Party planner pro tips

Elevate your events with interactive games that bring people together. From scavenger hunts to custom bingo, here’s how to make your parties unforgettable.

Reading Time
17 min read
Publish Date
Oct 4, 2023
Party planner pro tips

Ah, the magic of social gatherings—where scrumptious food meets hearty laughter and familiar faces assemble for some quality bonding time. But what if we told you that you could kick things up a notch? Enter interactive games—the spice in your social stew!

In the late 2000s, game nights started to gain traction, replacing our collective FOMO with a newfound love for the tactile and tangible. Apparently, it's a rebellion against our digitally saturated lives, and let's be honest, there's something truly gratifying about moving game pieces on a board rather than pixels on a screen.

But how do you turn this craving for analog amusement into a real-life bash that keeps everyone buzzing? Fret not, my socially-savvy friend, we've got your back! This article will serve as your step-by-step guide to throwing a social event teeming with interactive games, whether they be classic board games, co-op video sessions. Prepare to be the host with the most, as we walk you through the A to Z of planning a game-infused soirée!

1. Choose a Date

Before you can send out those snazzy invites, you'll need to nail down a date. Consider your target guest list and any significant events, holidays, or long weekends that could conflict. Want to really make it easy for everyone? Use a quick online poll to see which date works best for the majority. After all, what's a party without guests?

Top Tip: Fridays and Saturdays are classic, but don't dismiss a laid-back Sunday game day, especially if your crowd is mostly local. A different day can sometimes mean fewer scheduling conflicts for your guests.

2. Where's the Location?

Ah, location, location, location—the real estate of a good party. Is your pad the place to be, or do you need to go hunting for the perfect venue? Consider the following:

  • Home Sweet Home: Great for more intimate gatherings where you control the atmosphere. Plus, no need to fret about closing times or venue costs.
  • Outdoor Venues: Ideal for large gatherings, particularly in the daytime. Parks, beaches, or even a friendly neighbor's spacious backyard could work.
  • Rented Spaces: For something more official (or if your home can't handle the awesomeness), consider renting a hall, a rooftop, or even a boat!

Top Tip: Consider the logistical elements such as parking, accessibility, and space for your games. If you're planning something elaborate like a bingo night, make sure you've got a space big enough to call out those numbers loud and clear!

3. Select a Theme

Sure, you could go theme-less, but where's the fun in that? A theme adds an extra layer of excitement and gives your party that Instagram-worthy aesthetic. So how to pick?

  • Decade Themes: 90s, 80s, or even the Roaring Twenties. Who doesn't love a blast from the past?
  • Fantasy Themes: Think masquerade balls, Harry Potter, or a Marvel universe gathering.
  • Seasonal Themes: Halloween, Christmas, or a Summer Luau. Leverage the season's spirit for added pizzazz.
  • Murder Mystery: Give guests a chance to play detective while mingling. Jo Przybyla, Public Relations Associate at The Murder Mystery Co, advises, 'Make sure to tell your guests what they're walking into, and let them know what the theme is'.

Top Tip: Choose a theme that also lends itself well to games. A 90s theme can have trivia based on that decade; a fantasy theme might include a magical quest.

Games are a great addition to a wedding reception. It provides guests with an alternative activity to dancing, and it a great opportunity for a couple to show off their individuality.

4. Send out Invites

The type of invite sets the tone for the party. Casual get-together? A simple text or digital invite might suffice. For something more formal or themed, custom invites can add that touch of magic.

  • Digital Invites: Quick, efficient, and eco-friendly. Use platforms that also help manage RSVPs to make your life easier.
  • Physical Invites: There's something charmingly old-school about a paper invite. Also, it's a keepsake for a memorable night.
  • Themed Invites: These should be in sync with your party theme. Sending out a pirate's map for a pirate-themed party? Now that's what we call setting the stage!

5. Choose Your Games

"Every game may not align with every party. Choosing the right game can make or break the vibe of your gathering," said The DJ Booker writing for So let's break it down.

