I recently attended a birthday party where I literally never made it past the front entry. My friends had arrived earlier and were positioned comfortably across the room, but because of all the guests lined up at the food station, and also the parched revelers waiting at the bar, no one could move around!
After a few failed attempts to get through the foyer, guess what happened? I stepped on someone’s kid. I swear it was an accident, and he was lying in the middle of the crowded passage! Don’t worry, he was smiling and running around 10 seconds later.
After that, I never managed to enter, and ultimately I left without seeing my friends or participating in the celebration. This type of bottleneck can be a real party killer…
So how can we avoid this?
Well, the success of any event has a lot to do with how your guests are able to navigate through a space and interact with each other. For starters…
1. Food & Drink Placement
Spread it out! It’s easy to place all the food platters and drinks on the counter near the kitchen or on the dining room table. However, by taking a moment to consider where the adults congregate vs. where you want the kids, as well as which foods each will gravitate towards, you can completely control the flow of traffic. Instead of having your guests vying for a single bowl of chips at one table, place groups of chips and dips near different sitting areas. Allow your guests to mix and mingle without the need to leave conversations and crisscross an already crowded space.
It’s also always a good practice to make duplicate trays so there isn’t a rush on any single item. Pockets of people allow for movement. No one likes lines and crowding and, as silly as it may sound, a well-placed platter of treats can forge conversations as well as possible friendships!
2. Planned Activities
Every party needs a little structure to keep the ball rolling and make sure everyone is entertained. When considering your party activities, first plan them around your party theme and then be sure to consider the type of space you have available. If you’re going to include a classic like ‘pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey’, make sure you’re not in a studio apartment where the only place for a blind folded gamer to go is over another one’s hand or leg!
Party activities are awesome, but they all need some space. Set up the games away from the kitchen, bathroom and hallway where your guests will need safe passage.
It’s also always a good idea to give the grown-ups some space, whether it’s around the perimeter of the room for spectating or a separate section off to the side.
3. A Reason to Sit Still
Get your guests to sit down.
KikiBoxes organizes every party around a feature table that does more than just get you a great photo opportunity; they encourage your party-goers to “come to the table”.
Arranging a themed tabletop with dinosaur plates, football themed cups, or royal princess crowns creates interest, wonder and engagement.
Building your party around bright visuals at your feature table can easily get your guests to stop…and sit!
Not to mention, creating a table setting for the kids can be multi-functional – it acts as a congregating area for craft projects, tattoo stations or face painting, as well as your food serving area!
Let’s be honest, planning a birthday party is basically an extreme sport. No matter how much organizing you do, there’s still a chance someone is going to step on your kid. But even if you’re hosting a party in a small house or apartment, with a little placement planning and traffic direction, any space can function for a great event!