyone has a good time is to make them feel accepted in a group. So make the necessary effort to do the introductions. They will help them ease up around new people and find common ground from which they can start conversations.
Once your guests arrive, help them take care of their things so they won’t have to worry about it during the party. Then, offer them drinks. Having drinks in hand will make them more comfortable approaching others.
See to it that you check on how your guests are doing from time to time.
Prepare simple yet fun party activities that encourage people to mingle. It can be anything from the usual beer pong to karaoke or maybe even a dance off. Schedule activities for different times during the party, especially when the initial ruckus starts to die down. This will help keep the vibe going and even mix the groups a little bit for more rounds of talk and fun.
Being a party thrower may be one of the most stressful roles you’ll ever play, but it’s also intensely rewarding when you do it well. No two parties are the same, so don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust your approach as you learn new things along the way.