So You Think You Can Room Party? Tips, Tricks, & Lists.

There are many things about going to cons that I enjoy. I like checking out interesting panels, I love checking out costumes, and most of all I enjoy socializing with the people there, both new friends and old. One of the things I love most of all are room parties. A well thrown room party can be a thing of joy that people will talk about for ages. A bad room party… well, let’s not go there, because at the end of this article you will be well armed to throw a good room party.

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First thing you should do is check with the con committee on any rules they have about room parties. The fine folks running the convention will have a better grasp of what the hotel will and will not allow as far as these types of events go. You want to do things right, because if you don’t it can have serious ramifications for the con committee and could result in the con being denied use of that hotel again…or even jail time for you. Now, scary bit over, here’s a list of things a good party should have:

  1. A room. Yours will do fine, or you could check with your con committee if one of the panel rooms is available for parties.
  2. A big box of black trash bags. (If you ask nicely the hotel may even provide you with trash cans.)
  3. Plastic cups, paper towels, paper plates, and napkins.
  4. Disposable serving ware and cutlery if you are serving that kind of food.
  5. Food. Try to stick to things that don’t generate a lot of trash, people don’t want to break off conversation to throw junk away. So leave that rib recipe at home and bust out some cheese, crackers, cookies, and brownies. You want to amuse your guests, not give them a full meal. (Tip: I tend avoid serving peanuts… to many allergic people and we don’t want anyone hurt.)
  6. Drinks: sodas; 4-6 parts Cola type, 2 parts diet cola type, 2 parts clear soda, 1-2 parts club soda, 1-2 parts Orange/Ginger/Root Beer types.
  7. Beer: Don’t go cheap, but don’t break the bank here. Unless you’re throwing a beer party, in which case I recommend that you encourage your guests to bring some of their favorite to share that way you can all do a tasting of different beers.
  8. Tylenol/Ibuprofen: Chances are someone is going to be feeling blah and you want them to be not blah.
  9. Most Important Thing You Cannot Do Without: Good Minions! Treat them well, feed them before the party, give them leftovers after.

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So, now you have stuff that can make a party happen. What next? Now you should prepare your room. Here’s a handy list of prep tips:

  1. Lower your room temperature several hours before party time. The room is likely to get crowded and as more people show up body heat will warm the place. You don’t want a lot of sweaty con goers in a small space, trust me. J
  2. Take a picture of the room and make sure you note the location of objects.
  3. Hide the valuables and breakables.
  4. Rearrange furniture if necessary/possible.
  5. Ice in tub for sodas, or bring coolers with ice in them.
  6. Just before party you and your minions should put food out. It’s a good idea to have food that is special labeled. Like anything kosher, or no-sugar, or what have you.

Some other things to keep in mind. Follow hotel rules. If you have a no smoking room, then don’t let anyone smoke. Keep the noise to a dull roar. Feel free to escort people out of your party if they’re being too obnoxious (or better, have a big minion do that.) Don’t turn down offers to help clean up after it’s over. Put the room back to its original state. Tip the hotel cleaning staff generously.

Follow these simple steps and tips and you’ve got the makings of a fun time. Soon I’ll post some tips on how to step things up a notch, including tips for Themed Room Parties, and parties with booze.

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3 Responses to “So You Think You Can Room Party? Tips, Tricks, & Lists.

  • Profile photo of CaelynTek

    There’s been more than one room party I’ve left due to there being no Diet soda available (being a diabetic I can’t keep drining alcahol and sugar laden sodas all night). I don’t usually plan to leave it for good, but often by the time I find some diet soda, I’ve either happened upon another party, or just ended up back in my own room, too tired to go out again. So I’m very happy to see that there are those who think about the needs of people like me in their party planning.

    • Profile photo of Calamity Dawn

      Having spent a chunk of my life keeping Kosher, having a parent with blood sugar issues and vegetarians in my life taught me a lot. Plus my folks threw tons of house parties when I was a kid. They were the ones who taught me to always have options for all folks.

  • Also do not forget that music is also a big driver for people to enter a room party. I will concede that there have been parties where music was technically unneeded, but there was a good reason for that. Also keep the music basic, nothing to hardcore metal, or to slow jazz, I know a dj who was told to play the entire billboard 500 just because of how diverse the entire quest population was. So play to your crowd, music should help create the atmosphere of the party, not hinder it.

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