Tag Archives: Dinner Parties

5 Ways to Plan a Party

How to Stop Your Party From Going Haywire

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HighLife Productions March 29, 2017

My Mom loves to tell the story of the day she got married. She had planned for the perfect wedding but after rain, catering mishaps and even a very important person in her life telling her that they didn’t approve who she was marrying, because of religious differences, everything seemed to be falling apart; however, my mother told herself “nothing will ruin this day” and ignored it all.

When we host a party that does not go as we planned we ask ourselves, “Why me, why my party?” What we don’t realize at the time is that something is bound to go wrong. The more you plan for your party the greater your expectations are for how it will turn out; you expect your party to turn out exactly how you picture. With higher standards in mind, when something small goes awry, it has a larger impact on how we view our party than it should. We see the party running off track; however, all the guests are perfectly content.

An easy way to solve this issue is taking a quick survey or judging the conversations in the room. If you, as the host, ask a guest “how are you enjoying everything?” your guests will appreciate your taking time to speak with them and you will also gather key information. Look for tone in their answer rather than the answer itself because guests are inclined to give you a positive response; no one will tell you “this party is going terribly”.

The truth is that guests don’t have expectations of your party in mind until after they are there, at the very least their threshold for a good party is a lot lower than yours. While you may see your party as going terribly, they may see that it is running smoothly. The pasta didn’t come with your catering even though you made it explicitly clear what you had ordered? Your guests do not know that, just work around it! Honestly, the guests usually could care less about the things you see as problems. Further, these flaws may actually be enhancing the experience and may be a primetime to make memories. Be spontaneous! Oh, it is raining during your wedding? Why don’t you dance in the rain, I am sure that it will make for a great memory to put in your photo-book.

At this point you may be thinking that the title is misleading, but it’s not. The solution to stopping your party from going haywire is to expect things to go wrong. Once you start seeing flaws in the party, it will lead into a downward spiral where everything seems to be going poorly. However, if you are not satisfied, here are some tips to fix common mishaps:

I. Rain: It is very easy to plan and book around the weather if you are planning a party a week or two in advance. Parties that require long term planning cannot do this. In these scenarios be sure to notify your guests of the weather as soon as you can . An easy solution is to move your party inside if it is outdoors. You can also set up tents and umbrellas to avoid everyone from getting wet. With the accuracy of weather forecasts in modern times rain should be pretty easy to work around.

II. Important Guest is Late: If someone important to your party is late, your guests may be growing impatient. An easy solution is to distract them. Tell jokes or a funny story about the guest being late in the past. Survey the audience, ask them to tell jokes, play a game, there are so many options! The key is just to be prepared when the moment comes because being spontaneous may sound easy but can be very hard for some people . Therefore, planning ahead with some activities that could help pass time is a key.

III. Food Mishaps: these scenarios are why it is so important to have a backup plan and to be in contact with your catering constantly leading up to your event. It will be hard to find a backup for good quality food if something goes wrong. If the food was mis-delivered or destroyed in some fashion, the catering you use will usually provide a backup, but don’t count on it. If your food never shows up, or they are not able to provide a backup, you need a plan. Have somewhere in mind that will be able to provide food on the spot (although not very luxurious pizza is always a decent option). A way to avoid this entire scenario is to confirm with the food service repeatedly before your party, especially a week in advance and the morning of. If an un-replaceable item is destroyed, say a wedding cake, it may seem like a big deal but the faster you move on the less likely it is to ruin your day. Your guests won’t care if you serve them backup deserts and it is sure to make its place in the memory books.

IV. Silence: This is one of the scariest scenarios, if no one is mingling all eyes are on the host. This scenario is rare and usually only occurs when your guests have some hostility between them or a crowd of introverts. It becomes your job to spark conversation and introduce people. Meeting people is always the hardest part, talking with them after is the easy . If your guests are hostile toward one another try to do something to to draw their attention away from that hostility. Some of the techniques from part II should do the trick or introduce them to other guests at the party.

What do you think? Would you handle these situations in the same way? If you have any other inquiries about party mishaps please let me know below!

Author: Paul Erlanger, Intern for Highlife Productions

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HighLife ProductionsApr 13, 2017Always solid advice!!

5 ways to have a great party!

5 Tips to throwing a great private party

HighLife Productions February 27, 2017

Whether your event is for 10 or 10,000. Making it unique, entertaining, and impactful is key. Below is a selection of recent private events. So that is why we have provided you with some easy and affordable tips for throwing a first class private party either in your home, apartment, office, or showroom.

  1. The Guests.
    Make sure your guestlist is worked out ahead of time so you have a proper rough estimate of who is coming and why they are coming. If it’s a media event you want to maximize your exposure and impressions. So invite the right people. This doesn’t always mean the people with the most amount of followers or XYZ media publication what it means are people who care. Depth not width. Building a cultivated following of “fans” who actually really care and won’t break your stuff! You know your friends will show up but what about those “a little harder to reach” — see if you can give them a reason to attend, add some sort of value to their experience hence #2.

2. Food and Drinks.
Besides the sexy guests and the sweet beats this is probably right up there with the top reasons why people attend parties. Yeah the socializing is fun but what about the treats? Great food and beverage is imperative and hiring professionals to take care of this for you leaves you without the headache and also makes your event special. If you are balling on a budget then serve 1 specialty cocktail that everyone likes ala MOSCOW MULE or MARGARITA and then simple beer/wine/prosecco. Done.

3. The Staff.
Make sure you always have event staff whenever you put together your events. Having a helpful hand and a professional bartender or waiter or both! Will allow you to be a guest at your own party! Too many times we hear “oh my best friend Zach is a bartender so he is gonna do it.” cut to: later that evening when 100 people are in your apt and Zach is stone cold drunk in the back. If you splurge on any one thing in my opinion this is the best because then you don’t need to clean up afterwards.

4. The Playlist
Ideally you should have a DJ and if you want to add that little something extra live music is always a treat whether it be an accoustic performance, jazz solo, mariachi band, or a guy that plays the spoons. These little touches go a long way. If you don’t have any of the above I highly recommend the pre-loaded mixes on Sound cloud and itunes.

5. The Neighbors
Always, Always, always, invite the neighbors. Be up front about your party and never try to sneak it in there. Most of the time the neighbors politely decline but at least they have fair warning that the music will be thumpin till at least 1:00 a.m. I mean, let’s be realistic 1:00 a.m. end time. 2:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. in the club. 4:00 a.m.- 5am Hotel lobby. That’s the order, right?

BONUS

6. Stay sober…?
Or relatively so. You are the host and you want to be the host with the most right? This does not mean falling apart at 11:00 p.m. because you had 3 Cosmos just nervously waiting for people to arrive and realizing that no one in NYC arrives when the party starts. Always plan for people to start arrive 1 hour after the start time. Myself, on the other hand, loves to come to parties early and leave early. You get the first dibs on all the great food and beverages. You ACTUALLY get to talk to the host and lastly you don’t want to stick around till the bitter end when things tend to get messy Like we stated above 1:00 a.m. -Hit a good club. As the host you want to last the whole night so pace yourself, drink some water. Remember, you are the star of the evening!

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