Theme parties can be an exciting way to celebrate your fandom, or share one of your favorite interests with a group of people. If your friends are also fans, they can contribute in meaningful ways, adding to the depth of the celebration. If not, they can get introduced to the topic and discover their own relationship with it. Either way, this is an opportunity to share something important to you while simultaneously entertaining the people closest to you.
That said, hosting a theme party for the first time can be nerve-wracking. These tips should help you find the best way forward.
Choose the Theme – It’s OK to Nitpick
First, you’ll need to choose a theme. You may already have something in mind, or you may be in the earliest stages of brainstorming. An ideal theme should fulfill several requirements. For example, it should be generic enough that it provides flexibility in terms of décor, activities, etc., but specific enough that you have some straightforward possibilities. For example, a theme centered on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a better choice than “comic book movies” or specifically Ant-Man. You could also choose a food, drink, or substance to celebrate, like a “wine and cheese” party.
Related: Awesome Geeky Drinking Glasses
Once you have a theme, you’ll want to start brainstorming. Chances are, people have tried to throw a theme party like this in the past, so see if you can find images or stories online to fuel your ideas. For example, if you decide to host a cannabis-themed party, you can explore the Harvest blog for ideas on how to make it successful.
Spread the Word – EARLY
Invite your party guests early, for two reasons; first, you’ll want to make sure they mark the date on their calendar. This will increase your chances of a good turnout. Second, you’ll alert them to the theme in plenty of time for them to take full advantage of it. If they aren’t familiar with the subject (unlikely, but you never know), they can take the time to learn about it on their own. If they are familiar with it, they can spend time making a costume, planning a dish to prepare, or finding some other way to contribute. They may also be able to provide you with ideas of their own, which you can incorporate into your planning as you see fit.
Incorporate the Theme in 101 Ways
A good themed event is immersive, with the theme present in multiple different ways. For most parties, this means including ample décor to create a welcoming and in-theme environment. It also means creating custom foods and drinks in line with the theme, like cocktails with ingredients that have some relevance to the theme, or a color that fits with the rest of the décor. It could also mean including music, movies, or TV shows in the background to add even more immersion. If you’re celebrating a specific type of fandom, try getting the original soundtracks for whichever medium is appropriate.
Plan an Interactive Activity
Your party should also have some interactive component. In other words, there needs to be something for your guests to do, apart from eating and drinking. This is one way to make sure your event has longevity, but more importantly, it’s an easy icebreaker to get your guests to talk to one another and mingle. It’s also an opportunity to incorporate your theme in a creative or interesting way.
For example, you could have a miniature scavenger hunt to find items or solve puzzles built into the décor, or you could host an ongoing trivia contest, with prizes for the people who know your theme best. There’s no limit to what you can do here, so spend some time brainstorming and get inventive.
Get Ready to Play the Host
If you’re the one hosting the party, you should also know the importance of playing your role as host. You’ll be responsible for greeting all your guests, making sure they know where the food, drinks, and amenities are, and introducing them to people that they may not have met yet. It can be a stressful role for some, especially if you’re trying to coordinate activities and other elements of the event, so prepare yourself in advance of the event if you’re not used to this position.
Planning a themed event can be fun, but it can also be stressful, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re co-hosting with someone else, lean on them for ideas, advice, and help executing the tasks necessary to put your event together. If you’re hosting this alone, consider reaching out to some of your guests if you need or want help getting everything together. They’ll likely be more than willing to lend a hand.