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November 30, 2019 How to Plan an Amazing New Years Party at your Bar or Restaurant

new years party

It’s almost here. The big finale of 2019. That means it’s time for New Year’s Eve party ideas! Whether you’re planning a glitzy soiree or low-key event, we have you covered with 21 of the best New Year’s Eve party ideas to celebrate 2019 like it’s 1999…

Step 1: Get Ready for the Big Event with Themed New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Let it Glow

Light up the night with a glow party as one of your New Year’s Eve party ideas. Black out your venue with dark curtains or drapes. Then add some sparkle with glitter, glow-in-the-dark paint and accessories, and/or twinkle lights.

Play dress up

Give your guests an excuse to get fancy with a costumed event. Choose a glamorous theme that goes along with New Year’s Eve party ideas, like art-deco (think The Great Gatsby). Or take a page out of P. Diddy’s book with a white party (where everyone dresses in all white for the event—the photos will be stunning). Or go black, silver, or gold for the New Year.

Pay homage to the decade with your New Year’s Eve party ideas.

There’s no better way to celebrate a new decade than by paying respects to an old one. Pick a decade of your choice and have your guests dress up in iconic looks from those years. The 90s are making a big come back right now, but the 80s have always been a fun era to replicate. Or, go vintage with the roaring 20s or big band 40s.

Step 2: Entertain the Crowd

Set the tone with music.

You have the decor. You have the theme. Now it’s time to get your New Year’s Eve party ideas popping with some tunes. The music makes the atmosphere, so choose what’s appropriate for your party: a string quartet for a more glamorous affair, a live band to cover the decade’s greatest hits, or dance the night away with a DJ spinning the latest club music.

End the year with a win.

As far as New Year’s Eve party ideas go, who wouldn’t want to wind down 2019 with a prize? Tap into your guest’s competitive edge with a contest. Set up a trivia competition to test guests on pop culture from the last decade. Or hold a sing-off, karaoke-style—the performer with the loudest applause wins!

Make the memories last forever with a photo booth.

Snap Instagram-worthy pics in an interactive setting: A photo booth for your guests. You can hire a professional service, or keep things casual with a DIY booth. It’s easier than you think. Just get a backdrop (something festive and glittery) and add some props that match your New Year’s Eve party ideas like hats, wigs, and costume pieces galore. Guests can snap pics on their phones, or you can set up a self-timed camera that prints pictures on the spot.

Step 3: Try a New Year’s Twist

Take a poll for the New Year’s resolutions.

As one of your New Year’s Eve party ideas, kill two birds with one stone using a tip jar poll for New Year’s resolutions. Set out a few tip jars on your bar with common resolutions listed: exercise more, eat healthier, start a new hobby. And encourage guests to put a dollar bill into the jar that represents their main resolution for 2020. It’s a fun way to poll guests and get some extra cash in your staff’s pockets. Trust us—it’s definitely one of the New Year’s Eve party ideas that your entire team will get behind.

Focus on the countdown.

The whole point of New Year’s Eve party ideas is to celebrate the moment that the new year begins. And a big part of that is making sure everyone is aware when the ball drops. Make sure to put out plenty of announcements leading up to the final countdown. And plan something big, like a champagne toast, that will clue party-goers in that it’s time to pucker up for their New Year’s kiss.

Embrace spoilers with a fortune-telling booth.

As one of your New Year’s Eve party ideas, hire a local fortune teller to read palms, decipher tea leaves, or look into a crystal ball to tell your guests’ future. Even in this day and age of ever-present spoiler alerts, everyone wants to know what they can expect for the year to come. And having New Year’s Eve party ideas that cater to it is a fun way to attract more guests to your event.

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Step 4: Get the Word Out About Your New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Set your calendar.

Big parties require big planning. And if you haven’t already started promoting your New Year’s Eve party ideas, now is the time. Between holiday parties, visiting guests, and your own family celebrations, you need to pencil in some time to get everything ready for your event.

Take a look at your calendar and start planning what you need to pull off your New Year’s Eve party ideas. Start gathering necessary materials and delegating tasks to responsible managers and members of your team. Plan regular check-ins leading up to the event to ensure everything that needs to get done is taken care of.

Promote on social media.

Once your New Year’s Eve party ideas are in place, it’s time to spread the message. This is where social media can play a major role in your marketing plan.

  • Create an event page on Facebook. Get all the details about your New Year’s Eve party ideas on an event page and share it with all of your followers. Use this page to post updates and reminders about your New Year’s Eve party ideas—and be sure to engage with anyone who interacts on the page.
  • Start a hashtag. Craft a hashtag that followers can use when posting about your New Year’s Eve party ideas. It’s a great way to get your event trending and allows users to easily find the details about your New’s Eve Party ideas when they’re searching the platform.
  • Post reminders about the event. Your patrons have a lot going on around the holidays. So they may need a little nudge or reminder about your event to fit into their New Year’s Eve party ideas. Schedule regular posts on your business pages to keep your event top of mind with your followers, and help guide them to your venue for the big night.

Send out invitations.

Nothing’s better than a personal invite to drum up excitement for your New Year’s Eve party ideas. So, put your loyalty program to work by shooting out an e-vite to everyone on your e-mail list. Add an option to RSVP, if possible. Knowing how many people plan to attend ahead of time can make preparations go more smoothly. And if you want to get really fancy, consider mailing out personal invitations to some of your regulars.

