We’ve teamed up with some of the movers and shakers in the events world to offer a special competition this year, awarding one organiser £5k for their dream New Year’s Eve event. You can find out more here.

And, since we have the most exciting event organisers around on hand to judge the entries, we’d be mad not to seize the opportunity and ask for their advice. So, that’s just what we did. This post is the first in a series highlighting advice from our event gurus, starting here with their creative tips when preparing the perfect party.

Plan your music carefully

“Music sets the tone for your party and can be a great ice breaker. If you don’t have a DJ, plan your playlist carefully. For the first hour, play music that makes people smile and feel upbeat, like top tracks from another era (why not, “I Wanna Be Like You” from the Jungle Book?). In addition to your main playlist, prepare playlists of various genres to be used in case your guests react positively to a style of music, then you can easily switch to that genre and keep them dancing” – Katie McPhee, Eventbrite UK

Keep it real!

“Don’t overthink. Your aim is to give your guest a great, memorable event. If something hasn’t been done in the past, there may be a very good reason for that. Don’t overstretch at risk of ruining the event.” – Mark Fuller, Concept Venues Ltd

Consider your menu carefully

“Keep the choice of drinks simple, good quality and plentiful – and make sure that there is no danger of running out of ice.  A good selection of non-alcoholic drinks will be appreciated by your your driving or non-drinking guests. A post-midnight snack often revives spirits and helps everyone push on through to dawn as well. It’s amazing what a round of bacon buttes at 3:00am can do!!”  – David Ball, MD Brandfuel

Think differently, and treat your guests

“Surprising, quirky elements and thoughtful, finishing touches are a fabulous way of showing creativity and care for the guests.  These things will make a party memorable. And of course, gifts are always a winner!” – Lucy Hughes, Circus

Keep it exclusive

“Everyone loves a bit of exclusivity. Saying ‘invitation only’ instantly gives value to your event. Free often means people won’t turn up.” – Ralph Cochrane, Creative Grid

Theme it
“To ensure your party is memorable, give it a striking but easy to understand theme. It could be linked to the music (Back to the 90’s), food and beverage (Viva Italia! Proscecco and Pasta) or the decor (Bollywood extravaganza). Try and ensure that every element of your event makes some sort of reference to that theme. For example. an 80’s themed party could have mini hot dogs as nibbles, served on an old vinyl record, and you could give each guest a rubix-cube as they leave!” -David Ball, MD, Brand Fuel

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