The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Epic New Year’s Eve Party

by Justin Zipprich

So you are planning on throwing an epic New Year’s Eve 2017 party to top all New Year’s Eve parties? Good for you! But before you start sending out invitations, there are several factors that must be considered and questions that must be answered so you and your friends can celebrate without a hitch.

For instance, will you be hosting your event at a club, a restaurant or on a boat? What type of food will you be serving? What about a theme? These are all things that need to be thought about and planned. But worry not, we have created this handy little guide to all things New Year’s Eve. Read on and enjoy the perfect party.

Researching the Competition

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Before diving into any business adventure, it’s always best to do a little strategic planning and competitive analysis.  Many successful NYE event concepts are “borrowed” from other markets.  The best way to see all the New Year’s Eve events in North America is to dig deep on the clubZone New Year’s Eve guide here.  See how people are pricing, what they are offering, what themes they are choosing and more.

Choosing a Theme

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If you really want to kick your party up a notch, you should consider adding a theme to your event. It not only adds another layer to the same old champagne and noisemakers scene, but it also turns your party into an event of sorts, an event that people will absolutely need to be a part of.

The type of theme you choose depends on your personality, creativity, and budget. For those looking to keep the theme simple, try a Black and White Party, a classy theme where everyone wears sleek and stylish black and white outfits. You could also invest in some simple equipment and host a UV party. All it takes are a few UV black lights, some glow in the dark paint, and some imagination.

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There are a number of other fun themes that you could utilize for your hot NYE party. Many people don some masks and add a little mystery with a masquerade ball theme. There is also the options of throwing a colorful glitter party or a disco party. These are themes that last the test of time.

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You could also host a party based on a movie. How about a Wolf of Wall Street or Ocean’s 11 theme? The sky’s the limit. There are many different theme ideas out there, and themes are only confined to the extent of your imagination and excitement for the holiday.

Whatever theme you go with, be sure to communicate it clearly to your guests.  We’ve received many a complaint from people who attended an event wearing a black tie only to find out it was an all-white theme (seriously it happens!).

Note: If you go with a James Bond 007 theme, we get a lot of legal “take down notices” from various law firms, so be aware that some themes are protected by trademarks 😉

Choosing a Venue / Location

The main benefit of having your party at a club, on a cruise, or at a restaurant is that it takes a lot of the work out of planning and setting up your event. Sometimes you can just pay and show up. Plus, there is just something exciting about going out to a flashy club in the middle of the city.

There are concerns of course, first of which is the added price. If you are going to reserve a venue for New Year’s Eve, you are going to pay a pretty penny. It will also be very difficult to reserve so you will want to set that reservation months in advance, and if you haven’t, you might be out of luck.

The best resource for finding a great venue / location to host your event is the clubZone venues directory here.  Choose your city, click on places, and then drill down by various location types (nightclub, bar, lounge, restaurant, live music venue etc.).

Assessing the popularity of a venue

Use tools like Google Trends, or Google Adwords keyword planning tool to assess the relative popularity of one venue vs. another.  An ideal location is somewhere that people are already buzzing about.  If you can’t see people searching for the location on Google, it can be a bit of an uphill battle unless you have mega talent and a strong following.

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Choose Your Ticketing Platform

Depending on the size and attendance of your party, you should really consider sending out tickets or invitations for your epic NYE bash. The budget must be kept in mind when deciding the type of tickets you will be providing because you have the option of everything from free e-tickets to elaborately printed tickets.

If you are having a free small house party or a gathering at a local restaurant, you might consider simply sending our Facebook invites to a page or event.

If you are throwing a bigger event with more than a few hundred guests, you will absolutely need a professional ticketing platform.  While there are many options to choose from (ie: EventBrite, ticketZone etc.) it’s important to look at the added value benefits that come with each platform.  The most popular New Year’s Eve ticketing platform in North America is Ticketvibe for one primary reason: They have the largest seasonal marketing network (more information on that in the promotion section below).

Pro Tip: Access to cash flow
As throwing an event can be very expensive with a lot of the cash requirements coming up front, an important point with a ticketing platform is the ability to have access to your ticket sales revenue in advance.  Make sure the company you choose gives you the choice of using your own merchant account so ticket sales revenue goes straight into your bank account.

