Themed Parties are a great way to celebrate key milestones and annual events. Significant birthdays, Christmas functions, engagement parties, school reunions and even weddings can be a whole lot more fun when they are themed!
At Event Birdie we LOVE themed parties and although at times planning one may seem overwhelming, this guide will help make your job of throwing the best themed party ever a whole lot easier.
To help compile this guide we caught up with the team from Bobby McGee’s – an exciting and unique themed party venue in Melbourne. They shared with us their top ten tips to hosting the best themed party ever, as well as an insight into how Bobby McGee’s helps their clients host events that leave people raving about them for years…
1. Set the scene with a themed invitation
It’s important to set the scene in the invitation without giving too much away. If your themed event requires a certain dress attire to suit, this is where you need to set the expectations. A themed invitation will also get guests excited – start the anticipation early.
Need some party theme ideas to get you started? Here are a few of Bobby McGee’s favourites…
– Hollywood Glitz
– Rock n Roll
– “Grease is the word”
– Circus Carnival
– Casino Royal
– Las Vegas
– Hot Hawaiian Nights
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2. Choose a venue that will make planning the event easy
Before you lock in a venue, make sure you ask the venue whether you are allowed to style the room. Or better still, choose a venue that saves you a lot of time and budget by already having a theme or styling included!
Also, be sure to ask what time you can access the venue to start setting up. If you are unable to access the venue with enough time to decorate and style the venue for your party theme, the pressure of planning the best event ever will be pumped to the max.
3. Choose a venue that people can get to easily
If you’re going to all the effort of planning a themed event make sure your guests can get there. You will want to find a venue that is central and easily accessible.
Take into consideration whether the venue can be reached by public transport and whether there is car parking on site. If your chosen venue ticks these boxes then include those details on the invitation.
4. Make sure the space fits your guest numbers
Choosing the right venue has a lot to do with the size of your group. The event space needs to work for your minimum numbers without feeling bare, but also be able to accommodate any last-minute additions.
If your dream venue is a little too big for your numbers, use some styling features to “bring in” the space to make it feel more intimate e.g. a drape line, a large backdrop or some clever lighting will do the trick. Food stations, entertainment and a gift table can also help fill the space.
5. Immerse the guests in the theme and transport them to a new time and place
If you’re going to do it, do it properly!
The success of a great themed event comes down to how well you manage to transport the guests to a new environment. Immerse the guests in the theme with styling and décor – for example, if you’re hosting a Hollywood Glitz themed party, guests should feel as though they are in a glitzy Hollywood night club when they enter the event space. What can they see, feel, experience when in the venue?
At a venue like Bobby McGee’s transporting your guests to a unique environment is easy. The venue is a dedicated space for events and includes 360-degree theming – not one element looks out of place. Guests are immediately transported away from their everyday life to a party like no other!
Bobby McGee’s in-house events team also offer end-to-end event management services and can help source everything you need to make your theme pop at their venue – including pyrotechnic confetti cannons!
6. Theme the food, but don’t go overboard…
Serving fun, easy-to-eat, delicious food is the most important catering tip to remember when organising any party. Adding themed food stations are a great way to enhance the theme without compromising on good taste.
Here are a few examples of themed food stations and menu items that have been tried and tested by the Bobby McGee’s catering team:
– NY Hot Dog Stand
– Taco Station
– Korean Fried Chicken
– Asian Stir Fry Noodle boxes
– Dumpling Station
– Fish & Chips
– Fairy Floss
– Chocolate Fountain
– Sundae Station
– Hot Jam Donuts
– Gelato Cart
And, which guest can resist a donut wall that looks like this?! The Bobby McGee’s team confirm – not one!
7. Don’t forget the drinks!
A signature cocktail on arrival is the perfect way to set the scene, but make sure you have the standard drinks available too. If you’re keen take the theme up a notch, style the bar itself, rather than the drinks.
There are three themed bars at Bobby McGee’s and this helps tremendously with translating the overall party theme concept. The bars are set-up to accommodate beverage packages or you can pay on consumption. They can also manage a cash bar.
8. Encourage your guests to dress the part
Encouraging guests to come in fancy dress is a sure-fire way to build momentum before and at the event. Fancy dress can heighten the anticipation of the event as well as the overall atmosphere on the day. Guests will also be far more engaged as they become participators, rather than just attendees. Run a “best dressed” competition to reward those that really went all out.
9. Be sure to add some entertainment and a photo opp
Hiring roving actors or entertainers to compliment your theme is another great way to add to the overall atmosphere. The team at Bobby McGee’s also suggest you think outside the box of standard in-character entertainers – flash mobs, caricaturists and magicians can be great additions to the party too.
Another good idea is to have a photo opportunity, whether that’s a photobooth or similar. Giving guests an opportunity to take home a memory of the night is always fun. Plus, by creating a fun themed photo opportunity it will encourage guests to share their experience on social media too!
10. Make sure you can accommodate a live band or awesome DJ
Music is the thread that will tie your entire themed event together. If you’re planning a party be sure to have a good-sized dance floor and a band or DJ that will encourage everyone to get down and boogie. Choosing a venue with an excellent in-house sound system is a big bonus too.
Bobby McGee’s has an extremely cool amphitheatre-style dance floor, state-of-the-art lighting and sound system, plus great acoustics for live music. In addition, there are green rooms that your performers will love and a 3am licence… which means the BEST PARTY EVER that you’re planning can go ALL NIGHT LONG!
Remember the basics of a great party and have fun with your theme. To cover the basics you’ll need good food, good tunes and a great bar. The overall atmosphere will be amplified if you ensure the guests are happy with the key ingredients first.
So, whether you are celebrating a milestone birthday, corporate Christmas party or end of year function, a themed event is a great way to engage guests and show them a great time.
If you’re looking for a themed party venue in Melbourne, check out Bobby McGee’s. It’s one of the most unique venues in Melbourne and a great example of a themed party venue that makes it easy for event organisers to host THE PARTY OF THE YEAR.
For more information on hosting a themed party at Bobby McGee’s in Melbourne check out their…