Party Planning Essentials

Posted on 19, April, 2019

Last Modified on 24, April, 2019

There is a lot that goes into planning an event — from creating invitations to working with a venue. Whether you're putting on a holiday party or celebrating a milestone, this guide's tips for outfitting your space will help you to impress your guests and create a memorable event.

Event Furniture

When choosing event furniture, you need to be mindful about two things: comfort and style. You'll want to find furnishings that compliment the rest of your venue, as well as set the mood for your guests.

For dimly lit nighttime events, consider outfitting your space with LED illuminated furniture. Color-changing lights will make your event pop and create a unique ambiance. This modular party furniture includes tables, benches, stools and even bars that you can mix and match to make an event that is truly your own.

When you need stools and tables that are customizable and easily portable, turn to cardboard. Cardboard furniture is surprisingly sturdy, only takes seconds to assemble, and it's recyclable. These displays ship and store flat so they'll take up very little space in the trunk of your car. If you need something portable but prefer a little more bounce, then you should try inflatable furniture. Like cardboard tables and chairs, inflatables are compact and easy-to-set up. They also have stretch graphics, allowing you to brand your event with custom-printed sofas and portable counters.

Traditional high-top cocktail tables are also a great fit for networking events because they encourage your partygoers to stand and chat, easily moving from one table to another while snacking and enjoying a drink.

Photo Booths

At bridal showers, surprise birthday parties, weddings and other large get-togethers, your guests will want to take selfies and group photos to share on social media. While they can pull out their phones to snap pictures anywhere in the venue, setting up a well-lit photo booth turns capturing the moment into a fun group activity. You can also include fun props, which you can find at your local party store or supermarket.

When using a photo booth for an iPad, don't forget to use an application that allows users to find and share their photos after the event.

If you're hosting a branded or sponsored event, your booth's backdrop should be branded, too. Step and repeat banners, which are often seen at red carpet events or award shows, are perfect for including marketing and promotions in professional photo ops. These event backdrops are famous for their patterned logo design, and they're an affordable way to put your sponsors in the spotlight.

Food & Beverage

Let's face it — food and beverages are often the main attraction at many events. It's easy to get people excited about an open bar, chocolate-dipped fruit, or pigs in a blanket. Once you've decided on what you're serving you need to find a way to present it appealingly.

Drinks

At your serving table, beverages can be easily self-served from a pitcher or drink dispenser. Bottled beverages can be neatly displayed at the bar on colorful LED bar risers, which add an ambient glow underneath your refreshments. To display cups and other beverage accessories, use a beverage station, which organizes your selection into neat compartments.

Food

The buffet table is where many hosts are at their creative best. Try laying your appetizers out on catering platters, then create impressive dessert displays like a cupcake tower with dessert risers. It's also a good idea to label your dishes, so your guests know what they're eating. On these labels, be sure to clearly mark anything that may be vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free so guests with dietary restrictions know what they can and cannot have.

Table Setting

If your function has tables, think about how you might want to style them. For a formal banquet or ball, decorate your dining room with sophisticated pleated skirts and and linens — these will give your venue a classy and professional aesthetic at an affordable price. Event planners that desire a more modern look can dress their tables with stretch-fit covers, which mold to the contours of the surface and curve towards the legs to create a smooth and elegant presentation. This spandex fabric can also be custom-printed with a branded logo or design to promote the hosts or event sponsors.

Now, if you'll have assigned seating at this event, you'll want to number your tables or personalize arrangements with placecard holders. These sign clips come in a variety of fun styles to fit the theme of your event and can effectively display escort cards or other signage to guide your guests.

Games & Activities

If you're hosting a fundraiser, think of how you're going to collect donations and incentivize contributions from your guests. Having a clearly labeled donation box at your event makes it easier for people to donate to your cause. Try placing a box in high traffic areas like the venue's entrance or at the bar so that people are reminded to donate throughout the party. A great way to get more engagement at your fundraiser is through pay-to-play prize games and raffles. Event organizers often will create raffle baskets with goodies and ask local businesses for gift cards and product donations to offer as prizes. During the event, attendees can purchase tickets to increase their chances of being drawn for a prize. To randomly select a winner, you as the host can put tickets into a raffle drum, which shuffles tickets by spinning. This makes the contest fair and fun.

Signage

If you really want this to be a night to remember—brand it. Welcome your guests with an inviting poster and try placing decorative banners and signs throughout your event space to encourage engagement. Branded signage is especially useful if you’re planning a reoccuring event because it crafts an image that guests can associate with their experience, and recognize in upcoming promotions.

Also, consider adding wayfinding signage to your venue to lead guests to common areas like the bar or restroom. Most people can probably attest that walking around aimlessly in search of a bathroom isn't fun — especially in a crowd of people dancing. While you might be able to get through the night with the "gotta go" dance, it's better if you just know where to go in the first place. A simple sign could prevent this awkward situation from happening, and make your guests' experience more convenient.

Phone Charging

Last but not least — consider how you can best accommodate the needs of your guests. As a host, how can you make everyone feel comfortable? One idea is to have charging stations available at your venue, so partygoers have a convenient place to power their smartphones and devices. This will prevent people from battling for outlets, and give them peace of mind that they'll have enough battery to take photos of your event and contact their ride home.


That's it! We hope this guide helped you plan an awesome get-together that you and your guests will remember forever! If you liked this guide, share it with your friends on social media... and when it's party time, tag us in your photos with #displays2go and you could get featured on our "Be Inspired" page.


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