An open house party is held over a set span of hours at a home or a business and during that time, guests can drop in as they please. These parties are usually quite informal, and they are a great choice when you know that you are going to have a lot of guests in a limited amount of space or when you are the opening of your business to the community. Planning an open house party is actually easier than planning a regular gathering.
Set the time and date. Open house parties are great for the afternoons, and they can run between two and five hours, depending on how many people you are expecting.
Decide on the scope of your party. How many people do you see showing up? Remember that while they are not going to all be there at once, they are still going to want a chance to enjoy some refreshments and to socialize. Think about what your space will bear and and how many people you want to show up.
Think about the venue. Where do you want to hold your open house party? If it is warm, holding an open house party in the backyard can be a great way to enjoy the good weather and to make sure that you have enough space. A limited space like a small store or a small living room might necessitate a smaller pool of guests.
Plan for parking. If you are hosting your party in a downtown venue without a parking lot or even in a crowded urban neighborhood, think about giving your guests instructions on parking and where it can be found. If you are going to be taking up space in a lot or on the road, a notice letting your neighbors know is considered polite. Depending on the scope of your party, it might be necessary to rent parking space in a lot or to arrange for valet parking.
Consider how to do invitations. When you are planning an open house party for a small event like a graduation or a farewell party, you simply send out paper invitations to the people who are interested in coming over. Sending out an open invitation over the social network of your choice can also be a good way to get people interested, but you do risk losing control over who shows up. If you are planning to do an open house party for a business, flyers and advertisements can help get the community interested.
Decide on refreshments. The people who are going to be showing up are going to be expecting some form of refreshment, so think about what you want to provide. Finger foods are going to be ideal for something as casual as an open house party, and they can easily be prepared in your own kitchen. Slices of sheet cake, small sandwiches, a cheese tray and a fruit dish are all great choices. Do not forget to think about drinks as well. Cans of soda and bottles of water can be bought by the case for this occasion.
Staff your party. Even if it is just you and a few friends holding the party, decide who is going to be in charge of things like keeping the food and drink on the table. This will help you avoid issues later on. Staff can also include hiring security, especially if you are looking at a larger open house party. If you are planning to have community members show up, their safety and yours is important, so consider consulting a professional security service and seeing what they recommend.
Plan your decorations. When you are holding an open house party, you are often celebrating something. If you are celebrating a graduation or an anniversary, pictures of the guests of honor set on a board or on the walls is a great idea, and if you are throwing a holiday party, look for decorations that pertain to the season. Remember that a festive environment can keep your party going.