Planning a good party can be fun but it also comes with its fair share of difficulties. In order to organize the best party of the year, you need to do just that: organize. Here are some key party planning elements that will make all the difference. Whether you have no idea where to start or are just improving an already great event, follow this checklist for the ultimate party.

1. Food

Food is, arguably, the most important element of a party. Do you have great snacks? A good mix of salty and sweet? Do you have plates and utensils? Napkins? Serving dishes?

2. Drinks

Once you’ve nailed down the edibles you need to decide what drinks you’ll be serving. The drinks can really set the tone of the party, so think carefully! Your showdown will have a very different feel if you’re drinking red wine or if you’ve served up some shots of fireball!

3. The Venue

Make sure you have enough space for your guests. No one likes a party that starts out too crowded. Provide some seating options and be ready to be flexible to the needs of your guests.

4. Events

Don’t forget to plan the party itself! What will your guests be doing? Will you have a poker tournament, a pool party, a dance-off? Will you be watching the Superbowl or jamming out to music? Decide this early, and double check that your guests know what they’re in for.

5. Music

Finally, the music adds to the ambiance. Music can be played in the background or in between activities. A good playlist keeps the party moving at all times, so your partygoers will never have the chance to get bored.

Follow these steps and get your party ready. Once you’ve got the basics down you can focus on things like decorations, which can up the excitement at any party. Check off this party planning checklist and you’ll be the life of the party, literally.

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