Planning a party can be very simple, or very complex. It all depends on what you're trying to put together. Regardless, one problem that's common amongst party planning is paralysis through over-analysis. In other words, letting small, minute details get in the way before you have the big picture figured out.
When you first start planning your party, think about "the general" idea of things you want to happen. A time for people to mingle, a time to do karaoke, a time for dancing, etc. Of course, all of these "times" can cross over one-another, but that's OK. Simply get the general ideas down first. From there, you can start to work on the details for each "section" of your party.
Don't be a control freak, or feel that no one else can help with the party planning. There are always simple tasks that can be delegated to others to help with the party planning. Things as simple as putting out food, or table decorations, etc.
Remember, there's only one you. If you overload yourself, the results of your party may not equate to the amount of work you put into it. Bring on a helper or two.
Whether your party will be hosted in your home, a school gymnasium, or a venue/conference hall... make sure it's the right size! If you plan on inviting 20 people, and 15 show up./. having your party in a 30,000 sq. ft. gymnasium will be a bit of overkill. On the same token, too many people in a crowded room will make things uncomfortable for your guests.
Of course you want a DJ for your party, right! Depending on your budget and expectations, plugging an iPod into a random speaker may be all you need. But, it likely isn't. When hiring a DJ for your party, be sure they help in the planning of the evening. At Fired Up Entertainment, we provide you access to our proprietary party planning system and process. This helps you plan out the various details of your party where a DJ would be involved.
All of your attendees may or may not know each other. More often than not, everyone will not be acquainted. Always look for opportunities to introduce yourself to a fiends spouse, for example, who you may not know. Of course, that same introduction can be done between two attendees of your party. As a host, a quick and easy way to get the vibe going is to start introducing different people that may not know each other!
This is a mess saver! At your party, all types of food/beverage waste will end up in trash cans. Often, packed down to make room for more waste. A great tip to avoid rips in trash bags (and leaking gunk flowing onto the floors when you clean up) is to double-bag them. This added layer of protection helps to avoid unnecessary mess and stain clean-up.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We've all heard the saying, and it applies especially true at a party. Don't be afraid to place piles of napkins in various places around the party. Especially on a surface where you can see a guest placing a drink or food plate. Having napkins on hand helps to quickly clean up when the unexpected spill occurs.
Every 15 minutes or so, try to scan the room and sense how everyone is acting. Are your guests laughing? Smiling? Dancing? Having a good time? If so... keep on keeping on! If you see people standing around bored, yawning, or starting to leave... change things up! This is a great time for your party DJ to change the music to a more upbeat playlist to encourage dancing and energy.
In the end, there will be unexpected things that come up. Something won't turn out perfectly. It's OK. Just breathe, relax, and accept this. It happens. One of the biggest tips to planning a great party is making sure you, the host, has a great time... and helps guests do the same.