Seven Steps to a Successful House Party

This Halloween weekend, Chris and I were fortunate enough to attend one of the great social function phenomenons of our time: the major house party. We can attest after having thrown one ourselves back in the day that this type of function doesn’t happen without work.

Ever since 1990 when the Kid n’Play – Hudlin Brothers film classic, House Party, came to the big screen, folks nationwide have been trying to recreate that scene for themselves. Everyone remembers in that film when the camera gives us our first shot of the interior of the house – music is banging, the place is packed and everyone is dancing. If one is in hopes of throwing a stone cold groove, here are seven rules to follow to ensure your party is a success:

1) Free entry. In these hard economic times asking folks to pay to party at your house is sure to keep your numbers to a minimum. If anything, ask folks to bring a bottle for the bar – a few will, and that will lower your liquor costs.

2) Serve free drinks. But keep a tip jar at the bar. Better yet, have large quantities of a pre-made signature party beverage already made and ready to go. This will keep folks from dipping in the bottles because it’s quick and convenient.

3) Create an ambiance. Seating, lighting, visual displays and music can all make or break the success of your function. And since we touched on it…

4) Hire the right DJ for the job. Hire a DJ who has a music collection that matches your tastes. A good mix of current and throwback hits will bring folks on the dance floor. (Yeah that was me doing the Humpty this weekend.)

5) Diversity and expand the guest list. You might think your house can’t hold 200 people – but you won’t know until you try. Invite people who you feel are decent and trustworthy and allow them to bring guests. If you are uncertain about any of your guests, keep the party outside and invest in a port a potty rental for bathroom usage.

6) Offer snacks. You’re not running a restaurant so don’t feel obligated to feed people an entire meal, but the ensure they aren’t throwing up, keep cookies, pretzel, and candies on deck just in case.

7) Give the party a theme. If you host the party around a holiday then your work is done. If not, be creative and set up the expectation by giving it a theme. This will also help when you are planning decorations. Casino, cocktail, and Ex-to-the-next are all popular themes.