Be it a ferocious fiesta with fajitas, piñatas and piña coladas or an intimate affair with dimmed lights, elegant hors d’oeuvres and classy cocktails, apartment parties, even in tight dwellings, can be just as fun as anywhere else. If you plan to throw a huge party, you should catch up on the details of throwing a huge party. When it comes to throwing an apartment party, however, there are a few key steps hosts must take to ensure the potentially cramped event turns into the party to remember.
Finding ways to make more space in your pint-sized palace might seem practically impossible, but it can be done for special occasions. Move tables and chairs against walls or, if possible, dissemble some of that Ikea-style furniture that, although useful in everyday life, gets underfoot during crowded parties.
Warn and Invite the Neighbors
Besides space constraints, apartment dwellers can often run into noise issues as roused neighbors call the police or landlord to complain about the racket. To lessen your party’s impact on neighbors, warn or even invite them to the party as a means to inspire some approval of the potentially noisy affair. Even if they don’t show up, inviting them will help them feel friendlier and can often decrease the likelihood of problems.
Pick a Theme
Without going too crazy, pick a theme. Because holiday-themed decorations are so cheap and easy to find close to Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Halloween, don’t hesitate to take advantage of seasonal goodies. Other themes might be cultural like Chinese, Japanese or Mexican, with food and decorations to match. Themes that require costumes are fun too, but require a lot of extra planning. Don’t forget to choose theme-matching music to help set the mood. You don’t necessarily need an exotic theme, but even something like “casual” can be a theme. Just make sure you have casual music ready to play as background noise.
Consider what people are going to do in your apartment. Depending on the theme and crowd, you may want to have some games. Hot games right now are Rock Band, Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, Karaoke, and others like these. They’re actually a blast!
Fancy Invitations with RSVP
In an electronic era of text messaging, e-mails, Facebook, and online social networking, it’s hard to envision spending the time and money on old fashioned, snail mail invitations complete with RSVP. It seems weddings are the only events that calls for fancy invitations these days, but classy cards can really set the mood and having guests RSVP eases party planning.
Make Sure Some Outgoing People Will Be There!
If you’re organizing a college party, more likely than not you’ve announced it on Facebook. That will go a long way toward making your party work and it’s sure to include some people ready to party. Just like in the “real” world, there’s a social hierarchy and it’s up to you as the host to invite at least a few people who you know will at least minimally dominant in their little circle. In other words, you want to invite a few people who you are sure will be talkative and that you know people will want to talk to.
Drinks, Food and Music
BYOB is the cheapest way to host a successful party, but it’s always a good idea to have either extra room in the fridge or an ice-filled cooler to keep everybody’s drinks cold. Have bottle openers for wine and beer available and, when possible, plan to have at least one cocktail on hand to offer people as they come in. An alcohol-laced fruit punch is always nice. Even if it’s not a dinner party, it’s good to at least have appetizers at the ready and never forget music. Music is the secret to any good party.
Basic Set-up: Make People Talk!
Your basic set-up should include a mix of spaces to stand and talk, and sit and talk. Chairs should be arranged in a semi-circle so people face each other. That will help them engage in conversation.
Make it Easy
Make it easy for people to get food, drinks, and throw things out. It may sound funny but I hate going to an apartment party where I’m stuck holding my napkin, plate, or cup all night because there’s nowhere to throw it out. Even things like adding extra toilet paper in the bathroom can make it easier on you.