How to organize a party

Hi all, I’ve been throwing my birthday parties for 50-60 people for several years now and almost all the guests are absolutely thrilled. It’s time to tell you how to throw a great party and how much it costs. Before I go into detail about each element, I’d like to talk about 3 principles that I adhere to.

Principle 1. Start planning the event in advance

If it’s a 50-person hangout, the optimal time to start planning is 30 days before X day. This will ensure a wide range of available venues, contractors (bartenders/DJs), high availability of guests, and most importantly, it will save your energy since you won’t have to call everyone at the last minute and drive to the store at night. One year I started planning a party 4 days in advance. I ended up having to take 3 days off to make it and I still ended up forgetting to work through a very important element – the food.

Principle 2. Achieve maximum guest involvement

Don’t “invite” by adding them to a telegram group. Email everyone, get confirmation from them in 30 days, and then again in 5 days. You can also run a short survey to find out guests’ expectations (for example, in terms of food and drinks). This way, you can ensure a high “turnout” of guests and effectively plan the size of the event.

Principle 3: Control the cost of the party

Party expenses can stretch up to 5-10 thousand rubles per person, and for 50 people it is 250-500 thousand rubles, which will make a hole in your personal budget and discourage any desire to repeat such an event in the future. To avoid unnecessary expenses will help to detail all expenses, to compare offers in the market and refusal from expensive positions (for example, shrimps in catering, or single malt whisky in a bar card).

So, the whole process consists of 5 elements

  1. Venue

This is the first thing to start with, ideally several months in advance, so that there is a wide range of options available. To find lofts I use two aggregators – and There are also lofts that you can call directly – at the Flacon design factory, at the Trekhgornaya Manufaktura. When choosing a venue, in addition to availability on the date of the event, I pay attention to the following parameters:

Capacity. Ideally, the loft should have 1 main room that comfortably seats all the guests. Obviously, this room should not be too small, but also exclude options that accommodate twice as many people than you need, because the guests at the end of the party will not be comfortable there to have fun when half of them have already dispersed. A good loft has small rooms in addition to the main room for contractors/guest socializing (e.g., playing PS).

Location. Be sure to be centrally located. Perfect if the loft can be reached on foot from the subway, but this is not a prerequisite. Not less important is the “understandability” of the location of the loft in the building complex. Very often the areas are in industrial zones, and it is necessary to look for a long time to find the building and the entrance.

Entrance group. Theater starts with a hanger, and the party with the entrance. It’s sad to encounter venues with a well-decorated interior, but an entryway with broken tiles and the smell of trash.

Ventilation. When 50 people breathe in one room at the same time, they release more than 1,000 liters of CO2 per hour. The air must be constantly updated, pay attention to ventilation equipment, air conditioning, or at least the ability to open windows.

Toilets. There should be enough of them – at least 1 per 25 guests, and their condition should be satisfactory: no hair in the drain and with a new toilet.

Equipment. A bar counter with a sink is mandatory. If the site does not have this element, it is worth choosing another loft. Normal work of the bartenders is impossible without a sink with running water, because you have to wash the shaker after each cocktail. For entertainment it is important to have light and loudspeakers, a projector, a microphone. But board games and poker are usually not very popular at parties. It is desirable that the site has a refrigerator, freezer, kettle, microwave (to heat catering food).

A few more words about site selection. It’s absolutely normal to pay the price of a loft through an aggregator, or make an advance payment directly to the owner when you sign a rental agreement. It’s common practice to have an administrator at the site during the event, which is quite reasonable. Regarding the organization of hookah smoking at a party – it is superfluous, in my opinion, not many people will want to smoke it, and the quality is usually quite low.

  1. The bar

I sincerely believe that the bar is the heart of any party. The most important elements of bar organization besides a bar counter with a sink:

Staff. It’s worth choosing proven bartenders by recommendation at the rate of 1 bartender per 25 guests. One year I invited 1 bartender for 60 guests, which led to a collapse – people could not physically order anything, standing in line for water. He has his own team (up to 7 people), dishes and a professional approach to work.

