First, let’s define what makes a party extraordinary. Some indicators of a fabulous party are when your guests:
- Feel relaxed and comfortable
- Are entertained and have fun
- Make new contacts and meet new people
- Are engaged with new and interesting ideas
- Have a good time and leave wanting more
- Are delighted with unexpected surprises
- Feel important and significant
- Bond with others
- Leave with original & unique details, conversations, & occurrences worth talking about the next day
1. Have at least one outgoing, gregarious personality for every 10 guests.
Here’s why: Key guests are not only entertaining, but also create a fun, relaxed atmosphere that will make all guests comfortable and more interactive.
Tip: Mark drama queens and negative nancies off your guest list.
2. Create a mix of guests that don’t all know each other.
Here’s why: New faces will create motivation for other guests to be sociable and to always seek an invitation to your parties.
Tip: To ensure a good turnout, be socially active the period leading up to your party and make as many personal invites as possible.
3. Create a party atmosphere before the first guest arrives.
Here’s why: Not only will you eliminate awkward and uncomfortable moments for your first guests, you will generate momentum from the very start that will keep the party fun and the energy level up.
Tip: One of the reasons guests don’t arrive on time is to avoid the awkwardness of being first.
4. Arrange your party area to encourage interaction between guests.
Here’s why: The more involved and engaged your guests are by meeting and talking to others, the more fun everyone will have.
Tip: Remove or arrange furniture to make sitting difficult. Sitting prohibits mingling and should be discouraged at all costs.
5. Serve delicious theme-inspired cocktails with minimal time behind the bar.
Here’s why: Adds an interesting surprise, enjoyment for the guest, a topic of conversation, and frees up your time for socializing.
Tip: Give your pre-mixed concoction a cute name after your theme or guest of honor, e.g. rename “Sex On The Beach” to “Sex On Smith Beach”.
6. Pass intricately-decorated hors d’oeuvres on silver trays with doilies.
Here’s why: Make a bigger impression that will entertain your guests and add style while reducing your food costs.
Tip: Add a theme-inspired centerpiece to each serving tray for an extra surprise.
Here’s why: You can use your music selections to strike a chord with each guest while setting a happy mood and raising the energy level of the party.
Tip: Mix in fun and theme-inspired songs to amuse your guests, e.g. Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ or the Gilligan’s Island Theme for a Hawaiian Luau.
8. Choose a theme and decorate with strategically-placed accents that are stylish and clever.
Here’s why: Tasteful decorations that surprise, delight, amuse and entertain will create enjoyment and memories for your guests. Your parties will be remembered as unique and original with distinctive details that make a lasting impact.
Tip: Dress yourself in the spirit of the theme, and your guests will join in on the fun at your future parties.
9. Make sure every guest feels noticed and important by someone other than their date.
Here’s why: Not only will this directly affect the enjoyment of each guest, but it will break the ice and provide a comfort level for them to engage other guests, which has everyone participating in making your party exceptional.
Tip: Everyone else notices what you do, be friendly, gracious, and fun.
10. Fill your party with surprises.
We’ve already touched on a few surprises, such as:
Cocktails: Pre-mix a signature drink with a cute name.
Music: Incorporate fun and theme-inspired songs into your playlist.
Decorations: Include in cocktails, on hors d’oeuvres trays, and in the bathroom.
Throw 200 glow sticks or rubber duckies into the swimming pool.
Place “Happy Birthday” picks randomly in hors d’oeuvres.
Break open a piñata filled with mini-liquor bottles.
Show a guest-of-honor related video clip.
Pass a tray of party beads.
Bonus secret for dinner parties: Encourage dinner conversation that includes everyone seated around.
Here’s why: Because dinner parties are really more about the conversation than the food, the more inclusive the discussion, the more fun your guests will have.
Tip: If you seat them next to each other, when they converse, it will inevitably exclude everyone else.
These secrets plus a little practice and you are on your way to throwing fabulous parties, so start planning your next party, today!