Tips for organising a fantastic party

Arranging a party to celebrate a special occasion—whether it's an engagement, an anniversary or a birthday—is a big responsibility. Read on to discover some tips on how to handle two of the most important elements of planning a fantastic party.

The venue

The venue in which you host the party will play a significant role in how enjoyable it will be. There are usually a large number of function venues in most major towns and cities; it's crucial to shop around and find one which not only fits your budget but also the needs of your guests and the general theme of your party.

When selecting a venue location, consider how your guests will get there. For example, there is little point in hiring a beautiful function room in a rural hotel if most of those who are invited to the event reside in the city and will struggle to arrange transport to and from the venue. Similarly, if a lot of your guests will be driving to the party, it's best not to choose a venue in a busy metropolitan area if its parking facilities are somewhat limited. You don't want to put your guests into a situation where they have to spend the first part of their evening desperately searching for a parking space for their car, as this will almost certainly put them in a bad mood and get the party off to a poor start.

It's also important to look for a venue which fits in with the 'vibe' of your party. If the architecture, decor and general ambience of the function room clash with the style of your event, it can create an unpleasant atmosphere and spoil the party. For example, if you're planning a light-hearted, playful birthday bash, which will feature things like a karaoke machine, disco lights, and a DIY cocktail station, it would be inappropriate to host it in say, a formal function room in an upscale period property. For this type of event, a marquee or even a party boat would be a far better choice of venue.

Think carefully about the size of your chosen venue, too; it needs to be spacious enough to accommodate things like the dining or buffet tables, seating, the dance floor and the bar. It should also have plenty of room for your DJ or band and all of their equipment and instruments. However, it's important not to hire an excessively large venue; if you do, you run the risk of the space looking a bit deserted, even after all of the guests have arrived and the party is in full swing.

The entertainment

When arranging the entertainment for your party, you will need to take into consideration not only your budget but also the event's level of formality and the venue constraints. For instance, if you're organising a party to celebrate your parents' wedding anniversary and know that they would prefer a relatively formal evening, hiring a pianist and a jazz singer to provide some tasteful background music would be wiser than booking a DJ. In this example, you would need to ensure that the venue has a stage area in its function room and that it has the space needed to accommodate the necessary equipment (i.e. a piano and a microphone).

Conversely, if you're arranging a birthday party for your party-animal friend, they would probably appreciate a livelier form of entertainment, such as a swing band. If you opt for this, make sure that your chosen venue has both a stage on which the band can perform as well as a dance floor that is large enough for the number of guests you intend to invite.

While music is a must for any party, it's not the only form of entertainment available. If you have the funds and the inclination, it may be worth looking into other ways to keep your guests enthralled. You could, for example, hire a professional illusionist. This is a fantastic way to entertain people during large, sit-down dinner parties, as the performer can walk around the venue, doing tricks at each table. If you decide to opt for this, don't rely on an illusionist's online show-reel to determine if you should hire them. Instead, meet them in person and ask them to demonstrate one or two of their tricks during your meeting. This will make it easier to determine if their level of ability is a good match for your event.