7 things to think about before you start planning your party

With so many things to think about when planning a party, wedding or event it can be quite overwhelming. In this episode we discuss 7 things to think about before you start booking a venue, inviting guests and what dress you will wear. These things will help you create a great party experience for both you and your guests.

7 Things To Think About Before You Start Planning Your Party Podcast Transcript.

Below are the 7 things to think about before you start planning your party. They will make planning your party a lot easier and give you more direction in creating a great party experience.

Marcus Prentice (00:06):

Welcome to the Partyology experience with your host Marcus Prentice

Marcus Prentice (00:16):

Hi guys. Welcome to the partyolgy experience. Yes, my name is Marcus and I’m here today with Emma DeJong, the general manager of feel good events. Hi Emma, how are you today?

Emma De Jong (00:25):

Im Good. How are you?

Marcus Prentice (00:27):

I’m good. Are you all pumped and ready?

Emma De Jong (00:30):

Totally Pumped Every time Im pumped .

Marcus Prentice (00:31):

You Got lots of good party tips. You can, you can give

Emma De Jong (00:34):

I’ve got many, many, many, many I’ve got heaps i can share.

Marcus Prentice (00:37):

Okay, excellent. So in today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about all the things that we think you should think about before you actually start planning your party. So obviously when you’re planning a party, the first thing is you start to think of is venue and what dress am I going to wear and what entertainment I’m going to have and what food are we going to have and what drinks should we have? All those fun and exciting things. Uh, but we’ve come up to today, put together today a list of seven things to think about before you start planning all those sorts of things. And these things may help you create a better party experience for yourself and for your guests. And that’s why we’ve sort of come up with these and we think these are sort of really important and they’re all sort of intertwined.

Marcus Prentice (01:18):

Um, but it will help you in your planning once you start getting into all those fun and exciting things. So the first thing, uh, number one on the list is what type of party are you planning for? So by this, we mean, do you want it to be party of the year, lots of energy people dancing crazy. Do you want it to be more low key? Or you know, just people coming in having a bit of food and drink, maybe you might have dancing depending on how the party goes. Maybe You’re not too fussed or is it more just a gathering simply just, you know, people in your back garden, having a few beers, or maybe it’s at night, you’ve got a fire, you know,

Emma De Jong (01:54):

Very casual.

Marcus Prentice (01:56):

So this is something that we think that if you think about this before you start doing any of the planning, it’s going to help you set the mood or the tone for when you do get into your planning. So, it’s no good saying you want party of the year and then organizing everyone to come and stand in your back garden.

Emma De Jong (02:13):

How exciting I can’t wait.

Marcus Prentice (02:16):

It’s not really, it’s not really going to create party of the year.

Emma De Jong (02:19):

No Its Not.

Marcus Prentice (02:19):

And look, we get lots of clients and we speak to lots of people about their parties and they do sort of say, Oh yeah, no, I want lots of dancing and all that sort of stuff, but then they don’t really have suitable entertainment or there’s no dance floor or it is outside and it’s cold. You know, they haven’t really thought of what’s going to happen

Emma De Jong (02:37):

really its poor planning.

Marcus Prentice (02:38):

So in part of this, we also sort of talk about party energy. Now I talk about party energy, a lot and party energy for those people who don’t really understand is if you think about if you’ve ever been to a concert or, a festival, any sort of really good party where there’s lots of dancing and energy from the, crowd that’s what party energy is. Good party energy is If you go to say a festival or I know I’ve been to some awesome concerts and stuff like that, where the crowd is pumped, they are going off, you know, there’s people waving their undies in the air, you know, all that sort of stuff there, you know, and it doesn’t even necessarily have to be, they’ve had lots to drink, although sometimes that does help.

Emma De Jong (03:21):

Of Course.

Marcus Prentice (03:21):

it’s the energy coming from the crowd is just awesome. And, and to me, I think you need to create a party that has good at party energy. Now, sometimes if you’re planning a low key dinner or get together, you know it doesn’t matter. You don’t necessarily need that sort of party energy, but if you’re aiming for party of the year where you want it to be exciting and fun, and you know that there is that, that great feeling coming from the crowd, you need to plan for that because it doesn’t always just happen. Sometimes it does.