  • Know Your Audience: Games that are a hit among teens may not work for a group of adults, and vice versa.
  • Setup Time: Choose games that fit with the spontaneous or planned nature of your gathering.
  • Number of Players: Some games are better for intimate groups while others are perfect for a large crowd.

Knowing yourself, your guests, and what the vibe you want to create is so important when crafting a party game. From there, you can reverse engineer your game!

Versatile Games

Lauren Phillips from Real Simple has a sage tidbit: "Party games can be the chameleons of social interaction, adapting to the crowd." In other words, a well-chosen game can be your social lifesaver, rescuing a party from awkward silences or lulls in conversation. Whether it's breaking the ice among strangers or rejuvenating a dwindling party, the right game changes everything.

Some ways we keep our games and classes fun & inclusive are actively accommodating skill levels for each child, keeping it short and sweet to keep their attention for as long as possible, having it be actually fun so kids are engaged.

Video Game Vibes

When it comes to video games at parties, Laura E. Hall from Apartment Therapy  lays down the golden rule: your selected games should be a feast for the eyes, not just the thumbs. In other words, pick games like Dance Central where even the wallflowers feel like they're center stage.

Educational games

In the realm of party planning, especially for children, Emily Stanton, Operations Manager at Flip Out Productions, shares some invaluable insights. She emphasizes, "Some ways we keep our games and classes fun & inclusive are actively accommodating skill levels for each child, keeping it short and sweet to keep their attention for as long as possible, having it be actually fun so kids are engaged."

This approach underscores the importance of tailoring activities to various skill levels, ensuring they are concise enough to maintain interest, and above all, making sure they are genuinely enjoyable to keep the kids fully engaged.

Occasion games

Incorporating games into occasions, such as a wedding celebration, can be a delightful way to entertain your guests. Choosing the right games can ensure that the fun continues seamlessly, from the ceremony to the reception, making your special day memorable for everyone involved.

"There are several opportunities and fun ideas for games during the wedding. You can entertain your guests with yard games, mad libs, and scavenger hunts during cocktail hour while you are away taking photos. This will help pass that time, and your guests won't even know you're missing." Jennifer Ball, MWP, MS owner of

Indoor games

Indoor games are not only versatile and adaptable to various indoor settings—be it a cozy living room, a spacious hall, or even an office space—but they also offer the unique advantage of being unaffected by weather conditions. This ensures that your party can go on without a hitch, regardless of rain, snow, or extreme temperatures outside.

If you are hosting an indoor event, you can’t go wrong with a murder mystery game, never have I ever, and the classic – musical chairs are a win for any age!” Laurie and Lisa, owners of

Outdoor games

Outdoor games are the heart of any event held under the open sky, leveraging the vastness of outdoor spaces to bring a sense of adventure and freedom that indoor settings might not offer. These games are perfect for infusing energy into your party, encouraging guests to soak up the sun, enjoy the fresh air, and engage in playful competition in a natural or urban outdoor setting.

One of the great advantages of outdoor games is their ability to scale up for larger groups without the spatial constraints often found indoors. Activities like relay races, tug of war, or large-scale team sports (such as soccer or volleyball) allow everyone to participate, promoting teamwork and camaraderie among guests. Furthermore, outdoor games can often be more physically engaging, contributing to your participants' overall health and well-being while ensuring they have a fantastic time.

Inclusive games

Inclusive games are thoughtfully designed activities that ensure everyone, regardless of ability, age, or background, can participate and feel valued. By focusing on cooperation, communication, and adaptability, these games break down barriers, foster a sense of community, and promote understanding among participants. They not only entertain but also educate, creating a welcoming environment where diversity is celebrated and every individual can thrive.

Having puzzles or board games on hand during a reception is a great way to engage guests who are perhaps less likely to partake in dancing or just prefer to spend their time engaging in more small-group communication styles.

As well as including inclusive games, inclusive language in party planning is crucial. It ensures every guest feels respected and valued, fostering a welcoming environment. By acknowledging diversity through our words, we create a more enjoyable and united celebration, emphasizing shared humanity and the importance of embracing each other's unique identities and experiences.

