Party planning is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work! It can be helpful going into the party planning process with a good list of questions to help you make sure that all of your bases are covered. That said, here are some essential questions to ask when planning a party.
- What Kind of Party Are You Planning to Have?
- What’s the Goal for Your Party?
- What is Your Party Planning Budget?
- How Will You Promote Your Party?
- How Many Guests Do You Plan on Having for Your Party?
- Where Will Your Guests Be Coming From?
- What is the Theme for Your Party?
- What Kind of Food Do You Want to Have?
- When Will You Have Your Party?
- Where Will You Have Your Party?
Make sure there is enough space and parking.
- Will You Need Any Special Equipment for Your Party?
- Will You Need DJ for Your Party?
- Will You Need a Photographer or Videographer for Your Party?
- Who is Going to Handle Cleanup for Your Party?
- Does Your Venue Have Any Special Rules or Requirements?
Now that we’ve covered the party planning questions you should ask, let’s examine each one a little bit more.
What Kind of Party Are You Planning to Have?
To some, a party might be a calm get together with friends and loved ones, to others, it’s not a party unless there are loud music and a disco ball. Because of the wide variation between different types of parties, you should first determine the type of party that is best suited for the occasion you’re celebrating.
People have a different set of expectations for a high-school reunion party than they do for a family reunion or birthday party. If you’re having trouble deciding what direction to go in with your party, it can be helpful to think about who your guests will be and what they might be expecting from your event.
What’s the Goal for Your Party?
Going into the party planning process with a clear goal can help ensure that all of the decisions you make from the venue to the food selection, are serving the main purpose of the party. Here are some of the main goals that you might focus towards as you are planning your party.
Celebrate a Friend or Loved One
Planning a party to celebrate a particular person completely changes the way you should approach your planning. Rather than focusing on making everyone that attends happy, your number one goal will be to make sure that the person you’re celebrating feels appreciated and has a great time.
If you’re planning a party for a specific person, it’s helpful to do some investigating beforehand. You’ll want to find out things like their favorite foods, favorites colors, their hobbies and interests, and their personality type.
Some personalities don’t like being in the limelight, so you’ll want to avoid putting them on the spot or requiring them to speak. Other personalities might really appreciate the opportunity to address all of their closest friends and loved ones. The main thing is that you do your research and arrange the party in such a way that they’ll be happy at the end of the night.
Perhaps, rather than celebrating one person, your party is about celebrating a group of people. Parties for groups of people should try to cater to the general desires of the group. It will be impossible to make everyone completely happy with every last detail, but you can at least make certain you cover people’s main concerns.
Providing multiple food options, keeping the music from completely drowning out conversation, and choosing a venue with a wide range of appeal, can all help ensure a good party for your group.
Just Have a Good Time
Maybe your party isn’t for a particular group or for a particular person, rather, it’s just meant to be a great party. These types of parties generally have open guest lists with a lot of people that will come and go as they please. The general expectation for this type of party is loud music, good lighting, and plenty to eat and drink for everyone.
What is Your Party Planning Budget?
When it comes to planning your party, few things are as important as going into the process with a clear budget! You might have the best party in the world planned out on paper, but if you don’t have the finances to execute it, it won’t matter.
Doing your due diligence to determine a realistic price projection can save you from a lot of headaches (and credit cards,) once you get further into the planning process. Here are a few ways you might get an accurate number for what your party will cost.
- Call any venues or vendors you’re considering using to get quotes for their prices.
- Determine your guest list ahead of time.
- Do some basic research into the cost of any decorations that you want to have.
- Check with photographers and videographers to see what they charge to shoot an event.
- Look at how much it will cost to rent any audio or video equipment that you need.
How Will You Promote Your Party?
Planning a party is one thing. Getting people to attend is another! If your party is for work, consider sending several emails in the months leading up to the event to remind everyone to schedule accordingly for it.
If your party is for friends and loved ones, one of the best ways to promote is with Facebook. You can easily create an event page where people will be able to RSVP well in advance.
If you’re trying to promote a more formal party, you might consider sending out invitations the good old fashioned way via ground mail. This is extra work, but it can go a long way in making a gathering feel more sophisticated.
How Many Guests Do You Plan on Having for Your Party?
The number of guests you plan on having will greatly impact every other aspect of your event. Ideally, you should get a cost projection early on in the party planning process so you’ll be able to choose a venue that is correctly sized, and you won’t have too much or too little food and drinks for your party.
It can be difficult projecting exactly how many people will come to a party, so it’s generally better to prepare or a bit more people than you expect in order to avoid last minute runs to the grocery store to pick up more food and plates.
If possible, make it clear to your guests that you need them to RSVP by a specific date. Depending on the size of your event, this might be a month in advance, or just a couple of weeks in advance. Whatever the case may be, make sure you leave yourself enough time to adjust for the actual number of people that RSVP.
Where Will Your Guests Be Coming From?
This might seem like a small question, but it can greatly impact the experience that your guests will have. If the majority of people that will be attending your party are coming from out of town, make sure that there are more than enough accommodation options available for them nearby to your party venue.
What is the Theme for Your Party?
Who doesn’t love a great theme? Not only are they fun, but having one also helps inform all of your party planning decisions. With a clear theme in mind, you can make sure that all of your colors and decor are nicely synchronized.
What Kind of Food Do You Want to Have?
The type of food and drinks that you should have for your party will be determined largely on the occasion you’re celebrating. If you’re planning a wedding reception, people will expect a variety of fancy dishes. If it’s simply a closed gathering for friends and family, you might consider requesting each of your guests to bring a dish.
When Will You Have Your Party?
If your party is next week, you’ll need to get moving fast in order to pull everything off. If your event is several months down the line, then you can be more deliberate with your party planning.
Keep in mind, if you plan a party last minute, all of the guests that you invite might have a difficult time making it. The more time they have to make arrangements, the more likely they are to be there.
Where Will You Have Your Party?
When it comes to planning a great party, finding the right venue is a significant part of the process. Make sure that the venue you select matches the theme of your party, has enough room for everyone you would like to invite, and that there is plenty of parking if you plan to have a larger event.
Before booking a venue, it’s recommended that you take a tour first. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the venue, and learn of any special rule or requirements that they might have.
Will You Need Any Special Equipment for Your Party?
If you’re planning on having music at your event, you’re going to need a good speaker system, and not every venue comes ready to go with these. If you would like to have a screen and projector for presentations or slideshows, you will need to make sure that these are ready to go as well. If you want to avoid the extra expenses of having to rent these, it can be worth it to do some research to find a party venue that includes them as a part of their pricing.
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