Cyndi Lauper was right, girls just wanna have fun, especially if we’re going to give up a night to attend a home party or an event at a local business. In other words…if you theme it, they will come. (Wine helps, too.) With the right strategy, a theme party can super-charge your direct sales business and small biz events by increasing attendance and boosting social media engagement. Let’s get the party started!
How Do I Get People to Book a Party or Attend An Event on a Weeknight?
That’s simple. Include the day you want to book in your theme. Whether your theme is Margarita Monday or Wine Down Wednesday, adding the name of the day to your event controls your calendar and serves as an instant reminder to guests. I can still remember going to Taco Tuesday as soon as I was old enough to step into a bar, and that was in the 80’s. The Restaurant/Bar packed the house on a typical slow night because all the locals knew if it was Tuesday, we’d be eating Tacos (with a few Margaritas on the side). Ok, we really went for the tequila shots. Smart Marketing.
How Can I Use Social Media to Increase My Reach?
Hashtags are the most powerful tool you have to increase your reach, and connect with more customers. You can even use a popular hashtag for the theme of your event. For example, one of the hottest social media trends is Throwback Thursday (or #TBT). Check your Facebook or Instagram stream on Thursday if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Add a fun factor to your event by promoting a #TBT party theme with a contest to share throwback pictures that relate to your business or brand on Facebook and Instagram. Ask attendees to tag you on the event page and you’ll create a social buzz, which boosts your reach and connects you to potential new customers. You might even have a few party crashers show up. Also, create your own custom event hashtag so guests can promote your event for you.
How Can I Use Theme Parties to Connect with My Ideal Customer?
Want to sell to Moms? Plan a Mommy’s Time Out theme party. There’s even a wine to go with it, which makes the beverage selection super easy. Or, if your customers are in the over-forty crowd try a Forty & Fabulous theme party and serve up Skinny Margaritas. Get in front of the Millennials and the Boomers by planning a MoDa Party – Mother Daughter. You get the idea.
How Can I Use Theme Parties to Increase Attendance?
Increase attendance and social media engagement by asking the guests to bring something or wear a specific clothing item. The reward is a fun prize drawing, and makes for a great photo op on your social media pages.
Here are some examples:
1. Clothing-Themed Events: Wear a specific clothing item. Some ideas include Tailgate (wear team jersey), PJs & Popcorn (wear pajamas), Ugly Sweater Party (Christmas) and Kentucky Derby (wear a fancy hat).
2. Wine-Themed Events: Bring a wine label that describes your personality. Plungerhead, Arrogant Frog, Bitch and French Maid (yes, these are real wines) are some that come to mind, and will get the laughs rolling.
3. Food-Themed Events: Bring copies of your fave recipe to share, or a food item like a banana for a banana split party or ice cream toppings for an ice cream sundae party.
4. Summer-Themed Events: Hold a best-in-thong contest, as in footwear – not bikini bottoms.
5. Color-Themed Events: Wear Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness (or color associated with a cause), Red for Christmas/Valentines/4th of July, Green for St. Patty’s and try a Black & White Party for any other month.
6. Contest-Themed Events: Bring/wear the contest item. Examples include: Ugly Sweater, Ugly Candle, Cutest Purse, Best-In-Shoe, and Scariest Halloween Mask.
How Do I Invite People to the Theme Party?
Every. Way. Possible. That means you might create a Facebook Event, send out an email follow-up and then text everyone a few days before as a reminder. Facebook is becoming flooded with event notifications, so don’t assume that just because friends are invited they’ll know about it. I’m getting better results with personalized invites via text and email. Graphics and videos are key to influencing invitees to attend your event. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially if you’re creating an invite via a Facebook Event, Evite or Newsletter. You can add a graphic to a text message, too! Use graphic design websites like PicMonkey or Canva to easily design awesome graphics in minutes. I used Canva (my new fave site) to design the graphic in this blog post. For better results, make a personalized video (under 1 minute) on your smart phone and email it to guests or add it to the Facebook event page.
What Type of Prize Drawings Should I Use at My Theme Party?
Challenges are fun, exciting and can be very low cost, but you’ll want to be strategic. Every challenge should have a call to action and be focused on achieving a specific result. You don’t have to give the store away. Size matters, so use a colorful, medium-sized gift bag with lots of tissue paper and a small gift inside. 🙂
- Get the Party Started – RSVP or Early Bird
- Build Attendance – Bring a new customer or party crasher
- Build Sales – Place a $(amount)+ order
- Build Customer Loyalty – VIP Customer Drawing
- Build Bookings for future Theme Parties – Pick A Date, Pick A Prize!
Note: Offer 3 levels of prizes. The more parties that are dated, the bigger the prize!
What Are Some Types Of Theme Parties?
Here are 50+ Theme Party Ideas to get you started:
Sweet Tea Tuesday
Wine Down Wednesday
Hump Day Happy Hour
#TBT Ladies Night
#TGIF Girl’s Night
Clothing Theme Party Ideas
Kentucky Derby Party
80s Girl’s Night Out
PJs & Popcorn
Halloween Mask Party
Mardi Gras Mask Party
Ugly Sweater Party
Red, White & Blue Party
Summer Theme Party Ideas
Frozen Drink Party
Red, White & You
Christmas In July/August
Beach Ball Party
Light Up The Night (Bonfire) Party
Charity Theme Party Ideas
Pretty In Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness
Lady In Red: Womens’ Heart Health
Dress In Blue: Colon Cancer, Autism
Purple Passion: Alzheimer’s Disease
Red, White & You: American Cancer Society, Red Cross
Wine & Cheese
‘Ritas & Fajitas
(Jello) Shots & Scents
Sangria & Sandals
Bubbles & Bling
Bagels & Bloodys
Cupcakes & Cocktails
Touchdowns & Tacos
Red, White & You
Ice Cream Social
Banana Split Party
Mimosas & Memories
Pizza & Prizes
PJs & Popcorn
Burgers & Brews
Brews & Bonfires
Holiday Theme Party Ideas
Jingle Bell Shop
‘Tinis & Tinsel
Bubbles and Bling
Ladies Night Out Theme Party Ideas
Mommy’s Time Out
Forty & Fabulous
MoDa Party (Mother Daughter)
Sip, Shop, Taste
Single & Sassy
Manis and Massages
Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl. She speaks to global audiences about Direct Sales Success, Women’s Empowerment and Social Selling and is a resource for press, media and bloggers. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her YouTube channel.