Things You'll Need
There are a variety of farewell parties for which you might have to act as host. From a work colleague leaving the job, to a college student going off to college, farewell parties are a chance to celebrate an exciting change in someone's life. Unlike other kinds of parties -- such as a birthday party -- farewell parties are likely to include some feeling of sadness or loss. Because saying goodbye isn't always easy, make sure to have plenty of tissues on hand at the event.
Decide on a location. Determine if you want to host the party at home or at a restaurant. Select your home for the party if you want to save some money and have greater control over food and atmosphere. Select a restaurant if you want someone else to worry about setting up for the event and cleaning up when done.
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Pick a date. Do not try to determine a date when everyone can attend. There will probably be a few key people that are closest to the person who is leaving. Select a few good dates and ask each of the key people which dates are the best and worst. From this list pick the date that is best. Friday and Saturday nights tend to be the best days of the week, if everyone works office jobs. If most of the attendees work service jobs, consider having the party on a Monday or Tuesday night when they are more likely to be free.
Select the kind of farewell gift that would be most appropriate. The person leaving may not want more possessions if they are moving. As a group, attendees can pool their money for one expensive item such as a camera or a clock. If the person is moving to a new city, consider buying an annual membership to a local zoo or amusement park near their new home.
Send the invitations. Consider using email or a web-based invitations service. These are easy and more common than a traditional mailed invitation. Include the date, time and location. If pooling money for a gift, make sure to mention that attendees will have the option of contributing money at the party for the present. Request an RSVP, but assume some people will come without telling you. Re-send an email or web reminder one week before the party.
Select a theme for the party. Although optional, selecting a theme can make the party more engaging for the attendees and the recipient. Don't make the theme too complicated or costly. For example, if the person is moving to Florida, ask everyone to wear a tropical shirt or straw hat. If the person is leaving for college, ask everyone to wear their old college shirt or sweatshirt.
Prepare for the party. If you are having the party at a restaurant, contact the restaurant and work through the details regarding the date and time along with food choices. You will have to specify if the attendees are going to pay for themselves or if someone is going to cover the cost of the entire bill. If you are having the party at home, buy plenty of snacks -- savory and sweet -- along with beverages. Most attendees will expect to drink alcohol at a farewell party, so stock up on plenty of beer, wine and liquor. Buy some balloons, streamers and hats for attendees to wear.
Host the party. Once the party begins, your work is nearly done. Sit back, relax and let the party take on a life of its own. About half-way through the party, make a toast for the recipient. Ask for other party-goers to say a few words about the person leaving. Lastly, ask the recipient to say a few words of goodbye.