Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Party Planning Course - PRE-PLANNING

The following post is a contiuation of my Simple Party Planning Course....

So you’ve decided to have a party. Now What?


Don’t be overwhelmed by planning your event. Sit down and put the following down ON PAPER:

-DATE: Getting your guests to attend takes more than just an alluring invitation. Think about your own obligations and apply it to your guest list. Consider more than just choosing whether a Friday or Saturday will work. Scan the local newspaper or school websites to find out what is going on in the community that might be a conflict for your guests. Sports schedules, school concerts and local community events such as holiday parades and tree lightings should be taken into consideration.

-TIME & DURATION: For evening events your starting time should be late enough to give yourself time to prepare and give your working guests time to get home and change but should also be early enough that your party doesn’t run late into the night. 7 or 7:30 is usually standard for evening affairs. For afternoon events, be considerate and don’t choose time frames that take up your guest’s entire day. Plan for brunch time 10:30 – 1:30 or late afternoon 5 -7pm.. You will have more people attend if they see that they still have time to accomplish their own agendas.

LOCATION – It is most cost effective to host your party at your own home. Think about how many guests your home will accommodate. Consider removing furniture out of the entertaining rooms and place folding chairs around the areas. Everyone likes to show off their home décor, but scale back your cherished items for a crisper, cleaner look for entertaining. You will benefit more by saving your favorite collectible from being broken than from displaying it for your guests. If you are planning an outdoor party, be sure to think about the weather. On porches and in garages, bring in extra fans to circulate the air and keep bugs away. Outdoor tents are very elegant for winter outdoor parties and save your home from the mess, but can be expensive to rent.

THEME- When choosing a theme, think outside of the box. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to have traditional themes. Try “July in Christmas” for a fun theme (see Party Starter page for details.) With traditional parties, add another dimension by having a centralized event such as having Santa stop by or have Christmas carolers stop by. Focus more on what you can offer your guests that is different than just the theme’s décor.

ATTIRE (cocktail, casual, dinner) – This one is your personal preference. Most people like to have a reason to dress up a little bit, but sometimes you just want to be comfortable.

GUEST COUNT/LIST –Is this just neighbors? Your company holiday party? Don’t mix guest list. Business parties should not be combined with less formal occasions. No one wants to see their slightly obnoxious neighbor chatting with your biggest client. It is also too stressful to try to be professional and hang out with the girl next door at the same time. Again, consider how many your home will comfortable hold.

Coming Next..... the "Menu".......

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