How To Be A Rockstar Party Planner
My wife and I host a large party at the beginning of summer. For the last twenty plus years we’ve invited close friends and family to celebrate the beginning of the warmer season. Last year we hosted over 180 people. Each year we buy too much of everything, and each year we vow to do better. For many years, that was just talk. Until we figured out how to be a rockstar party planner.
Now, each year as party preparations begin, I open the plastic storage bins holding the party decorations and immediately look for the red folder placed there almost a year earlier. This red folder holds the information about previous years’ parties. Having this information is invaluable in purchasing the items needed for this year, ensuring that we will not be short of anything, or be stuck with a fridge full of leftovers either.
To begin the party planning process, I open the folder and examine each piece of information:
Having the previous year’s invitee list as well as a second list of those that actually attended gives us several vital pieces of information:
- Foundation for This Year: We use last year’s invitee list as the base for the current year. There may be people added due to new relationships formed or people removed because they moved away or never attend.
- Invitee to Attend Ratio: After several years of keeping track, the ratio of people that attend compared to those invited seemingly falls within a percentage range. This helps us accurately predict how many people will attend this year.
Next I found a list of everything we bought for the party, the quantity purchased, and how much was left over. This information will help create this year’s shopping list.
Along with the list of items purchased is a cost breakdown. This will give us a starting point for this year’s budget.
Getting Ready for Next Year
After the party is over, I’ll add this year’s information to the folder:
- Guest List: During the party planning process, we keep a running list of who is invited.
- Attendee List: Afterwards, my wife and I will take a few minutes to create a list of everyone we remember seeing at the party
- Purchase List: While preparing for the party, we place all receipts and invoices inside an envelope. After the party, we create an easy to read list of everything we purchased as well as quantity and price.
- Left Over List: As we tear down and cleanup, we make a list of things left over. This information will go on the list of items purchased for easy reference to adjust next year.
- Impact Statement: Also on the purchase list will be a statement as to whether we should do it again, or comments as to why the amount left over was what it was. For example, we rented a photo booth for a couple of years. Initially it was wildly popular, but after a few years it became less of a novelty. I put a note in the info stating we should discontinue that item. In another example, I noted the weather was super hot one year causing our fruit smoothies to completely consumed. This is a word of warning to order based on the weather forecast.
The packet of information will be stapled together, and the total cost of the party will be written in big print on the top of the front page.
Having this information written down not only gives us a jump start on planning the next party, but also helps be more efficient. We can use the data for smaller gatherings too simply by scaling it to the number of guests. With our rockstar party planner machine in motion, our guests are sure to have a great time kicking off the summer in style!
How about you, Clever Friends, do you like to entertain? Do you keep information about previous parties to help you plan for future ones?
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