Blair Woerfel owner of explains "we always try to use inclusive language when speaking to our couples about their wedding party! Always saying wedding party instead of bridal party, bridesmaids, and groomsmen to be conscious of a mixed group of friends and family that represent their entire wedding party."

Allrounder crowd pleasers

Bingo is like the Swiss Army knife of party games—versatile, engaging, and forever in style. What sets it apart is its adaptability. A music-themed bingo round can be the perfect ice-breaker or you can even go all holiday-specific.

Top Tip: If you're aiming for that modern flair without ditching the old-world charm, use a bingo card generator that allows you to fully customize your game. You can tweak the colors, the fonts, add pictures or emojis, and even play online with up to 500 players. Now that’s what we call a game for the 21st century!

People love games with head to head competition, and everyone loves to win prizes.  But always go back to your event goals, and how these activities help your event achieve them.

6. Plan the Food and Drink

Ah, the fuel to your gaming fire—food and drink. Whether you're aiming for a gourmet feast or just quick bites, make sure the menu is up to snuff. Here are some thoughts:

  • Finger Foods: These are your party's best friend—easy to eat and no messy cleanup. Think sliders, chicken wings, and veggie sticks.
  • Themed Snacks: If you've got a theme, run with it. Pirate party? Serve some "seafood treasures."
  • Beverages: A mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options caters to everyone. And hey, consider some thematic cocktails or mocktails.

Top Tip: Make sure you have a variety of options to cater to dietary restrictions. A hangry gamer is a losing gamer!

7. Create a Playlist

Ah, the soundtrack of the night, the invisible vibe curator—a killer playlist is as crucial as any game on your docket. Start off with some light, ambient music that allows for conversations and the clinking of glasses. You don't want to blast anyone's eardrums right as they walk in. As the night progresses and the games get more competitive, ratchet up the energy with some upbeat, dancey tracks. If your party has a theme, that should be reflected in your playlist. 90s grunge for a 90s throwback bash? Sea shanties for a pirate soiree? The sky's the limit!

8. Awards

Who doesn’t love to win something, even if it's just bragging rights? Create some awards or prizes that suit your theme and games to encourage a little friendly competition.

9. Capture the Moments

black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

Creating fun and natural pictures during your event is all about keeping guests engaged. When people see a photographer floating around, they often feel awkward and feel like they have to pose. However, if they're given another fun thing to do—like play a card game or enjoy backyard games—they're more likely to create fun and natural images. According to Destinie Fouche, Owner & Lead Photographer of Destinie Fouche Photography, this is key to capturing genuine moments.

Consider setting up a photo booth with props that match your party theme. Not only does this encourage guests to take spontaneous pictures, but it also provides a fun activity that everyone can enjoy. Include signs, hats, glasses, and other quirky items to spark creativity and laughter.

Additionally, plan some group activities that naturally lend themselves to great photos. A game of charades, a dance-off, or even a scavenger hunt can produce candid, joyful moments that a photographer can capture without feeling intrusive.

10. Final Preparations

Okay, game face on. It's time for the final prep work.

  • Game Setup: Whether it's board games or a fancy bingo night, set things up well in advance. No one likes to wait while you rummage for game pieces.
  • Tech Check: If you're incorporating any tech, such as an online bingo card generator, run a test round to avoid glitches.

There are 3 steps to making a game go over better:

1. Explain - Clearly explain how the game will work and the flow of each part of the game. 

2. Demo - Get a volunteer to come up and walk through the process with them as your model going through each step!

3. Hype - Sell it!  Get fun, get loud and get them excited about the game. 

11. Party Time!

Once everything is set up, all that's left is to have fun. Be a gracious host, make sure everyone is involved, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!

The stage is set. Now all you need to do is throw the party of the year!

