Planning an event can be challenging, whether you're throwing a corporate party or a backyard bash. You want to impress your attendees, but you also want everything to go off without a hitch. You may also have other goals to consider, like photography or branding efforts. Thankfully, hosting a memorable party is well within reach. Try these top tips in our party host guide for taking your event to the next level.
1. Make It Personal
A few personal touches can make a major difference in your guests' experience. You don't need to make handcrafted items for everyone, but some kind of gift or unique item can really make them feel special. It could be as simple as a place card at their seat, a door gift with a bottle of wine or an embroidered tote bag. The item doesn't need to be expensive, but the gesture means a lot.
You can also personalize your event through your decor. Display a slideshow of photos or the initials of a newly engaged couple on the wall. Anything you can do to make your event stand out from any generic party can help make it more memorable.
2. Focus on Your Decor
Decor is one of the best ways to wow your guests. Spend some time creating eye-catching scenery, and focus on the details. While big, bold statements can grab attention, guests especially appreciate good attention to detail. Look for subtle ways to add a little flair, like a pop of color here or a unique display there. Let your creativity show, but work with a professional if needed. Party decor can be difficult to pull off, but decorators understand the subtleties and can make your event shine.
Your approach to decor should also include lighting. Lighting is critical for many aspects of your event. It can set the tone, help people navigate your event and draw their attention to important elements, like speeches and music.
Lighting is also critical for photos. If you plan to take professional pictures during your event or you want people to be able to take good smartphone pictures, the right lighting is essential. You can even use lighting to create focal points, such as a dynamic light show on a cake or wall.
Event lighting can run the gamut from classic to elaborate, with options like:
Gobo lighting: Gobo lighting — short for "go-between optics" — can project an image onto a surface. You might use it to put initials, a company logo, basic shapes or decorative elements on the wall or floor.
Bistro lighting: With bistro lighting, you can create a cozy and elegant atmosphere out of hanging string lights for indoor or outdoor spaces.
Uplighting: Uplighting is a great way to add a little drama or basic illumination to your space. These lights fan up from the base of walls and other objects.
RGB lighting: RGB lighting stands for red, green and blue and powers unique visual effects, such as moving, color-changing or sound-activated installations.
Like decor, lighting is often best left to the pros. It can be challenging, and those of us who do it professionally understand the intricacies of lighting, like how different colors will work together and how to find the right kind of equipment for your unique event. At Illuminating Design, we specialize in creative displays and can help you truly wow your guests.
3. Add a Theme
A theme gives people an excuse to dress up and have an experience that's out of the ordinary. Consider implementing a fun theme, like the Roaring '20s or a garden party. A theme can also give you something around which to coordinate your decor. An underwater theme, for example, might work well with wavy light projections, while a tropical theme could do well with a lot of greenery. A theme helps tie everything together and create a more memorable experience. A unique theme is an excellent way to wow your guests.
4. Plan Entertainment
Give your guests something to talk about with plenty of entertainment. It could be as simple as a few games or a big live music performance. Good entertainment can be an excellent approach to making your event a hit. Some types of entertainment to consider include:
Musicians and DJs.
Comedians or other performers.
Party games, such as raffles or musical chairs.
Carnival-style activities, like a dunk tank or ring tosses.
Think about how you'll conduct your entertainment. Will people mill around and play games at leisure, or will you need to dim the lights to introduce your live musician? Do they have enough time to finish their drinks or meal while they enjoy the entertainment?
Any good guide on how to be a good host will tell you to be prepared. As you plan your entertainment, be proactive and make sure your guests and vendors have everything they need. A musician, for instance, will need a good place to perform and outlets that can support professional speakers. You might need to supply the equipment yourself. Make sure you know what they need. You'll also need to gather your supplies for any games, like printed cards, tickets and prizes.
5. Create Unique Foods and Cocktails
Another way to add a memorable touch to your event is to create special meals and drinks that fit your theme or another aspect of the party. For example, you could create a spooky smoked cocktail for a Halloween party or order cookies with your company colors for a corporate launch party. Unique foods and cocktails can impress your guests and offer more opportunities for social media sharing. An impressive meal is often worth posting online.
Depending on the scale of your event, unique food and cocktails could be as simple as using themed colors and coming up with clever names for your dishes. You could also talk to a professional chef or baker to create a stunning menu just for your party.
Look for food and drink items that complement each other and offer variety. Try to keep any dietary restrictions in mind, too. Many guests appreciate a host that accommodates their allergies and preferences.
Plan Your Next Party With the Pros
In most cases, working with professionals is a must for impressing your party guests. A dedicated team can turn a good party into a great one, combining creative design with quality equipment and an easy setup. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any event, helping to establish the atmosphere, promote good photos and direct attention.
At Illuminating Design, we light parties of all kinds in Georgia with clients that range from businesses and cities to happy couples and birthday celebrators. Our extensive experience in lighting design allows us to create unique backdrops for your event that help you stand out. We'll discuss your goals, such as creating a specific tone or a photo-ready environment, and offer suggestions on how our lighting can provide support.
Reach out today to discuss your event and see how we can elevate it with professional lighting services.