Everyone loves a party, but not everyone likes to help make one happen ― or break it down afterward.
Unfortunately, someone has to put in the effort at both ends. Actually, several “someones” are needed to truly pull things off, rather than one or two people trying to do everything while facing a ticking clock before guests start showing up.
So event planners need to come up with clever strategies to get people to sign up to help and actually show up, even if it means threats or outright bribery. And that’s OK ― whatever gets people there!
Consider some of these strategies for utilizing your party help so everyone is doing a little something, and no one person is doing too much.
Do your walk-through first. Knowing the layout of the venue will let you know where supplies and furnishings are stored. This eliminates time spent wandering around looking for these answers when the setup crew is ready to get started.
Separate duties into categories. Some people may not want to put up decorations, but would be willing to haul items in and out of the venue, or vice versa.
Designate team leaders. Assign certain trusted people to be in charge of certain aspects of your party, such as food preparation, entertainment or decorations. They only need to focus on these areas. Giving people lead roles is also a good way to encourage them to show up.
Create a reasonable schedule. This may be up to the venue, but the more time you have to get in and start your setup, the more time you have for some breaks and laughs, in between.
Share value. Explaining why this particular event is important, can motivate people to get more involved. For example, if it’s a retirement party for someone many people care about, surely some of the attendees would be willing to offer a helping hand to make it a success.
After Party Cleanup
Party clean up can be more challenging since people may want to head out after the party is over, whether it’s home after a long day or elsewhere with colleagues. Here are a few ideas that can help.
Check if “tomorrow” is a possibility. If the venue is OK with people coming back the next day, consider that option. That way, everyone can wear casual clothes and will be rested and more eager to help.
Provide Incentives. Incentives work well here, whether it’s buying the first round in the bar after the job is done or bringing in coffee or actual gifts. People who show up for clean up are real troopers. So you need to make sure they know that they're appreciated.
Make it fun. Turn ‘streamer throw-away’ into a basket-making competition. See who can (safely) carry the most chairs or stack the most items on a hand truck. The more you get people laughing, the easier it will be to get them moving along.
Go to Plan B. If you strike out with volunteers, you may have to do it yourself or hire a service. Perhaps someone you know can refer you to an inexpensive cleaning service they use, or someone they know who would be willing to help. If that is the case and your plate is already full, you may want to ask that person to help coordinate the cleanup effort, so you can continue to focus on the other event planning details.
How to ask for help
You are probably wondering how do I go about asking people to help out with party set up and/or after party clean up? The easiest way is to create a “Helping Hands List” using a free event planning app like the Pitch In Club. If you have several items you need help with like Decorating, Post Party Clean up, Stacking Chairs, etc., you create a “Helping Hands List”. The list goes out with your invites and people can choose whether they can help out or not. Of course, they don’t have to, but if you don’t ask, you won’t know . This is the easiest way to get the word out. Once people start responding, you can easily track who’s coming and who was nice enough to offer a helping hand. That’s it! The more people "Pitch In", the merrier. That's what the "Pitch In Club" is all about.
Thank you for checking us out. For more helping hand ideas, head to our blog.