Step 5: Prepare Your Party Supplies

Plan your menu.

Rather than go with your regular menu, add some specials to really help your New Year’s Eve party ideas shine:

  • Festive Cocktails: Say cheers to the New Year with something bubbly. But don’t rely on run-of-the-mill champagne. Try toasting with a twist, featuring a New Year’s Eve specialty cocktail—like this champagne sangria.
  • Munchies: Guests will be drinking plenty for the New Year. So, offer some complimentary appetizers and passed hors d’oeuvres to encourage guests to get something in their bellies, even if they don’t plan on ordering from the menu.
  • Midnight Supper: Once the ball drops, people will be hungry. Get your guests to stay later with their first meal of the New Year—a 1 a.m. dinner that pairs well with your New Year’s Eve party ideas.

Set the mood.

Guests expect a little extra oomph when they go out on December 31st. Meet their expectations with New Year’s Eve party ideas that set the mood and match the celebratory ambiance of the evening.

  • Dress up your dining area. For the night, rent table linens, napkins, and even some decorative plate chargers to wow your guests.
  • Stay on-theme (if you have one). If you’re offering a theme (more on that later), don’t phone it in. Give your guests what they expect—colors, decorations, and other touches that match the theme you’ve been promoting.
  • Prepare for the ball drop. The major countdown needs a big bang once the clock strikes midnight. Add confetti, balloons, and/or paper snowflakes to drop down when the ball does.

Stock up on essentials.

In the craziness of implementing your New Year’s Eve party ideas, it’s easy to forget about the basics. And given that you’ll probably have a large turnout, you may need to stock up more than you usually do on regular necessities, like:

  • Bathroom Supplies: Nothing’s worse than running out of toilet paper mid-party.
  • Glassware: Make sure you have plenty of champagne flutes to toast at midnight.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Spills and messes happen. Keep your mop bucket on standby.

Step 6: Add Extra Touches

Offer early bird tickets.

If you plan on charging at the door for the event, consider giving patrons the option to buy their tickets early. Offer a discount for those who sign up a few days before the event as an incentive to purchase earlier. Not only will it get more guests singing up for your event, but it can also give you heads up on attendance to better plan for your New Year’s Eve party ideas.

Train your staff.

Whether your staff is new blood or seasoned industry veterans, New Year’s Eve is sure to be one of the most hectic nights of the year. Hold a meeting a few days before your event to brief everyone on your New Year’s Eve party ideas and any specials you plan for that evening. Give everyone a chance to ask questions and use the opportunity to request volunteers to work that evening (which will be a big help when it comes time to make the schedule).

Partner with a cab company.

Remember to put safety first with your New Year’s Eve party ideas—and don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. Ensure your guests are taken care of by partnering with a local cab company or possibly a driving service app, like Lyft or Uber, to help guests find rides home more easily after the final toast.

BONUS: The Day After

Keep the party going well after the ball drops with New Year’s Eve party ideas for the first day of the new year!

Host the ultimate New Year’s brunch.

Make the first meal of the new year count with traditional dishes meant to bring good luck and fortune for your diners.

  • A traditional southern brunch: In the south, New Year’s Eve party ideas aren’t complete without black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread to bring fortune for the next 365 days. It’s peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.
  • Pork for progress: In some cultures, serving pork on new year’s day is a way to signify progress for the upcoming year.
  • Ring-shaped cakes: Pancakes may be more than a hangover cure for your New Year’s Eve party ideas. The shape represents a full circle of luck for the eater, which is why ring cakes and rounded sweets are usually eaten on January 1st.

Get a jump start on resolutions.

Exercise is a pretty common resolution for the new year. So why not support your patrons with New year’s eve party ideas that incorporate wellness and exercise for January 1st? Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Yoga on the patio: if you have a nice outdoor area and mild weather, host a yoga session followed by brunch on your deck.
  • Partner with a local race: For the famous Berlin New Year’s Eve Run, runners participate in a 10K race, then celebrate with a plate full of pancakes after. And we think a big race followed by a bunch of carbs is a pretty good way to kick off the new year.
  • Polar Bear Dive: This popular event is celebrated throughout the U.S., Canada, and other parts of the world to help ring in the new year. If your venue is located near a large body of water, consider hosting your own polar bear dive and treating participants to hot cocoa and a warm meal afterward.

Ease into the New Year with a little R&R.

After the craziness of the holidays, there’s no better way to unwind than with a little rest and relaxation. Treat your guests to a low-key event to help them recover from your New Year’s Eve party ideas the night before.

  • Pajama Party: Your guests dressed to the nines last night. Reward their evening of glamour by keeping things casual. Let them stay in their PJs and recover from a long night with some bacon, eggs, and mimosas.
  • Spa Day: Who wouldn’t love brunch with a side of massages, pedicures, and facials?
  • DIY Mask Tutorial: Consider having a holistic esthetician come in to do a quick lesson on how to make your own, edible masks with ingredients you most likely already have on hand (like eggs, avocado, honey, or coconut oil).

Once your New Year’s Eve party ideas have been executed, pat yourself on the back for a year well spent! Now, only 365 days left to plan your next New Year’s Eve party ideas…

1 Comment

  • Kenneth Gladman Oct 23, 2018 12:15 pm

    I like your advice on getting to your event and party in plenty of time to prepare. The last thing you want to do is miss the midnight ball drop. This is especially true if you have a significant other with you.

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