Party Tips: Dealing with Dilemma
Communicating Plans to Each Guest
Before heading out for a night full of dancing, drinking & debauchery, make sure that all of your guests are in the loop for what you have planned. The best way to do this is by verbal communication with each guest. Though it can seem time consuming, it is one of the most important aspects of planning a successful event. Emails, text messaging and other forms of invitations can easily be lost or overlooked. If you collect payment from each guest, be extremely specific as to what their money is contributing towards. Go over package details, itineraries, and drink specials to avoid confusion later in the night.
At the Door
It almost seems that all door hosts are required by law to be an ass. Let’s take a second to remember the responsibilities of a door host.
- Greet guests
- Check IDs
- Enforce dress code
- Refuse entry to guests who may be intoxicated
When you arrive at a club, be prepared to deal with an egotistical door host. Make sure your group has their IDs ready when arriving. The first person checking in should be the person who made the reservations, the designated driver or the most sober. If you have pre-made reservations, inform the door host prior to standing line. The door host should check the list and let your group in after checking IDs. Sometimes they may ask your group to wait while they help another group and this is normal. If you run into any issues with your group not being on the list, inform the door host of when and who you made your reservations with. If this is no help, kindly ask to speak to a manager.
Normally reservations made during the week are with an event coordinator or daytime manager who does not work on the weekends. The reservation list is passed on from the weekday employee, to the weekend manager. After looking over the list and adding last minute reservations, the weekend manager will give the list to the door host. By this time it has been handled by many other employees so it is possible that names have been removed, misspelled, or accidentally crossed out. Make sure you play it cool, no matter what the case.
If you made reservations with a 3rd party or promoter, you should have a number to call and inform them ASAP. Make sure the rest of your group remains informed and calm. Any angry guests or rude comments can ultimately lead to the door host denying entry to your group. In all reality, the door host has final say who is allowed entry and the whole night atmosphere is created by the experience you have at the door of a bar or nightclub. Door drama can linger all night with your group and the best way to deal with issues is to address them and move forward. If you are turned away for whatever reason, lead your group to the next bar or club and shrug it off. You and your group do not want to spend your money at a place that is denying your party entrance anyways.
Once in a bar or club you are bound to run into a customer who has had a little too much to drink. If one of these happy drunk dancers spills their drink on you or one of your friends, take a second to analyze the situation. Although you might be extremely pissed off, try to calm down, dry off your clothes and cool off. In this scenario, the spilled drink can escalate to a bar fight which will get your group kicked out, and ruin the entire night. In the end, it’s really not worth it. I suggest that you laugh it off and ask the happy person who spilled to buy the you and/or the guest of honor a shot or a drink to make up for it. If you do run into an issue with another person or group, it is best to inform a member of security. If an altercation does emerge, security will most likely escort the other group out of the venue.
No one wants to regulate the amount of alcohol consumption during a party, however when combining alcohol with a group of close companions, it is imperative to make sure that everyone is drinking responsibly and within their limit. As the planner, you are in charge of making sure things run smoothly and getting any over-served guests, back to their home or hotel safely. If not, drunken friends can create unwanted stress and ruin the entire evening. Keep your eyes open for a few hinting mannerisms that might indicate one of your friends is on their way to a drunken stupor. Rambling or slurring words, having difficulties paying attention, and sharing extreme emotions (love, lust, anger or sadness) are just a few instances where you may need to assist a friend to grab some grub or head to bed. Though this may seem to put a damper on the party, taking care of your friends can help avoid embarrassment, fights, jail, or even worse; hangovers! Keep the momentum for the party going and don’t let it ruin the night.
Busy Bartenders & Servers
Typically at any bar or nightclub, bartenders are more likely to take care of their customers in this order: Big Tippers, Regulars, Friends, Ladies and lastly guys. The best way to ensure getting your drinks well made and quickly is to take care of your servers and bartenders. The more you tip, the more attention they will give you. In most cases, good tipping will get you free drinks or shots, a discounted tab, and a new friendship. When you are friends with the bartender, you are guaranteed to be served first over some joe schmoe who just walked up to the bar. Remember that the person serving you drinks can make or break your night. Bartenders & servers usually make about 2-3 bucks per hour and your tips are what they use to pay their bills and fill their fridge. Take care of those who serve you, and they will be sure to return the favor.
The Guest of Honor
If planning for a birthday, graduation, promotion, anniversary, or bachelor/ette party it is imperative that you keep any insignificant issues from the guest of honor. The main focus for the night is to ensure that they create memories to associate with their celebration. Again, in the event of a small issue, address and resolve the problem away from the party and GOH to avoid and unnecessary concerns or frustration.
When planning any type of event in Chicago it is always best to expect the unexpected. How you deal with a potential dilemma will determine if your night is one to remember or one to forget. In some cases, everything will go exactly to plan, and that is great! However; make sure to prepare yourself for anything, communicate with your guests, create back up plans, brush off little bumps in the night and always keep a positive attitude. It will encourage your friends and guests to do the same and in the end, it will create a great atmosphere and result in everyone having a great time!