For-profit parties happen all across the country, from the smallest towns to the largest metropolitan areas. These parties often target college-aged adults, but others allow in anyone of legal age with the funds to grant them access to the event. Throwing a party can be very lucrative, especially if you live in a large area or one that has an abundance of celebrities or professional athletes.
How to Throw a Party for Profit
Define a target market for your party, or in other words, who the party is for. You need to be very specific and consider the following: age range, theme, purpose, whether the majority of them are college students, whether there will be drinking and how much they are willing to pay.
For example, you may decide to throw a party targeting those age 22 to 28, with an all-black attire theme for the purpose of bringing young professionals together in an upscale setting, with an entry fee of $15 and an open bar.
Find a DJ in your area to play music at the party—the DJ you choose can make or break the event. Choose someone that has experience performing at parties with your chosen demographic, get references from him and ask the DJ what his typical play list is. If there is a well-known or popular DJ in your area, try your best to book them him—his notoriety alone may bring more people out to your party.
Determine whether you'd like corporate sponsorship for your party. Liquor companies are typically willing to sample drinks or co-sponsor parties for young adults, but only if there will be a large crowd with their target demographic, a well-known DJ or music artist performing or celebrity guests in attendance.
If you want to gain sponsorship, contact the companies that will fit your party's demographic at least two months in advance. This will give them enough time to get a promotional team together and send them to the event.
Try to bring celebrity guests into your event, but do not advertise their attendance unless you can get it confirmed. This works best if you by chance know someone that is locally or nationally famous or a professional athlete, or you live in a city with professional sports teams. College athletes cannot appear at a for-profit event, so they are not an option.
Alternatively, you can pay a celebrity to host your party. The cost for this can range from $2,500 to more than $10,000. If you can get celebrity guests, offer them a VIP area where they can enjoy the party.
Research your local area, and make a list of suitable places to hold your party. Ensure the venues you consider make sense for your target demographic, and that they have the proper capacity. Don't choose a venue that's too large or too small. Consider the reputations of the prospective venues as well
For example, if you are targeting the above-profiled demographic and want to host 400 people, a small, grungy bar wouldn't be appropriate, but neither would a large ballroom that can hold 800 people. However, a downtown cocktail lounge that can hold 500 people would be a good fit.
Contact the venues on your list and get rates. When you first contact them, you can also bring up the option of them hosting the party in exchange for all profits made at the bar and a percentage of profits made from entry fees. Venues are likely to agree with this only if you are able to secure notable guests or a popular DJ or gain sponsorship from a well-known brand or company.
Market your party by designing and printing postcard fliers and distributing them to college campuses and spots where your target demographic hangs out. Launch a promotional blog or website, and post the event on social networking sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Place the party on your city's online and print social event calendars, and pitch the event to your local radio station by offering free admission to a certain number of listeners in exchange for the promotion of your event. Finally, encourage your friends to spread the word to their associates.
Offering free food, even if it's only a small selection of appetizers, can encourage people to pay for admission to your party.
Consider offering ladies free admission before a certain time. The more females there are in attendance, the more likely males will be to pay for entrance into your party.
Unless your venue has a liquor license and certified bartenders or you hire a catering company that is approved to serve and sell alcohol, you will have to exclude alcohol from your party.