I have such huge respect for DJ’s. They have such a huge impact on your event because it’s their extensive knowledge and experience that will ultimately define how the night goes. Reading a crowd is a huge talent and it’s quite something to watch a great DJ in action, seeing them build the night and get everyone going wild. Trust me, it makes total sense to book a DJ you know is highly recommended and can play the genres you and your guests will enjoy. They really are worth every penny!
Professional PA System
Speakers like the one above aren’t going to make for a good party outside of your living room. You need a professional PA system to get your dance floor bouncing. Most DJs and Bands will be able to supply these for you or you could try a local AV hire company. The trick here is to ensure you book a PA that is suitable for your audience size, and if you want to have that really rich, club-like sound go for a professional brand PA with both tops and subwoofers. If your venue requires that you use their in-house PA, find out what they use, if they have a ‘decibel limit’, how they plug in their live acts and then run this by your entertainment well in advance.
Live Party Entertainment
A great live act and a great DJ are the ultimate combo for an epic night of hands-in-the-air partying! Not only does a live act impress people, it also adds extra energy so that the momentum of your night continues to build, which in turn improves the overall reaction to both the band and the DJ. Book an act who has a great party playlist and who will interact with your crowd and have a great night - as a roaming singer my first priority is to get everyone up & smiling and dancing as you can see above!
Have you ever noticed how the best parties and club nights happen at night in low lighting? That’s because club-style lighting gets us excited, it puts us in the mood to boogie, and it gives the slightly more shy people a chance to feel less scrutinised when they do get up to dance. Too much light on a dance floor is a bad move in my opinion, but DJ style party lighting is always great! Speak to your DJ, live act or local AV team to discuss what you both think will work best.
P.s. Beware the light up letters right by your dancefloor for the evening party- they can be so bright they’re off-putting to potential ravers!
Be the Party
If you’re hosting and attending your own party you should enjoy it! Try to switch off from your organiser/greeter/coordinator/superhero-multitasker role and allow yourself this time to just enjoy your night. Seeing you laughing, dancing and having a great time will be like an infectious energy that your guests will mimic. This is especially true if you’re a bride and groom- this is your time to let your hair down and enjoy all your hard work and revel in the celebrations!
Finishing Touches - Production
Confetti. Lasers. Flowers. Props. Visuals. Dancers. Balloons. Fireworks. Ice bars. Aerialists. LED Accessories. Stilt walkers. Fire dancers. You name it, there’s someone out there who can cater for it! If you want to go all out for your party- think big, think colourful, think impact. There are lots of agencies and organisations who specialise in event production, so if you want a helping hand they are a great place to start. Whatever your thinking you may need to run by your venue first, so don’t book before enquiring. For smaller events you can always ‘DIY’ your production and ask your band or DJ if they can assist with smaller things like confetti launches and laser hire.
The Best Crowd
You can’t always pick and choose who you invite to your event for various reasons, and sometimes it can be a little difficult to put a smile on everyones face (there’s always one!), but don’t let this be off-putting to you. Take care of your crowd and the rest of the party will take care of itself. Best ways to keep guests happy include; plenty of drinks - consider a free welcome drink/shot or a venue with reasonable bar prices, fuel for the party - consider snacks and sugary treats to keep everyone feeling full and ready to rave, feel-good inclusive touches - short, cheerful speeches, a little ‘thank you for coming’, flip-flops for when those heels start to burn, and covering a few music styles/song requests that will please everyone across all ages.
Everyone is on social media these days, so really your guests are like a little arsenal of photographers. In order to easily look at all your guests snaps it might be an idea to have a unique #Hashtag for your event, which will make it easier to search in the days after. You can also hand out disposable cameras, but be aware that development still costs and you might find many unusable or eyebrow raising shots are taken! For the most beautiful and natural pics consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the night. The best ones are very discreet and disappear into the crowd to capture the most real and memorable moments.
Much the same as the above, your guests will capture a lot of media - so don’t forget your unique hashtag! But if you’re wanting a professional looking video that really captures how amazing your night was, you’ll most definitely need to book a videographer. There are lots of professionals out there who specialise in capturing a great night and those guys and gals will work with you to produce an epic look-back video that makes you smile every time you watch it. They may even want to liaise with your live entertainment and DJ to see if they can capture some live audio from the night to include in your video.
If you are going with a theme, try and make it easy for everyone to enjoy and understand. Your theme might require no commitment from guests, or you might have a ‘if you aren’t dressed up you aren’t getting in’ clause on your invites. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s fun for everyone and not something only half of your guests will know, do or enjoy. For those themes that require effort on your guests part, have some extra bits handy for those who forgot or maybe only feel brave enough to get involved once they’re there and have seen everyone else involved.