So you’re planning to throw the most epic house party ever. Well, the line between a total dud of a party, and the stuff that legends are made of can be frightfully narrow, so take a quick look at our top 10 house party tips below, and get ready to write your name in history. This should get you started with your planning.
Our advice: get the basics right, and then dig into the details and add those surprises and quirks that nobody expects but talks about for years to come.
Manage your Guest list like a Ninja
Any house party is only as good as the people who show up, and a few rotten apples can spoil it for everyone. Be selective and manage your guest list like a pro. You should expect that only about 30% of your invitees will RSVP, but typically about 67% will actually show up on the day. Check the size of your available space, do the sums and make sure you get the right people, and the right mix in the door.
Pick a Theme
Some people love them, some people hate them, we just think that theming your party sets the stage even before your friends show up. It gives everyone a hint as to what the party will be like and, they can contribute to the vibe with creative costumes or whatever works. Having people dress up or bring something to the party is a great conversation starter or icebreaker for those who don’t know each other.
Prepare the Stage
If you’re going to have 50 dancing, drinking and frolicking people in your house, you better get it ready before they arrive. Move furniture around so it’s practical for your guests and make it easy for them to move around and mingle. Set up different “zones” where people can hang out; an open space closer to the music for dancing, a chill zone a bit further away with couches, and an outside area for those in need of fresh air. And finally, lock some doors. If there are parts of your house or rooms you don’t want your guests to burst into, lock the doors before they arrive. And for Pete’s-sake, remove the glass egg from the fireplace mantlepiece!
Warn the Neigbors
Yes, you want to blast your music loud enough to annoy the neighbors. Isn’t that the whole point of a house party? To soften the blow, try and get them on your side, well, at least initially. Go around and speak to them and let them know you’ll be having a party. Tell them what time it’ll break up and stick to it… more or less. If you can’t get hold of your neighbors, leave a note in their mailbox or stick a poster on the apartment entrance door. Pro tip: If you go around and to warn them, ask them if they have a favorite song they’d like to add to the party playlist. That way they can enjoy it with you when it cycles around.
Turn Up the Music
To make sure our guests have a blast of a time, sort your sound equipment out before the big day. First, get a proper party speaker (or a few!). Make sure you have enough power and volume to fill the space you’re planning to have the party in. You’ll need more power for an outdoor party than an indoor one.
Make a party playlist. You know what kind of mood you’d like, so create a party playlist before the time so you don’t need to fumble to get the tunes blasting on the day. We recommend you make a few backup lists or something with a different vibe that will allow you to switch gears quickly, should you need to for whatever reason. You never know where things go when the first kegs are dry!
Lighting – Time to Shine
Whatever kind of party you’re planning, for heaven’s sake, switch off the overhead lights! Those bright everyday-use lights are mood killers. Switch on alternative lights through the house, lamps, fairy-light strings, whatever fits the mood. If you’re having a dance party, get some flashing lights or an old-school disco ball. The good news is that most of the speakers on our party speakers list come with a party light feature so you can always create a music-synchronized disco effect without forking out more money especially for flashing lights..
Food and Drinks
After music, drinks are probably the most essential ingredients of a good house party. Whether you get some kegs or make a tub full of punch, it is up to you – you know your crowd – but don’t let the drinks run out. No house party survives the shame of a dreaded no-more-drinks scenario. Provide some snacks. If there’s going to be dancing – and if you get one of the party speakers on our list there will be dancing – then your guests will build up and appetite. Plan ahead, get pizza or scatter crisps or popcorn in bowls around the house. Remember to get plenty of napkins.
Let the Games Begin
Party games can be loads of fun. If you have a theme for your party, then coming up with games that go with it could be a fun and easy way to keep some momentum going beyond just music and dancing. Not everyone may be interested in playing party-games but very house party has a group who would absolutely love to play Twister or pull up the karaoke machine. Just don’t let the keg run dry!
Capture the Moment
Everyone has a phone so there will be photos of your party. We understand that not all house parties should be remembered, but if it’s important to you to have slightly more control of the memories, hire a photographer to roam the party and take some candid shots. Pro tip: Get some disposable cameras or even Instant cameras and scatter them about the house. Invite your guests to pick one up whenever and take some shots of them and their friends. Loads of fun to see what develops.
Have an Exit Strategy
All good things come to an end. If the cops come over and shut down your party, you can consider it an instant success and skip this step. Short of that though, decide whether you will gradually start bringing it to a close when the time comes by changing the music and switching on some lights. Or will you abruptly stop the beats at and start playing Michael Bolton? Brutal, but it works. House parties often fizzle or morph into a tailgate party in your driveway so be prepared for that eventuality as well. Either way, think about, and plan your exit strategy.
House parties are an awesome way to hang out with friends and there are of course a lot of things to think about and plan for before the first person walks in the door. The tips above should get you started with your research. If it feels overwhelming, remember that many you can outsource the food, music, and even the planning to somebody who does this for a living as well. It’s the more expensive but (sometimes) less stressful approach to hosting a large party.
Stay Safe and Have Fun
And finally, while it’s all about the fun and games, be sure to consider more serious issues like the safety of your guests. If you have stairs or a raised mezzanine level, make sure they are safely railed and strong enough should people lean on them. Also, have a fire extinguisher ready and nearby in case you need it. Make sure your pool area, if you have one is safe and secure and that your guests understand your “policy” on drug usage.
Be safe, have fun and remember to invite us!