Emma De Jong (03:52):

not very often,

Marcus Prentice (03:53):

not very often. So you need these key elements that you will need to do to make sure that that happens. So party energy is really important and you don’t need a lot of people.

Emma De Jong (04:04):

No, you don’t. People, I think always think you need to have hundreds and hundred people to make that energy. And you really don’t. You can have a party of 20, it could be the best party you’ve ever been to.

Marcus Prentice (04:13):

Thats Right and a lot of that comes down to the size of the venue. If you’ve got to a function space that suits 20 people and it’s, you know, people feel connected and together , it’s a comfortable size, then it can really work. If the music’s good, the lighting is good. All the different elements of the function, uh, are there, it can still be really good. So you don’t necessarily need 200 people to come to your event. It’s quality over quantity, isn’t it? Yep. So, uh, you know, that’s, that’s one thing that’s, that’s super important typically when it comes to party energy, and I’ve found this as a DJ, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this Emma at some functions, but younger people tend to create better party energy than older people. And I’m sorry to say that because I have done, you know, DJ’ed functions forties, fifties, sixties, um, that have been really good, but great party energy. But if you’ve ever been to a school, a primary school disco or, um, you know, a wiggles concert or something like that, the energy in those types of environments is on fire and they don’t need alcohol to, be going crazy. Even, you know, nightclubs and stuff like that, typically 18 to 21 year old age group, and add a bit, alcohol definitely does help, but the energy levels are a lot higher than say a 40th or 50th

Emma De Jong (05:31):

What are you gonna say here under 25 is the good sort of 25 is pretty good. So I’m over that now thats a bit sad

Marcus Prentice (05:37):

Yes and I’m way past it. So it can make a difference the age of your guests. And you can say, Oh, well, let’s not invite older guests, but I think you do need to be conscious when you’re inviting your guests. Are they going to create help, create the party energy that you want? And sometimes you don’t know.

Emma De Jong (05:58):

I Think sometimes you let the mums out and they haven’t been out for years. So you let them out having a couple of drinks. They’re like at the 25 again as well.

Marcus Prentice (06:06):

And that’s right. Yeah. I was going to say sometimes the forties and fifties can be better than the 21st’s

Emma De Jong (06:09):

Because they’ve not been out for you know, for a long time. So all their kids have been babysat. So they’re out on town, let’s go,

Marcus Prentice (06:16):


Marcus Prentice (06:16):

That’s all right. The first night out in two years or something like that. Whereas sometimes it can be the opposite. The 20, 21 year olds are so worried about what they look like and on their phones and on social media the whole night that the party disappears before anything’s actually happened. So you get a mix of them. That’s right. So yeah. So number two, I always say people should start at the end.

Emma De Jong (06:38):

It sounds weird. Doesn’t it? People must be like, what?

Marcus Prentice (06:40):

Yeah. So what I mean by this is what party story or what do you want your guests to say about your party after the event? So if you think about if you’re having a 21st or a wedding or a corporate event and you want it to be something memorable, what do you want your guests to say in 12 months, time or five years time. Is it just going to blur into their memory and just go, Oh, that was just another function I went to or is it going to be something that they go, Oh, geez, that was a great night. So that’s what you want. And if you’re going to go to all the effort and we were just talking about this today at lunchtime, we always talk about events with all the team at, at, um, feel-good events. Um, yeah, we were talking about if you’re going to go to the effort of having a party.

Emma De Jong (07:24):

Go all out. You might as well. If you’re spending half the money, spend the extra half on, you know, making sure it’s absolutely, you know, off its chain, make it, you know, so those people are going to talk about it for years to come, because what’s the point of doing it otherwise. That’s what we think anyway.

Marcus Prentice (07:38):

Yes. We’re a bit biased because we want people to throw some parties

Emma De Jong (07:42):

But No one wants to go to a partyy that is boring. Especially if people have spent lots of money and time and effort, you wanna make sure it’s good.

Marcus Prentice (07:47):

Exactly. Right. So yeah. What sort of party story do you want to be able to tell in five years time. Oh, I had the best 21st or the best 30th? Um, it was crazy, there was people doing silly things, everyone got naked and jumped into the pool or whatever it is

Emma De Jong (08:03):

The entertainment or whatever it is exactly ,You want them to remember.

