The Party Index Moves Up with Advance Planning

November 6, 2012

Dow Jones Industrial Average? NASDAQ? Manufacturing Index? How about the Party Index? That's one essential indicator in our industry that the economy is improving. People are booking more parties, and to me that means the economy is in a better place than it has been for the last few years. It's clear that party planning still is being done with an eye on budgets, so careful thought and planning well in advance are the keys to success.

One time-honored template for a party has been a sit-down dinner with a band for dancing later. It's time to send that idea off for a well-earned rest and try something different. A more contemporary idea is stand-up stations for food paired with ongoing entertainment. Try something unexpected, like circus performers. If you really like the idea of dancing, why not try both a band and a deejay? That way you have non-stop music that everyone can be happy with.

It makes sense to be budget-conscious but changing things up mean that you can still achieve a high-end feeling for your occasion while keeping costs down. The trick is to do the unexpected. A strolling bluegrass group or Broadway performers to match your food, invitations and decorations provide the seamless approach that says to your guests: "We planned our party to give you the most enjoyment possible."

The key word, of course, is "planned." With the economy's resurgence, it's almost too late to pull together a holiday event. Many venues are booked up already for the most sought-after dates. Caterers and entertainers are spoken for. But that presents another opportunity. Instead of planning your party for the crowded weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, consider having a party on a weeknight. Turn your home into a theater, and after dinner bring in a performer to entertain your guests.

January – considered by many to be the bleakest month – is actually an opportunity. Competition for venues and vendors is less than it is in December. Competition for guests is another reason to consider it. There are so many conflicting events in December that some of the people you invite may be already attending other occasions. That is much less of a problem in January.

The office party is back on many business's agendas, and that's a good thing. It's a great way to let employees know that their extra efforts during the Great Recession were appreciated. Again, it doesn't have to be a lavish or expensive occasion. Careful planning can make even a conference-room potluck festive. For entertainment you could try a psychic, palm reader, magician, guitarist, jazz group or any one of several other entertaining options.

Thinking ahead – planning well in advance of your events, ensures the success you want with a larger selection of entertainment choices. Get organized now. And when you've got all your ducks in a row, start lining them up for your spring and summer events. It's never too soon to start planning a party!

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