So you’re hosting a holiday party. Or your live-in girlfriend / wife is making you host a party and you’re partially in charge of public relations and outreach. It’s probably going to be an Ugly Sweater Party, right? Because those are ironic or something. Or maybe it’ll be a pregame for an event where a bunch of wild hooligans dress as Santa Claus and get piss drunk, eventually capping the event off by raining their vomit in every operating subway car within five boroughs and most of the rest of the tri-state area.
There are other options, of course, but those are the two themes people are expecting and looking to go to. But they’re also, at this point, wildly cliché. The combination of these two things, plus the fact that the holidays are the time when people generally decide to host parties, means you’ll have a lot of competition re: getting people to show up at your shindig. And there are only so many Fridays and Saturdays in the holiday season. Google Calendars get booked up faster than Santa crams cookies in his pie-hole.
That’s why your Facebook event posting has to stand out from the crowd. It has to generate appeal that turns the “maybes” into “yesssses.” Otherwise you’re going to have a B-squad of lame social degenerates standing around drinking eggnog in a sweater they stole from their grandma or purchased at Lane Bryant, asking, “Is charades on the party agenda?”
Here are some pointers to get the word out socially, and to successfully encourage people to come to your rager.
- Like so many things, the appeal of your Facebook event begins (and could possibly end) with your title. Don’t mess this part up, because it’s your only chance for an immediate draw. It’s the first thing people see; it’s your hook. My creative advertising friends are hosting a party this weekend. Do you think they sent me an invite that says “Ugly Xmas Sweater Party?”Of course not. That’s not even marginally unique. Their party is titled “[Address] Holiday Gala: A Night of Majesty and Enchantment.” That’s the kind of party I want to go to. I need to be present or I’m going to miss some seriously majestic moments. Another friend is hosting a birthday / welcoming party for one of our comrades who just moved to New York from Pittsburgh. His title? “A BB Grows in Brooklyn.” Get creative and differential with your event title. It’ll pay dividends.
- Pick an AWESOME picture. If this is an annual event, choose the photo from the previous year that will bring back the fondest of memories to the people who attended last year, and will intrigue those who have not yet made it to your party palace. If this is your first year hosting a party, pick a picture that is going to grab and hold the attention of the invitee long enough for them to progress to your event description.
- Put some effort into said event description. At this point, you’ve garnered your friends’ interest. Now take your first stab at capturing their commitment.
- Promise something unique that won’t be found at another party. This might be a secret drunk punch recipe, or an ice luge primed for shots of Fireball, or a delightful party favor. People love swag. And booze that they don’t have to pay for, even if it’s just a small amount. Don’t put BYOB anywhere people can see it. Just wait until folk inevitably ask, “Anything I can bring?” Follow their question with a non-nonchalant text: “We’re pretty well stocked, but could always use extra booze.” People like bringing alcohol and other such party favors when they aren’t directly asked.
- Spread the word in other venues to get commitment from the low-hanging fruit. The more people you get to click “yes” quickly, the more appealing it is going to be for the other invitees. Your party will find strength in alleged numbers. Also, the better looking the people are, the more single friends of yours will sign on to get weird.
- Post intermittently on your own event’s wall. Bonus points if you make your posts appealing for others to interact with. The more traffic and attention you draw to your event, the more often people will be notified that you’re having it. And it’s better to post things about fun aspects the party will possess than to constantly badger people to ask if they are going to come.
- On the day of, make one final push for attendees. Post a status about how you’re excited to see everyone, that you just tested out the ice luge and it’s primed for an epic event.