Utensils. No disposable, only glassware. Planning the number of dishes should come from the bar list. I’ll tell you a secret – each type of cocktail should be served in a certain glass (whiskey-sauer in a roux and daiquiri in a cocktail shot). Ideally, the glassware should be provided by the bartending team or venue. An alternative option is to buy it at Metro or, or rent it from a third-party company. It can be expensive – up to 10 thousand rubles for a set for 50 people.

Cleaning. Guests tend to leave their glasses all over the loft as well as outside, in the toilets, etc. It’s necessary to hire a cleaner in advance, who will collect and wash them or arrange it with the bartending team (if only 1 bartender works, he won’t be able to collect and wash everything).

Ice and egg whites. There is an expression, “Ice and foam are the bartender’s bread.” Without these two elements, there is no bar. Ice is usually ordered by the bartenders themselves. It is optimal to put 1 kg of ice per 1 guest. Foam, i.e. egg white, you need to order yourself on the website a couple of days before the event, so he was fresh and did not have a specific smell.

Bar list. Interview your guests, make a list of cocktails, don’t forget about beer, cider, wine. You can use my bar list below in the appendix as a basis.

Purchasing Drinks. It’s better to buy your own drinks so you can control your budget and choose bargains. I think Metro is the best place for this, as Ashan does not have all the items, and in other networks more expensive. A plus of Metro is also the small number of shoppers, which makes the shopping process comfortable. I will tell you about the trick – it is better to buy in two approaches: 30 days before the event and 7 days. The thing is that Metro arranges discounts for 3 weeks on various items. It turns out that in 30 days you can buy whiskey and aperol with a 30% discount, and in 7 days of rum and gin with the same discount, while there will be no discount on whiskey. As for discounts at, which offer a number of contractors, they are relevant only for wine, because the other alcohol there is a limited and fairly expensive range. Do not forget about soft drinks, citrus fruit for cocktails (50 people need 10 kg of lemons, limes, oranges), pipes, etc. A detailed list of products, which is optimal to buy for the party for 50 people in the appendix below.

  1. Food

The best way to make a person happy is to feed them delicious food! In the past I have ordered different food through Delivery Club and it was unsatisfactory – complicated logistics with delivery, guests are not comfortable opening sealed bags, food gets cold quickly, etc. Catering is best handled and is not as expensive as it seems at first glance. The list of catering items to order is below in the attachment. In the midst of the party it will be great to order pizza. Also, do not forget about the apogee of the party – the cake, which is best to order in advance.

  1. Entertainment

It makes sense that just to get your guests drunk and fed in a nice place is not enough and they need to entertain. Ideally, you should prepare a program for the event. Good options for entertaining guests:

A presentation with slides about each guest. Everyone would like to hear nice things about themselves and get some attention.

An open microphone with wishes for the guest of honor.

Mind game. It’s great to divide into teams and have a Quiz, but it’s important to make sure the host knows how to do it and is familiar with the content.

Dancing. No party is complete without music. You need to find a professional DJ beforehand, make sure that the venue has the necessary equipment and make a playlist. DJs have different tastes, it’s important that they coincide with the tastes of the guests. Unfortunately, none of the guest DJs I have invited have elicited rave reviews from my guests, so I can’t recommend specific contractors.

Karaoke. A good format to end the party when the staunchest ones are left.

Photographer. A quality photo shoot of the event will appeal to guests and have something to put on Instagram.

Kicker, table tennis. Great entertainment if available at the venue. The downside may be that many guests want to play, and only 4 people can play.

Board games, poker. In my experience, they are not particularly popular at parties.

Hookah. As I said earlier, the quality of hookah preparation is usually low and there are not many people who want to smoke.

  1. Other important details

If you are inviting guests from different companies, the chances that they will remember each other’s names amid loud music tend to be zero. It’s a good idea to print out name tags and hand them out at the door. Check wristbands can be another interesting element; they will create a club atmosphere. Regarding gifts – most guests found it okay to give a monetary gift with a specific benchmark, making it easier for them to prepare for the event and maximizing the usefulness to the organizer.

I hope my article helps you in organizing your event.