Top 10 Tips For A Great Party
If you want a successful dance floor at your party it’s not necessarily as simple as just hiring a good DJ. Some parties are easy to play for with loads of guests who are really up for dancing the night away, but there are also parties where it can be hard to get and keep a critical mass of people on the dance floor. As the party organizer there are things you can do to really help create a great atmosphere and successful dance floor. This is a top 10 list of tips from our experience of playing for parties of many shapes and sizes…
1. The Venue Choice
Your choice of venue will of course be based on location, cost and maybe several other factors, but if you want a lively dance floor consider a party friendly layout too. The best venues for a successful party with dancing are a single room which isn’t too big for the number of people coming. At these parties the guests are all in it together and react off each other even if many have not necessarily ever met before.
Venues with the bar in a separate room, even if just off the main room, may not help your dance floor if lots of guests congregate in the lively bar potentially leaving a bit of a vacuous void in the main room. If you’ve no choice but to select a venue with this problem think about how you might encourage people to congregate in the main room and not stand in the bar all night.
2. Make The Layout Intimate
Your chosen venue is big so you need to use all of that lovely space! Actually no, unless you will have enough guests to really fill it out it’s often much better for parties to think about how to make a big space more intimate, rather than spread everything out just because you can. Think about big open venues you’ve been to, they tend to only have a really great atmosphere when they are full of people and can often feel a bit desolate if not filled out.
It’s tempting to lay out loads of tables and chairs for your guests especially if your space is big, but will it create a room full of very spread out guests parked on their bums all night, not up mingling having fun together? It’s not necessarily wrong to fill a large part of the room with tables and chairs, but if you do think about how it will affect the party. Arranging tables and chairs around an appropriately sized open mingling area can often work very well, especially if this mingling area is created near the dance floor.
Filling one half of a room that’s too big with tables and chairs, leaving a massive open space and the DJ at the far end of the other half of the room can create a very intimidating dance floor no-one wants to use, as if guests are expected to enter the vast staging area to perform to the seated audience at the other end! A smaller dance floor area with tables and chairs around it is often a much better decision than a massive open space which is far too big for the number of people who are likely to dance. You can always move some tables and chairs out of the way later if you find you need more dancing space.
Finally, if the room is big don’t automatically put the DJ at one end unless it will work best. Having the DJ in the middle of a large space can often be a really effective way of making the music and dance floor a much more integral part of the party, with the DJ easily accessible to take requests etc. Just because a venue happens to have a stage area at one end doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best decision for your party.
3. Venue Lighting
Does the venue have lighting which can be dimmed to create a warm intimate atmosphere and also let the dance floor lighting system feel inviting? If you are booking a hall with just on or off fluorescent tube lighting will it give a horrible atmosphere on the night? Table candles and fairy lights can also work really well towards creating a lovely party atmosphere.
4. Does The Venue Ban Smoke Machines
Good night club and disco lighting looks fantastic with a small amount of haze in the air. This doesn’t just make for a much more impressive looking light show, it also really helps create an atmosphere where people love to dance. Everywhere effect lighting is used, from nightclubs, to stage shows, to TV music shows, haze or smoke is used to allow the lighting effects to be seen in the air. Without it there are simply no beams of light you can see from the lights or lasers. The catch is that smoke and haze machines can set off fire alarm smoke detectors so some venues ban their use.
If you have the option select a venue which doesn’t restrict their use. This may be venues that don’t have smoke detectors fitted, that are event friendly through the fitting of heat rise smoke detectors which are not triggered by smoke and haze machines, or venues that are able to disable the zone of smoke detectors in their events room while it is staffed. Hotels often say no because they don’t want the hassle and most people don’t think to demand it, but some can magically be able to disable the smoke sensors in a function room for an event if it’s a condition of your booking! Of course it’s not the end of the world if one can’t be used, but it can be a significant loss to the feel of the room and dance floor if it can’t so why not ask before you confirm your booking and try pushing for it a bit if told no. We use a special more expensive type of professional haze generator which creates much smaller haze particles in the air and if used carefully will not usually cause smoke detectors to be tripped. However if we are told not to by a venue we are unable to use it.
5. Get Your Friends To Help
If you want dancing tell a few of your lively friends it’s important to you. You may be surprised at how powerful this can be, but good friends will want your party to be a success and with a few drinks inside them will often get to work rounding people up for the dance floor, requesting songs everyone loves and generally making it their mission to make your party go with a bang. Give them permission to be that person by telling them it’s important to you.
6. The All Important Music
Select a DJ who plays music you and your guests will love. It’s easy to just assume a DJ will play exactly what you want but don’t assume they will have music to suit, especially if you or your guests are into particular genres. Look at their web site or speak to them to see what they will have to play for you and what type of events they market themselves towards. Selecting a DJ who claims to have 10,000 songs doesn’t mean anything – anyone can download 10,000 mediocre, not thought about, poor quality songs from torrent sites. Good DJ’s will have put thought into the music collections they carry and will want to specify what they do and don’t play so they don’t get booked for the wrong type of event.
7. Restricting Music
If you know what you want and specify particular genres you don’t want played make sure you don’t restrict your DJ too much. For instance, if you are worried about a cheesy disco (who isn’t!) you might want to specify no ABBA, no cheesy songs from musicals, etc. However bear in mind that some of these songs used at the right time can go down really well with a mixed age group crowd and bring a dance floor to life. It’s your party and it’s your choice, but if you don’t want that type of music think, do you want a complete ban on a type of music even if guests are requesting it, or do you want to just restrict it to only if requested and if so not too much?
8. What Will Your Guests Love?
You may have particular music tastes and music hates, but if you want a busy dance floor think about your guests. It sounds obvious but sometimes it’s easy to think about the music you love and assume everyone else will too if forced to listen to it. This can sometimes be a real clanger of a decision as if your guests don’t love the music and when they request music they do love the DJ says sorry it’s not allowed tonight, they simply won’t dance. This is particularly important with mixed age group crowds who can be really hard to please sometimes, with the music often needing to move across very different genres to keep everyone happy and having fun.
9. You Should Dance!
If you are a natural dancer then great, but if not then it doesn’t mean you need to be on the dance floor all night, but if it’s your party everyone is there for you. If you dance, even if just occasionally, so will they.
10. Ask Your DJ For Help If You Want It
If you are not a natural party organizer and are not sure how best to get your party going ask your DJ for help. They are there to help you, but tell them what you want. If you want to try and get the dance floor going, go up to them and tell them. Many people much prefer a DJ not to speak and interrupt their party but if you’d like it then ask them to. It’s much easier for a DJ to use the mic to act on requests from you or guests than to try and speak to a room full of strangers (to the DJ) with nothing to work from and risk annoying you their client or your guests. If you want it then give your DJ anything to work with and it can really help them connect with your crowd in a way that isn’t annoying or obtrusive.