Marcus Prentice (08:06):

Yeah. Grandma was drunk on the table. I always use that one. Because I’ve seen lots of grandmas dancing on the table. I do some wild parties. So yeah. What is it that you want people to talk about? So if you think about that, that will then help you create that or work towards creating that type of an event. So that sort of then leads into, number three, which is guest experience. And this is something that we talk about a lot at feel-good events and is super, super, super important. And the question is what’s your guest experience? What do you want the guests to experience when they come to your party? Now, lots of people say, I just want them to have fun and have a great time. What does that actually mean? So if we talk about weddings and I heard this and this gets thrown around a little bit in the events industry, um, for wedding say specifically in the old days, back in the old, old days, the wedding was more about the parents of the bride and groom and everything was based around them and they got all the attention then, you know, as time went on, it moved on the focus was on the bride and groom, which seemed pretty obvious.

Emma De Jong (09:10):

That’s what your there for.

Marcus Prentice (09:11):

That’s what you think you’re there for. You’re exactly right. And then in today’s modern era, it’s more about the guests experience and I’m a big believer in this. I really feel that the guest experience is the most important because I know if I’m having a party, if the guests are having a great time, I’m having a good time. And if I see everybody on the dance floor or everyone laughing, having fun, enjoying themselves, socializing, whatever it is, um, I feel happy because the guests having a good time. So if you focus on your guests experience, I guarantee you, you will have a great experience yourself.

Emma De Jong (09:46):

Yeah. We’ve known that from the past, from other clients, you know, just if it’s gone really well and they all had a great time that they’re always coming back saying how awesome it is and if it’s been the other way, then you know, they’ve not had good experiences as well. So it really does. It’s, it’s an atmosphere you create. So it just passes on to everyone that’s there.

Marcus Prentice (10:02):

I’m sorry to say that I believe the party, although it may be your birthday, it’s not really about you.

Emma De Jong (10:08):

It’s not really, it’s a sad thing to say, but it is true. .

Marcus Prentice (10:11):

If you really want to throw a great party and great party experience, you’ve got to make it more about your guests and , as we say, you will have the best time. Like you will remember it way more than, as we say, everyone’s sitting there bored out of their brain or on their phones or, or at worst, they go home.

Emma De Jong (10:26):

You don’t want that.

Marcus Prentice (10:26):

No, you don’t. So then, number four, we’ve got stimulate your guests five senses.

Emma De Jong (10:34):

This sounds kinky, doesn’t it.

Marcus Prentice (10:37):

Yes it does , and you can stimulate your guests five senses. However you may like, uh, but this is something, again, we talk about a lot here at feel-good events and it does sound a bit kinky depending on how you want to take it

Emma De Jong (10:49):

Its quite easy to, once you talk about all five of them, it is quite easy to think of the things you can do for them.

Marcus Prentice (10:53):

Yeah. So, I mean, you’ve had and we’ve talked about this a lot Emma and you’ve had a lot of experience with this. What are some of the five senses and some ideas around that ?

Emma De Jong (11:03):

So a really easy one is the sense of smell. For example, now that can come down to, you know, smell of food, it can be, you know, making sure you have candles. So if you’re going to have people walking through a space or into the room, having candles throughout the whole space to so it smells nice. It’s not just, you know, people walking through and that’s it and nothing exciting. Taste is, you know, of course food, making sure you can have things that are fun for food. Like, you know, these donut walls are a huge thing at the moment. Food displays, grazing tables are a huge one as well. Sound of course, pretty easy, making sure the sound is good. This is a good one because you have to get this right. If you don’t get this right. And I don’t know, you know, this from experience being a DJ, if you don’t have the music, right. And the sound right, then you might want to even have the party.

Marcus Prentice (11:45):

That’s right.

Emma De Jong (11:45):

If you want party of the year and you’ve got no good music and you’ve got your home stereo full volume and it’s about to blow up and it can’t go any higher. Whats the point of having it.

Marcus Prentice (11:52):

and even if you’re not going for party of the year, sound or music is still super important. Even if it’s just a dinner party, it’s still super important.