Wristbands

CZ-NYE-1-copyIf you are throwing a party with hundreds or even thousands of guests, another cool accessory that you can offer your guests are wristbands. Not only do wristbands create organization and keep track of guests during your event, but with a little effort, wristbands can actually become a fashion accessory of sorts. There are tons of cool bands you can customize, from low-cost NYE Tyvek wristbands, to fancy holographic silver plastic bands.  The main decision comes down to budget.  For high-priced events, customized plastic, cloth or vinyl wristbands are expected.

New Year’s Eve Event Marketing Ideas

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Whether you have your guest list figured out or you are selling tickets and opening up your party to the public, you will want to properly promote your event so that you can get the best possible turnout.

If you are looking for a one-stop seasonal event marketing shop, consider the services offered by clubZone.

With clubZone, you can promote your event on their high traffic network. Not only will your party be featured on the website & included in their newsletters but it will be syndicated onto 100’s of other websites, including OurNightlife.com, Ticketvibe.com, Vancitybuzz.com, NewYears.co, Dose.ca, BeforeLastCall.com, Hype1.com, and YapClub.com.

Use the service to create an eye-catching invite for your event and include all necessary contact and location information as well as what is expected of your guests (dress, age restrictions, etc.). Plus, you can use clubZone to promote on popular social media sites including Facebook.

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Search Marketing: Events posted on clubZone quickly rank well in Google & Bing not just for your event & venue related terms, but for general New Year’s Eve terms that can often cost over $2.00 a click in Google Adwords.

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Other Event Marketing Tips: Event marketing is not a quick topic to master or discuss, but we’ve put together a comprehensive seasonal event marketing guide here.  Topics include: starting early, understanding the sales cycle, creating 10x content, remarketing 101, viral contests & pricing strategies.  For any Halloween or New Year’s Eve event marketer, this is a must read.

This interesting statistic might help you avoid a mid December panic attack:

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Party Favors

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Remember the joy you had as a child when you went to the neighborhood birthday party and got your goodie bag? Well, you can offer that same fun feeling by having party favors at your grown up NYE party.

Of course, the type of party favors you give out may depend on your theme, but there are several go-to party favors and giveaways that just about every New Years party should have.

Wearable party favors have always been a hit. These include hats (both the top hat and cone shaped varieties), glittery 2017 glasses, head boppers, the list goes on and on. Noise makers are another must have. Take your pick from party blowers, horns and kazoos.

There are also many adult party favors that you can personalize such as wine glasses, sunglasses, and coasters among many others.

Pro Tip: Use offshore sites like Alibaba.com to get your party favours in bulk for cheap.  This only works if you are ordering 45 days in advance, but the savings can be big.

Music

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Keep in mind that New Year’s Eve events tend to have very diverse crowds with a wide range of music preferences.  The majority of NYE events tend to play a blend of top 40 across multiple music genres.  Remember that it’s not always about what you like. It’s about what everyone will enjoy.

Typically you can leave the music selection up to professionals (DJ’s, Bands etc.) but make sure they know how to read a crowd and adjust accordingly.

Food

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Your choice to serve food at your event, and what to serve, all depends on the type of event you are having.

If you want to incorporate dinner into your event, it is best to host your party at a restaurant that can contain the occupants of your party. You want to leave the cooking to the professionals if at all possible. You certainly don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen while everyone else is having the time of their lives.

If you are going to have food at a party at your home, stick to appetizers. There are hundreds of fun recipe websites out there that have tons of ideas. For instance, you can never go wrong with a chip and dip combo, or add a twist with some salted chocolate dipped mandarine slices.

Or maybe you have your own special treat that you like to make. Go for it! Appetizers not only give your guests something to eat, but an appetizer table also creates a common space for people to gather around, and all that food can help soak up that alcohol.

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Speaking of alcohol, no NYE gathering is complete without champagne, after all, what else is everyone going to toast at midnight? For help on choosing the best champagne for your party, check out our complete guide to champagne.

What are You Waiting For? Let’s Plan This Thing!

Whatever options you decide to choose for your epic New Year’s Eve party, just remember the most important thing, have fun! The new year brings new beginnings, and it is only customary to bring 2017 in with a bang! It’s simple, choose your venue, invite your friends, and have a New Year’s bash like no other.

Need Help?  If you need a hand from the New Year’s Eve marketing pros, always feel free to reach out to us.

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