Friday, February 22, 2008

Making a Party an Experience

I knew my Master’s thesis would come in handy one day! I remember the semester before I worked on my thesis, I spent a day in the New York Public Library researching ideas on what I’d like to explore. There I was in in the library-- an incredible old open space in the middle of Manhattan-- wooden tables, old fashioned lamps, and miles and miles of bookcases. I had a stack of books in front of me, and picked up one called, “Art as Experience.” I was enthralled. This is what I WANTED!! I wanted my thesis to be an experience. I wanted people to see/experience my thesis and remember it. Not for the colors, or an image, but as anyone would remember a memory... I wanted them to walk away, and a year or 2 later remember what they had experienced -- the feelings the images evoked, the people they met, the conversations they had...

Enough about my thesis, that’s a whole separate discussion and I’m sure a lengthy one... but here it is -- SEVERAL (yes, several) years later, and I’m thinking the same thing. I want bnute productions’ Party Kits to evoke an experience for the party attendees. I want party goers to remember your event and not be just one of the same of the many, many parties that they go to each year... I want your party to stand out. I want to make it an experience.

So, how shall we do that, you ask?
1.Give Context - Set a tone, Give a Story, Get Artifacts, Turn on the Music
When the atmosphere is in the theme, it will make the event much more memorable... and even folks who just “don’t like themes” might get into it! I remember a Halloween party I went to over 10 years ago. The hostess went all out in a true haunted house style... tattered curtains, cobwebs, old trinkets on display. She even swapped out all of her everday photos in frames with haunting images. It was great! I didn’t even stay too long at the party, it was one of many that night-- back before kids, before marriage, but to this day, I definitely remember the details, I felt like I was in a haunted house out on some spooky property, not in a victorian apartment in Cole Valley, San Francisco.

2.Use their Senses - Sights, Sounds, Smells, Taste, and Touch
Don’t forget the little things-- and the senses we forget about (say, touch, or sounds, even smells...) it’s these senses that really stick in our head, and make us remember an event more than another. Take for example a certain smell... whenever I first walk into my parent’s house, after I haven’t been there in awhile, I take a deep breath.... it’s the smell... their beautiful 1930’s home definitely has a distinct stately smell that reminds me of home. After I’ve been in it for awhile... a night, a day, whatever the visit, the smell diminshes as I get involved in the activites, conversations, and festivities. It’s that initial smell... One I’ll never forget!
3.Let Loose and Let Their Imaginations Run Wild
Dress ups, talking in the lingo of the theme, games or a little competition set in the theme is always fun, and will definitely make the event stand out from the rest. I love to dress up... even now! There have been few dress up events where I haven’t participated... whatever the reason that day/evening when I was getting ready-- too tired, “just not into it...” I just didn’t get into it, and didn’t dress up... and how I regretted it. The party wasn’t nearly as fun as the parties where I get “into it!” I think it’s that little extra commitment that you make to the event-- like I’m GOING to dress up, I’m going to talk only in an English accent... whatever the effort, it pays off in the end for a great experience, and fun, even funny memories! So, set out extra dress ups for those who don’t think they need it... set out a “lingo” dictionary... and get everyone into it!

4.Have fun!
No explanation needed here!