Emma De Jong (12:02):

Even the background music. It’s just, it’s so flat. It’s a bit awkward if you’re still sitting there and not everyone’s chatting, you want something in the background just makes it a bit more exciting

Marcus Prentice (12:11):

Thats right i went to a restaurant on the weekend. And they had no music and everybody at the table, we noticed it within about five minutes of sitting down, we went, something’s not right. And everybody picked up on it. There was no background music and it just changed the experience of it. And it’s the same for your party.

Emma De Jong (12:25):

Exactly the same. Yep. A hundred percent. And then the next one is saw and then touch. So the five of them, there are so many things you can cover for those touch could be a whole range of things like you can do green walls that have got, you know, you can touch them and sort of things like that. It can be a whole inner sensory thing. It sounds a bit weird touch , but it can be a whole range of things

Marcus Prentice (12:44):

Yeah wev’e done, snakes and live animals for some events and visually decor is something we specialize in and we do.

Emma De Jong (12:54):

Yeah you want it to look amazing. People walk through the door and go, wow, I’ve never seen this before ,that is a key point for us.

Marcus Prentice (13:00):

So, you know, the more you can stimulate, you guests five senses in as many ways as possible, the better. And if you think about that, when you’re doing your planning, no matter what it is and go have I covered at least something for each one of these it’s going to make a better experience for your guests. Number five, plan for fun from the beginning. Now this is always an interesting one and this is everyone’s interpretation of this. It’s like somebody coming up to me and saying, can you play something good when I’m deejaying? And you’re like, well, what’s good to you. And it’s the same with fun. What’s fun for you. And what’s fun for me. And what’s fun for Emma can be very different.

Marcus Prentice (13:43):

So you need to plan for a range of fun and work out what’s, what’s grandma gonna like, because she might not like dancing on the dance floor or she might not be able to dance on the dance floor, but what can she do? That’s gonna make it enjoyable for her. Or, you know, if, um, you want it to be crazy and wild what’s going to create that fun and crazy sort of atmosphere. So planning for fun from the beginning is really, really important. And everybody’s, as we say, everyone’s definition of fun is very different. To me, a definition of a great party is a group of people gathered together to have fun. And you’re the more you focus on a range of different things that are fun, the better. Number six, what’s your biggest stress. Now, a lot of people stress about parties and have major anxiety when it comes to having a party.

Emma De Jong (14:37):

And different things about them as well. Like not people not showing up. I think that’s a really big one. People, people like no one showing up is a huge thing, not enough food and drink , guests not having fun. Like all those things are high stress for most people. And I, a lot of people don’t have their own parties because of these three things

Marcus Prentice (14:54):

Or they dont like being the center of attention and that’s where we go back to, if you create a party, that’s all about your guests then you wont necessarily be exactly the centre of attention. If you’re really stressed about having a party, get some help, that’s probably the key thing there and something to think about from the very beginning before you do anything else. If you’re not too stressed about doing the planning and all that sort of stuff, then you can easily do it yourself if you cover all the main areas, but otherwise get some help. Number seven is what’s the most important thing to you. Most people usually when they’re having a party will have something that they really want at their party. So some things, it can be really simple. Like it might be, I just want a donut wall or, you know, I want lots of dancing so everybody has something different that they want. Some people will spend money on a, on a cake or a light up dance floor because that’s what they want. So work out what that is and what that item or thing is that is most important, To me it’s always lots of dancing. So I always make sure that I plan for dancing, good music, good lighting, a dance floor, obviously. So that there’s a designated place to dance. Dancing is super important to me for so many reasons because to me that’s a heart of a party, but, to you, it might be something different. So, but think about what that is and make sure you plan from that from the very beginning. So there are seven things that we think that we should think about before starting your general planning. These are the things we feel that the most important thing but the most important is to plan from the beginning.

Marcus Prentice (16:30):

So make sure you do lots of planning. And if you put in the effort, you’ll be rewarded for it. So those sort of, um, people that sort of just wing it and just go with the flow and don’t really think about their function or their party too much, typically it doesn’t tend to go as well as they may want it to. You then could spend money and waste it because you haven’t put in a few key elements. So planning is super, super, super, super important and will in most cases, uh, take away from some of the stress that you’ve got.The more you put in the more you’ll be rewarded .So that’s it for today’s podcast. Thanks for listening and you will to hear from us soon.

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