Fun 102: How To Throw A Party

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Parties are meant to be fun, and they’re whatever you want them to be

  • Your ability to maintain a fun and inviting atmosphere will determine whether your party helps or hurts your reputation
  • Throwing a party is more work than just going to someone else’s party

Organizing a party is easy if you plan it appropriately

  • Set some ground rules before making any plans
    • What is your budget for the whole event?
      • Where would you most like the money to be spent, and what would you like to save the most on?
    • Are people encouraged to bring their friends or is it invite-only?
    • Are you providing alcohol?
      • Having alcohol at a party is really fun, but can also lead to broken things and more to clean up afterwards
    • Can others bring alcohol, food or drinks?
  • Set the date, time, ending time and location at least 2 weeks out
    • Advertise events at the party that draw attention
      • Get a powerful enough projector to play video games or watch movies as a group
      • Make it a costume party or a dinner theater
      • Use the talent of your friends to make creative and interesting party attention grabbers
  • Track who you invite
    • If you’re not careful when inviting, you might offend some people
    • Pay attention to how much space you have
      • About 70-80% of people you invite will attend, and it will often not be at the same time
        • If you’re advertising through social media like Facebook, it’s closer to 50%
      • People don’t often need a lot of space, but they do need room to use what they want at the party
    • The bigger the party, the more unpredictable it can get, but the more fun it can be
      • If the event is more than 12, let your neighbors know or invite them as well
    • If you’re using an RSVP system, don’t expect people to respond until as early as a few days before the event
    • If there’s a fee, start planning for how to deal with people who won’t pay the entrance fee
  • Set a theme for the party
    • Look for creative themes that get people interested in the event
    • Start making or buying your decorations
      • Display your food in a cooler way
        • Carve out the inside of a watermelon or pumpkin, cut a hole in it and insert a spigot to turn it into a drink dispenser
        • Cut the top half off of a pumpkin, remove all the insides and put a glass bowl inside it to make a drink cooler
        • Tonic water has quinine, which glows in the dark, and a blacklight will illuminate it
        • Serve apple cider in cut-out insides of apples, stir with cinnamon sticks
        • Glue wood paneling on the outside of an old refrigerator and rotate the compressor 90 degrees to turn it into an ice chest
      • Make your own decorations and recruit friends to help
        • All Seasons
          • Cut open a glowstick and shake the contents into a glass jar, add diamond glitter, seal the top of the lid and shake
          • At night, throw glow sticks into a pool or put white Christmas lights around the inside edge of the pool
          • Stake balloons to the ground with golf tees
          • Spray glow-in-the-dark paint on rocks and line a walkway
          • Cut slits along the sides of an empty can, push the ends together to fan the can out, remove the labeling and turn into a unique Chinese lamp
          • Apply Rain X in a design to make an image or text that only shows up when it’s wet outside
          • Cut a rose stem into 4 vertical stalks and soak each part into a different food dye to make a rainbow pattern
          • Make a homemade Tiki Torch by sticking a shoelace into an alcohol bottle, sealing it up with the shoelace sticking out and lighting it
        • Halloween
          • To make creepy-looking ice, put a frozen rubber glove in water with red food coloring and freeze
          • Make “night eyes” by cutting eyes into toilet paper rolls and putting glowsticks into them
          • To make decorations that look like faces, draw faces on upside down plastic cups and put LED tealights under them
  • Get all of the food and decor together at least a week before the event
    • Buy all the non-perishable food and drinks you’ll need
    • Track what utensils and dining pieces you still need and borrow, rent or buy them
    • Have all your decorations together
    • Get the playlist together, which will set the mood for the entire party
  • Have the house prepared before the day of the party
    • Doing it a few days in advance keeps things low-stress
    • Place every decoration where it needs to go
    • Prepare all of the food in advance
  • Relax for the event
    • Put markers next to the disposable cups to help people keep track of them
    • Put different colored rubber bands on the bottom of wine glasses to help people keep track of them
    • Your mood and mental state will determine how much people will enjoy the event

Parties should have a balance between constant events and constant relaxing

  • This varies heavily on the culture, but a great party will keep people interested
  • Try a few tricks to make the mingling more fun
    • Have everyone start by grabbing a glow stick (Green = single, Yellow = it’s complicated, Red = taken)
  • Have competitions
    • Run a rope through the bottom of a tissue paper box and fill with ping pong balls, have someone wear it on their backside and make a party game of someone trying to shake all the ping pong balls out
    • Have one person put a lot of shaving cream on their face and others have to throw cheese ball snacks onto it
    • Try having a pinata at the party
  • If alcohol is involved, there are a lot of creative drinking games to try
    • Beer pong is simple and is very familiar for most party people
    • Play chess or checkers with shot glasses, a pizza box and markers
    • Make the ultimate Beer Pong table by cutting holes in a board
    • Make “Beer Battleship” by cutting out foam ships and playing a normal Battleship game next to it
    • Play chess with a checkered tile floor and drink cups
    • If the event is on your front lawn, place a sign that says YOU HONK WE DRINK
    • Play spin the bottle with shots, where some of the shots aren’t alcoholic
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