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  • Felicia & Neftali

5 Last Minute Tips to Make Any Party a Success

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

Maybe you told yourself you were not going out this year. Or, maybe you are the type who thrives on that last-minute pressure. Well one thing is for certain, the year is almost over, and it will be New Year’s Eve in just a few days. If you find yourself scrambling, it’s not too late to whip up a party that will be a hit with your friends and family.

The holidays or other big events have a way of sneaking up on us and before you know it, we are left with just a few days to put it all together. As a professional event planner, we have the experience and skills to anticipate almost any detail and ensure that all the i’s are dotted, and the t’s are crossed. Here are 5 tips to ensure that your party goes off smoothly, even if you are putting it together at the last minute.

#1 The Concept of Flex-Time

Letting your guests know it's okay to arrive late and come and go is a great way to encourage attendance to your last minute gathering!

Everyone is super busy, especially around this time of year. Many guests feel pressure to be everywhere at the same time. If you are throwing a last-minute party, you need to respect the planners in the crowd. Some people are rigid in their scheduling and will decline a party if it conflicts with something they already have on their calendar.

Consider making your event a “drop-in” event. Write on the invitation that you send out, whether via text, social media, email, that you’d love to see them, even if its just for an hour or so, before they head out to their big event. It’s funny how once someone is at an event how often those other plans melt away.

Utilizing this “Flex-Time” can improve attendance dramatically. At the events we plan this simple addition has turned into some of those magical moments.

#2 Don’t Be Afraid to Call for Back-Up

There are lots of sources of "back-up." It may be too late for a caterer, but many delis and restaurants offer party sized offerings.

Obviously, hosting a party can be stressful. There are so many things to manage. Do not ignore all your available resources. It may be too late to call the caterer, but that does not mean that there aren’t options out there. Many restaurants and upscale grocery stores offer platters this time of year. Picking up even a few items can take the pressure off.

This can be a real time saver. Pick up these “party trays” well in advance, reheat and serve on your own china to add a distinctive touch. Your guests will have lots of tasty food options and your prep list will shrink dramatically.

#3 Solve Party Dilemmas Before They Start with a K.I.S.S.

It doesn't have to be complicated. It's all about the time you spend and the memories you create.

We all have heard of the concept of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly). By keeping it simple you will realize that a lot of your worry is that, silly. You do not need to spend tons of money on decorations or themes. In the events we plan, well placed decorations certainly add to the ambiance and is something we take very seriously.

However, most guests will remember the overall impression your party makes. They are more likely to remember their experiences and interactions with you and other party-goers. Do not allow yourself to become bogged down in the details.

When throwing a last-minute party, it’s best to keep the following simple:

  • Decorations, a few tasteful ones will set the mood, ensure that your venue is as clean and clutter free as possible.

  • Your Menu, less is more, consider offering small hand-held appetizers staged at various locations around the room.

  • Your Beverage Choices, many guests will bring their own if you ask, have a few choices including at least a couple of non-alcoholic one for those guests who are driving or abstain.

#4 Don’t Forget the Music

The right music creates guest engagement. Look for alternatives to give your guests a great DJ experience.

Well chosen music is crucial to any successful party. It can be the difference between your guests hitting the dance floor and hitting the snooze button on your party. You may not have time to hire a DJ, but that does not mean you cannot take advantage of the DJ experience.

Search outside of your comfort zone on music providers such as Spotify or Apple Music for playlists by proven DJs. An alternative is to rely on that one friend we all have that seems to know all the best music before the rest of us discover it.

There is nothing wrong with a little bit of delegation. Rather than another bottle of wine, which most of your guests will show up with, ask that friend to show up with a tight playlist that you can rely on to keep the party going.

#5 Have an Exit Strategy

Make sure everyone knows when it's time to go. Have a simple system to ensure that everyone gets home safely.

It’s crucial that you and your guests know when the party is over. In the case of New Year’s Eve, a couple of hours after midnight is customary. When you decide to call it a night will depend on what type of party you are throwing and the tolerance and proximity of your neighbors.

Something that often gets overlooked is safe transport for your guests that may have had a little too much fun. Consider having a trusted designated driver to handle transportation. If you are in any sort of city, ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft should be able to fill this need. Make sure you have a well-placed sign that spells out your address, so your guests can order a ride if needed.

These 5 simple tips should give you confidence to throw that party and have a wonderful time. If it still seems a little overwhelming and you’ve got an event on the calendar, we’d love to hear from you. We specialize in ensuring that every detail is handled. We promise to deliver the most stress-free event you’ve ever hosted.


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