Top tips

  1. Theme Selection: Choose a theme that excites your guests. This sets the tone for the decorations, attire, and even the games.
  2. Game Variety: Include a mix of games – some active, some more relaxed. Think of Bingo, charades, and trivia.
  3. Prizes for Winners: Keep small prizes for game winners to spice up the competition. They don't have to be big - just a token to make the games more exciting.
  4. Preparation is Key: Set up game areas before guests arrive. This ensures smooth transitions between activities. Eric Godfrey Manager, explains that to ensure games go smoothly, there are three crucial things to remember:
  5. Consider Your Audience: Choose games suitable for your guest's age and interests. Tailor the complexity and theme of games accordingly.
  6. Instructions Ready: Have clear, concise instructions for each game. It keeps confusion at bay and the fun flowing.
  7. Rotation System: If you have multiple games, consider a rotation system to keep everyone engaged and give each guest a chance to try different activities.
  8. Flexible Schedule: Allow some flexibility in your schedule. Sometimes, a game might be a hit, and guests will want to play longer.
  9. Safety First: If any games are physical, ensure there's enough space and safety measures are in place.
  10. Memory Making: Keep a camera handy to capture the fun moments during game time. These memories are priceless! Here are 2 solid options according to Charles Moll, Lead Photographer at Charles Moll Photography.
    • Phone Rule and Analog Methods: Opt for polaroids, disposable cameras, or a professional photographer. Phones can make it hard for your guests to be present. By choosing an analog method or hiring someone, your guests will be much more engaged in the day.
    • Photo Consolidation Apps: Use an app like POV Camera. This app will consolidate all your guest photos into one place and create a gallery for you all to look back and enjoy the day.
  11. Be Open to Suggestions: Always listen to your guests' game preferences and ideas. Their input can lead to exciting and unique game choices, enhancing the overall party experience.

Great planners are approachable, attentive listeners, utilizing a practical approach with out-of-the-box thinking to create truly unique and memorable events.

Emerging Trends in Party Planning

Party planning is an ever-evolving field, with new trends constantly shaping how we celebrate. Here are two major trends set to dominate the industry in the coming years, as highlighted by Joe Walker, owner of Your Event Party Rental.

1. Eco-conscious and Sustainable Practices

Sustainability is not just a passing fad—it's a movement that's here to stay. With growing environmental awareness, more people are looking to minimize their ecological footprint, even when it comes to celebrations. Joe Walker emphasizes:

"Eco-conscious/Sustainable has become very important to clients over the past year and will only continue. Whether it's doing less print materials, not using disposables, and using reusable items like china, glassware, linens, and centerpieces. Which often not only saves the environment but money as well."

Adopting eco-friendly practices can range from digital invitations and recyclable decorations to sourcing locally grown food and using reusable tableware. These choices not only contribute to a healthier planet but can also be budget-friendly.

2. Personalized and Intimate Events

In a post-COVID world, there's a noticeable shift towards smaller, more personalized gatherings. The pandemic has made people appreciate the value of close connections and meaningful interactions. According to Joe Walker:

"Personalized and more intimate events are trending after COVID. Guests are looking for more meaningful experiences and want their event to have the feeling of more intimacy."

This trend involves creating tailored experiences that resonate on a personal level. Whether it's a custom-themed party that reflects individual tastes or a small gathering that allows for deeper connections, these intimate events are becoming increasingly popular. The focus is on quality over quantity, making each event unique and memorable.

How to Implement These Trends

Integrating these trends into your party planning can set your events apart. Here are some practical tips:

  • Eco-conscious Tips:
    • Use digital invitations and reduce print materials.
    • Opt for reusable items like china, glassware, and linens.
    • Choose locally sourced, organic food and beverages.
  • Personalized and Intimate Event Ideas:
    • Create a guest list that allows for meaningful interactions.
    • Design custom themes that reflect the interests and personalities of the guests.
    • Focus on thoughtful details that enhance the guest experience, such as personalized place settings or custom party favors.

By embracing these trends, you can host events that are not only stylish and fun but also environmentally responsible and deeply personal.

The Bingo Card Creator Team

The Bingo Card Creator Team

We're the Bingo Card Creator Team, bringing you diverse, engaging bingo templates and content.

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