A few years ago, I had the great opportunity to plan a dear friend’s birthday party. Sex and the City was the theme chosen for this soiree; as it was a favorite show of ours. Together we planned the decorations and food. Pictures and quotes from our favorite scenes were placed around the rooms. The appetizers were placed on their trays and the glasses for our fruity, girly drinks were arranged. The place looked FANTASTIC!
The party, however, turned out to be the lamest 3 hours in social gathering history! Why? Because we got caught up so much with the decor that I forgot about the basis of a party: The people and what they are going to do at the party. I hadn’t really thought about what kind of party (such as mingling, watching the show, or testing new drinks) we wanted to have so it turned out to be a total Party Planning Fail! We ended up just staring at each other until someone turned on the tv to watch what ever show was on that evening.
Anyone planning a social gathering would say that the most fun part of party planning is picking out the invitations and decorations and perhaps planning the menu, and I agree, it totally is! But the frills aren’t the most important part. In order to keep your parties and reputation on the “must be at” list, don’t forget about the basis or your event.
Sara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison, executive publicists with offices in New York, Miami, and Los Angels, put these two things on the top of their party planning list as well. They wrote a book, Fete Accompli! The Ultimate Guide to Creative Entertaining, which is a great entertaining guide with an upbeat attitude and is not presented in the usual boring party planning manner. They go onto explain that after you have decided to plan a party the first step is to decide what your party is for and also what kind of party you want. They explain these decisions as being important because you might not want to plan a night of dancing until 5:00am if you are celebrating a promotion with your boss, and perhaps your boss’ boss.
Although it may seem obvious not to make that type of mistake, it is rather easy to forget these often overlooked elements. If you just plan the “fun stuff” all you are left with is a decorative room filled with food and bored people (and trust me, it’s not fun!) Take a moment and just think about the basis of your party, and everything else will fall into place around it.
- Classy Event Organizer