Over the past eighteen months or so there has been a noticeable increase in the number of inquiries I receive on the topic of party games for grown ups. People assume that all children’s parties will have a period set aside for games and activities but the same cannot be said for adult parties. However this is changing.
People are putting more thought and planning into parties. Whether it is a 16th birthday party or a get together to “celebrate” a divorce increasing effort is been put into deciding a theme, decorations and party games.
Well organised party games are a great device for encouraging sociability, helping people to relax and mingle better with their fellow guests.
As a broad outline, when planning party games you should consider
The size of the venue: There is no point in planning a full scale treasure hunt in a 200sq ft apartment. Be realistic about what you can achieve.
Time Available: As we all get older family commitments take over leaving us less time to stay out late. If you and your guests are in that phase of life, tailor the time scale of the games accordingly. Don’t plan long drawn out games that stretch late into the night. Your guests won’t thank you.
Enthusiasm of Guests: In most cases you will know your party guests. Use that knowledge to your advantage and don’t plan games if you know the guests would rather sit and talk. Don’t force party games on unwilling guests.
Age, Gender, etc of Guests: This will have an impact on the type of games that you can use. If your guests are predominantly couples then the games should take that fact into consideration.
Timing: Party games are not held in isolation. They should compliment and dovetail with the other elements of the party. For example if you are planning on serving the food towards the end of the evening then plan the games for a time that will allow you to serve the food at the planned time. There is no point trying to interrupt a game just to serve food.
As the host of the party it will be up to you to lead and manage the party games. People won’t just start playing a game of cards just because you leave a few “decks” lying around. Guests will need encouragement and direction. When leading party games you should be aware of the following principles.
Be Organised: Have a thorough understanding of the games you would like to play and if possible try them out before the party itself
Props: Make sure you have all the material and props you require to play the games
Timing: Plan the introduction of party games for the appropriate time. There is no pint in having “ice-breaker” games as people are planning to leave.
Explanation: Make sure the guests know what the game is about and what they have to do. Some guests may already be familiar with the game but don’t assume all are.
The overall consideration when leading party games is the entertainment of the guests. Make sure the games are suitable for all the guests and are inclusive in nature. Remember you are holding the party so the guests will have a good time. It is not an ego trip or a chance for a select few to engage in games that they enjoy.
In later articles I will go into specific details about individual games including ice breaker games, parlour games, mental games and much more.