Sunday, November 14, 2010

Party Planning Tips for a great Holiday Party!

We posted this originally back in 2007 but it still holds up as a great party planning blog post...

Top 5 Party Tips for an A-List Gathering

So you are throwing a little (or big) soiree? You know you are going to stress over every detail- decorations, food, guest list…But have you thought about how you will promote your party?

“Promotion? For my little ‘ol neighborhood party? That sounds a little over the top.”

After all of the time, energy, and expense you are going to for your party, why not focus on a few inexpensive steps to throw the kind of party folks will have so much fun at, they'll be talking about it all year!?

As the former publicity maven and artist relations wrestler for a record label, ms. paperlicious has learned that there are a few main “promotion” staples to a great party, no matter what the occasion or who’s on the guest list.

So here’s my Top 5 Party Tips for an A-List Gathering:

5- Start with a creative fun invitation that suits the mood of your party. Sure you can dash off an email or do one of those online invites, but the paper invitation means serious party business! (Oh of course I'm biased- we're a custom printing stationery company!) Be witty with the wording. Go for memorable yet simple. And send it out 3-4 weeks before a large event, 2.5-3 weeks for a friendly gathering. The longer people have it on their calendar, the more likely it is that they will attend.

4- Reach for the stars. In the music industry, we used to wrangle the stars by enticing them with talk of fellow elite attending, and of course lots of great press via “the red carpet.” So decide who your “stars” are and make it a point to get them there. “Coworker Bob, I’m counting on you to wow my guests with your hilarious reparte!” And don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and invite a few new people you don’t know so well. You never know who is going to be the life of your next party!

3- Talk, talk, talk it up! A little old-fashioned party-promotion will create excitement. And excitement is contagious. So thrill would-be guests with your fantastic details. Tell the ladies you invited in your yoga class about the exquisite menu you just nailed down, tell the Bunco group about your amazing bar set-up, tell your single friends about all of the other cute single people attending…

It’s all in the details. Any party with a “signature drink” is always a crowd pleaser. Having a New York themed party? Serve a Big Apple Martini. Winter welcoming? A Muddy Snowflake at dessert (coffee & cream). Another quick tip-- Set up a “bar” anywhere but the kitchen (get out of the kitchen!), created from a simple card table with a table cloth draped over it. For some reason, ordering from a waist high table, um, “bar,” makes people feel really fancy. I swear. Even better if you can staff it with a "bartender" aka friend, babysitter, neighbor, etc. Divide up the time between buddies- entice them by telling them it's the best way to meet all the people at the party. Better yet, give the job to a shy friend so they meet lots of new people!

1- Send ‘em packin…with something good! It doesn’t have to be an expensive party favor, just something thoughtful and memorable. Intimate dinner party? Take a group photo and print it out on that new photo printer while everyone is having dessert. High-brow event? Vosges chocolates are gourmet and out of this world creative. Ever have a cumin truffle? People will be talking. Baby shower? Homemade tulle-wrapped drawer sachets/sea salt baths or a tiny bundle of fresh herbs from your garden are darling. Kids party? Let them scoop different colored M&Ms or Jelly Belly’s from the “candy bar” you set up. You can go to each company’s website and purchase separate colors/flavors.

There you have it! Put these tips together with your fun decorations, great food, and lots of friends and you have the makings for one happening shindig!

Share your party tips with us!

ms. paperlicious

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