Sounds like a fairly routine event job to organize a party – prepare the venue, get the food & drinks, pick up the music and DJs, send out the invitations and start welcoming your guests. While it is indeed the same workflow that applies for your small private party, it is not easy and does require a good amount of horned skills to organize an epic party that will have people talking.
It rests on your knowledge and experience built as an event pro over the years, knowing the market and competition, having a list of people who you can count on, a savoir-faire with social media, engagement, technology and people and the capacity and nerves to handle and managed the financial risk involved.
Just how is it done? We have compiled and outlined some expert tips in this respect.
As with any other events, proper planning is vital and creating the best party, which will have people talking, is no different. It is perhaps the perfect test as an event pro on whether you know your scene well enough and are very comfortable with the ins and outs of organizing. It requires you being capable and meticulous with gauging the costs and having realistic goals.
If you need to get a good local or international DJ or artist onboard, you need to know where the market is heading and be sure to request well in advance their availability and start making the necessary arrangement for some inexpensive flights, connections and accommodation. But before getting involved with your first bookings, know where you stand financially way in advance.
Think outside the box – consider and go on a hunt for a distinctive setting and location other than the usual bars, hotels and conference halls. Make it an element of surprise, something people will find unexpected and thereby, creating a sense of curiosity from your attendees. Your choice can vary and range from parking lots and garages to vacant buildings, warehouses or converted spaces, art galleries and art schools, airport tarmacs and hangars, a super yacht or a 500ft-high penthouse overlooking the city. Depending on what you choose, the place could well be just amazing as it is and therefore, not much to be done with the décor of the place, if not very little. Now, this does not necessarily mean hosting your event in an inaccessible place where people will struggle to get to.
Ambiance of the party
Guests must enter the party and feel like they have never seen something like this before and very privileged to be here. They will be texting their friends, uploading pictures wildly on social media during and after the party and wanting to tell their friends more about it after leaving. The same attendees are also an integral part of what create the ambiance, so, be sure to have the right people at the party. Everything has to be coordinated to have your event peaking at the right moments in order not to burn your crowd too early.
While the location and venue are important, finding the right lighting system can help enhance and create the perfect atmosphere. Entertainment and music programming have to be spot-on and consistent. They need to worship your entertainment or find something that people will remember long after the party is over. So, get the heavyweights in and you will be sure to hit capacity and early.
The perfect host
For such a party, everything you do or say will be held against you. So, you have to already have a solid reputation in the industry and the type of person you are matters. It is therefore important to be totally genuine from the start. People will see through you and they need to be able to trust you as an organizer or host, industry partners and delivering what you promise and with results.
As a host, you have to be able to connect with people at an emotional level. For this, you have to invest time and your honest interest in the people you work with and for.
Your list and investing in relationships
This is not something that you can do overnight. It takes years of working it out in the industry to know who is who, many events in the bag to build a list of contacts from service providers to celebrities to sponsors. And even with the list, it does not guarantee you that things will work out as you would like them to. A network of relationships needs to be taken care of and invested in, by calling, meeting and spending time with each person – making them feel valued and appreciated. Get to know who they are, what they do, what makes them tick and make sure they are comfortable and enjoying themselves in your presence.
The key people & the right crowd
The people make the party. It is imperative that you get the right crowd of people in and even some key personalities to your event. If you have got everyone feeling the same vibe, it means you have hit the sweet spot. It is somewhat like cooking; you have to get all the ingredients in, balance the flavors and spices to get the perfect meal. Therefore, spend time on your invitation list and mix it up, getting current attendees as well as prospective ones.
You can also into providing exclusivity. For example, each person invited is only allowed to bring along a single guest. In doing so, you would be able to predict the type of audience that would be attending.
Engage the people
Getting your crowd engaged throughout the party is key. Offering something for free can do this. It does not need to be something expensive, although you can try getting these freebies covered by some sponsors. It needs to be something creative enough to have the people interact among themselves and with your party. A fun and charismatic emcee can help with managing your audience and their engagement – he or she will be championing the party right beside you and will be making sure that no one is being left out and everyone is having an amazing time.
Social engagement – Extending the experience
The party starts the moment you have confirmed you location and have worked out your financial including confirmed and prospective sponsors. At this point, you will need to determine what is your approach for rallying people to the party – open marketing with ticket sales or exclusivity with invitation only. It all depends what type of party you are organizing. Whatever it is, you should start gradually building up the audience anticipation through your chosen channels of social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). If you are in to increase your reach and attendees, loads of fun and shareable links can well work in that favor. Otherwise, keep it to targeted personalities and specific groups.
This social interaction and engagement should run from before, during and after the event is over. Therefore, it is important to plan ways through which you will be urging the attendees to do so during the party. And do not forget to invest in having the party documented extensively through photos and videos. In doing so, you will be gathering materials and tools to further extend the experience of your guests beyond the party.
Depending on your overall strategy and type of party you are having, you can choose to use a mix of promotional flyers, posters, ads in trendy magazines, online newsletters and listings through online portals to get the words out. It is a party, so there is not need to write much. It just needs to be simple and clear to communicate the theme or suitable reason for the party with the relevant details, together with one or a few great pictures or graphics in that respect.
Part of the background work in organizing any event and specially a party that you want to stand out from the rest, is to make sure that there are no other major conflicting events with yours happening at the same time. There is a need to check and be sure your targeted attendees have a free schedule on the chosen date. Otherwise, you will have to work doubly hard to try and separate yourself from the bloody waters of competition.
Are there any stories or other tips to share on the topic? What else can add to the success in creating a night your guests will never forget? Let us know below.