College parties are a huge part of the college experience; however, hosting a party at your place can cost you serious cash. The good news is that there are several things you can do to turn a good party into a great party without spending a dime.
Yes, having an ice luge is cool. So is hiring a DJ, buying expensive liquor, and paying a bartender. In reality, these aren’t the things that lead to great parties. Sure, they can help… but there are more basic, fundamental things that make a party great.
Here are 3 to get you started:
1. Set the music in advance.
Whether you know it or not, music is one of the biggest keys to a solid party. Music sets the tone and mode of your place and has a direct impact on how you and your guests will ultimately perceive the party.
First, take the time to create the entire playlist in advance. Think about what most people will want to hear. Don’t add songs that are “inside jokes” between you and a few of your friends. For each song you pick, try to envision it playing at the party and picture people’s reactions to it.
Second, make sure you have a dependable source to play the music from. Make sure the sound quality is good and test the volume in different rooms of your place.
Lastly, try to prevent other people, namely your friends, from changing the song a million times throughout the night. If you’re using an ipod, find a place to hide it. The added benefit of this is that it’ll be less likely to be stolen.
2. Be a gracious host.
Being a gracious host involves more than getting drunk and yelling at people when they break things. This is YOUR party. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are in direct control of how good a time people have.
Keep an eye on the door and say hi to people shortly after they arrive. Introduce people that don’t know each other. Scan the room often to see if anyone needs a drink or refill. Swing by the beer pong table with a fresh pitcher for the next game. Go out of your way to introduce yourself to friends of friends that you haven’t met yet, and thank them for coming to your party.
Bottom line: being a good host is a perfect example of something that costs you nothing, but can go a long way in creating a great time for you and your guests.
3. Create a comfortable atmosphere.
There are 3 simple things you can focus on that will make a world of difference at your party: lighting, airflow, and cleanliness.
Lighting: there’s a reason that restaurants and bars always use soft, warm lights instead of bright, florescent overhead lights. It’s because they create a more comfortable atmosphere and give their customers a better feeling while there. The same tactic can and should be used at your parties.
Airflow: even if the temperature in your place seems comfortable early on, realize that the more people show up the warmer it gets. Turn the thermostat down 3-5 degrees, open front and back windows to create a cross-breeze, or set up a few fans… all of which should be done in advance.
Cleanliness: this should be self explanatory, but for most college students it isn’t. Pick things up off the floor, break out the vacuum, and wipe down flat surfaces. Just because you don’t mind living in filth doesn’t mean your guests will like sitting in it. Make sure you spend an hour or two the afternoon before the party to clean your place and clear some space for people to sit.