11 Tips to Throwing a Good Party

I had this idea stewing around for an idea, but it was a matter of finding the time necessary to go out and do it. Contrary to popular belief, I do go to parties and have fun and all that stuff that people do at parties. Yeaaaaaah. I’ve been to my share of good ones and bad ones, and I’m sure some of you can relate to it. Honestly, these are just some minor things that I notice that some people do and some people don’t. The organizers who’ve followed these tips in the past made their events memorable. If you haven’t, now is a good time to learn.

11: Know how to get there

Simple right? You’d be surprised. People plan a party or a get together at a particular location thinking they know how to get there when in fact they don’t. It only takes five extra minutes to jump on Mapquest and navigate with Translink‘s route map. Bonus points for attaching the maps to your invites so that attendee’s do not need to worry. It could potentially save an hour of walking around a dangerous part of town!

10: Activities

Some activities are best suited for certain audiences. Some guys might prefer to watch Borat. Some prefer to watch the King and I. It helps to know the guests that you’re entertaining and what they like doing. Having a Wii handy is always an option and most people tend to have a blast. You don’t want to invite friends that aren’t interested in gambling to a game of poker. Certain athletically challenged people might experience some discomfort playing basketball or volleyball or going swimming (ahem) ;). Yes, it’s difficult to cater to everyone’s needs but there is always a common middleground that can bring everyone together. Some people prefer sitting in a nice coffee shop doing nothing but drinking coffee and chatting (like me)!

9: Invite Conditions

This one is important. To prevent your party from blowing out of control, it’s great to tell people you ask if it’s an open invite or private. Are guests allowed? If so, how many? This saves you from the embarrassing consequence of having to turn away people. If you need to maintain some sort of discretion, this is an absolute must to do. Otherwise, a small get together for a party of four accidentally blossoms to eighteen because a friend didn’t realize it was a private party. Some organizer’s just don’t have the backbone to say no, and if a person who wasn’t originally invited asks to come party, the organizer can do nothing but smile weakly and nod (Rant for another time).

8: Know who is actually going

Facebook‘s event planner is great for this. It allows you to keep track of who RSVP (What does that mean anyway?) and who hasn’t. Having solid numbers makes life so much easier. Should you reserve for 8? 10? 16? Always do last minute checks. Some guests tend to leave things towards the last minute and realize that they have a wedding to go or a graduation to attend and ‘conveniently’ forget to inform the organizer. Follow up on the people who are coming and make sure they are coming. 48 hours before the party is a good time frame. Partygoer’s, same thing applies to you. If you’re listed as going but something happens last minute, TELL someone.

7: Safety and Transport

This one is a no brainer. If there’s alcohol, make sure everyone has a ride home. If not, have them make arrangements with someone to crash at. Party organizers actually have a duty of care to their guests (I’m almost certain there’s a precedent somewhere, I’m just too damned lazy to look it up). If any harm comes to your friends at your place, you could be in a lot of trouble. Strip drivers of their keys and keep them somewhere safe. Sometimes, having Dwight Schrute for a friend comes in handy.

6: Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Who’re you throwing your party for? Your friends. Why? Because they’re your friends. I’m certain they would have no objections to helping in some form another. Girls especially have a knack for decorations, I’ve noticed. Guys, uh, can carry kegs and lift heavy… stuff. Oh, and they know how to work the TV and VCR for those karaoke nights. But really, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s no shame in asking for help.

5: Know the Costs, make reservations

It’s helpful to know the rough prices and quantities that restaurants serve if you’re going out to eat. Some restaurants have certain gratuity fees that are added to the tab if you have more then a set amount of people (ie, 10% for parties over 10). Make sure reservations are set. It’s not fun to arrive at a great place to eat only to find out you’re in for a two hour wait. If you’re unsure of the number, there’s always the internet or the yellow pages.

4: Plan B

This is always a personal rule of thumb for mine. Unexpected things happen. It’s best to expect that. Maybe you’re planning a beach party but the skies look dark and ominous. Go hit the movies instead. Or bowling. The point is you can never be too prepared. If one idea falls through, it doesn’t mean the whole party falls through. You’ll be that much more impressive to your friends when they realize that not all is lost.

3: Quantity

Make sure there’s enough power. Make sure there’s enough chairs or couches or seating room. Make sure there’s enough drinks. Most importantly, make sure there’s enough food. Nothing sucks more then not having enough food around to keep people happy.

2: Scout the Venue

There’s nothing wrong with going a day in advance to a location that you’ve never been to before. Check it out! Make sure it is in fact ideal for the party you plan on throwing. If it’s a restaurant that you and none of your friends have been to, go a week or two in advance and check the place out. Make sure it looks sanitary and has some life to it. I once took a friend out for lunch to a restaurant. She excused herself to go to a bathroom and upon returning commented on the interesting insects she found in the women’s room. Had I known, I would’ve gone to a different restaurant instead. But unfortunately, as it was the women’s room, there was no way I could’ve foreseen such an incident.

1: Be Aware of Politics

Be cautious of who you invite. Just because you invite two people who are your friends does not necessarily mean they may be friends with each other. Be aware of inviting the ex. If you’re going to invite a friend’s ex girlfriend or boyfriend to a party, check with your friend first and see if he or she is comfortable with it. At the very least, they’ll appreciate you asking in advance.

There you have it! Follow this list of simple guidelines, and your friends will love it! You never know what the payoff might be.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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  1. […] Following that, who knows? I’m a big hockey guy. I love my Canucks. I’ll even blog about them as the year progresses. It’s my intent to maintain one new post per day. But know that the topics will range between World of Warcraft, hockey, and ways to improve ourselves as individuals. That ranges from some pointers I picked out from my former Human Resources boss to different tips on throwing a memorable and enjoyable party. […]