Is party theme planning dead?
…as the smoke cleared the child asked:
“What did you wish for this time Mommy?”
And the reply: “The same thing each year darling, the same thing”
Little did she know her Mother was crying out for a themed birthday party. She wanted a party she didn’t have to plan herself!
“I wished for a well planned birthday for me!”
In a time poor world you can hear the sharp intake of breath as people steel themselves against a question as old as time:
“What are we going to do for her birthday?”
The question of a theme will inevitably get asked and if the Planning Person is not lush with time or flush with cash it might usher in card-cake-gift time.
No plan. Just reaction.
But is this reaction just?
What stops many a party in it’s tracks is a warped perception of time and money. Clever party theme planning is one way to side-step these obstacles and the good news is it can cost half as much and take next to no time.
Half the cost. Half the time.
The value of having a theme…
A well planned theme — around anything related to the person in question — will have massive , m-a-s-s-i-v-e, MASSIVE impact.
Why, you ask? Well, it shows thought and was not expected.
What about the reverse? Give them something that takes no thought and is expected….gets you out of a pickle but the impact is: “oh, gee thanks.”
The trick is not in the theme, it’s in the party theme planning.
I am not talking about extravaganzas and high society bashes. Those are the domain of the J-Lo type Party Planners — remember dear Jen in the Wedding Planner? — who are radio mic’d up to the armpits and even have the bugs in the hedge choreographed.
Not them. You. Good old you at work, you at home you who have real people for family and friends and would love to do something different for them. A simpler party theme planning approach is the go.
Some considerations include:
The B-day person
What do they like? Think of the impact on them.
Reasons for having a Theme
Why? Milestone to remember? Whatever the reason, be clear about it.
Your skills and resources
Are you ready to put your ALL into this?
What do you have or can do that will make it work?
Time to delivery
What’s this like? If the time is short, reduce the number of theme elements (ideas) or bring in more help.
Help Needed to pull it off
Don’t do it solo. Get others to help you.
People remember details important to them. Add small personal touches that link in with the theme. A party theme planning MUST have! It reduces cost and builds impact.
Many theme elements can be done with more thinking than money. Always ask: “How could I do this for no cost..?”
If cost isn’t the issue — get others to do it and pay them.
Spread the Enthusiasm
Build up the momentum slowly. Under-hyping is BEST. Careful party theme planning will take care of this.
A Run-Sheet is a MUST have
No mater how small, what age or how many people. ALWAYS use a run sheet. Can be a basic as what-where-when-who.
If you are capturing the party for memories use a few different methods. How many can you come up with?
A word or two on themes…
They can be anything….
Really. All you have to do is look closely and there will be a theme hovering. Imagine a family of four who want to consider party theme planning as a family. For a mother think about appreciation, a dad maybe it will be sense of adventure. A brother could be “Pain in the…butt we love ‘im” and for a sister you could think along the lines of “Thelma and Louise – two gals taking on the world..”
I was once able to make a family party out of my wife’s love of patchwork quilting!I knew nothing about it, save what she had told me and what I had seen her do. A few magazines, a bit of fabric, some of the “quilting lingo” and the rest unravelled.
One final tip…
Give the Party / Occasion a Name.
Create an identity that can be talked about later on.
“er…yes, I recall Bob’s 35th ..sort of..pub-thing with cowboy hats or something….”
“… Of course I remember “Top Dog Bob and the Bandits Where all us guys got to be cowboys at a steak bar, hog-tie Bob to a table and tell him how much of a friend he’d been to us? Oh, yeah! All the while we drank snake-bite juice — green colored beer –, ate prairie dog vomit — mini pizzas — and cheered when they brought out the Rattle Snake cake. We sang C & W songs and howled at the moon on the way home.”
Party Theme Planning Stats:1 Theme, 1 Name, 7 Idea elements, and in 2-3hrs you have wonderful set of memories..and a frightened moon.
Maybe it’s a guy thing… but, can you see the difference?
Remember to plan well partners. It shows thought, was not expected and was how people were won over into using themes.