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Ultimate Birthday Party Planning Business Guide: Week 1 of 6

Updated on September 29, 2010

How to Plan The Perfect Event

Whether you're looking to start your own party planning business or simply wanting to throw your child or teen a unique birthday party that they deserve, you've come by the right place! Birthday parties have certainly evolved over the years and there are many themes and activities that your child or teen wants, but you don't know about! Many people reading this guide have most likely thrown parties for their children before, but not why try something new this year?

About the author: I have been planning parties as a hobby since I was 18 years old (I have 6 years experience) and have also taken several child development courses as electives for my business degree in marketing. My parties always involve the children or teens as I believe it is a good experience for them to get involved in the planning process! I do not live in a market area where I can do this as a full-time job, but I plan around 8 parties a year for family and friends. I hope to share my experiences here with you.

How Early In Advance Do You Start Planning?

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The Best Planned Parties Are Well Organized

All children need structure. A routine gives them a sense of security and is necessary for a healthy development. Younger children tend to become stressed at birthday parties as they don't know what to expect. Surprises can be fun, but it is important that your child or teen is included in the party planning process.The following section will cover the importance of setting up a timeline, picking a theme, establishing a budget and more.

Party Planning Timeline

Setting a timeline for your event will ensure that everything that needs to be done to successfully execute your party on time is completed on schedule and that there will be no (bad) surprises! Depending on the complexity of your event, most children's birthday parties can be planned in under six weeks in order to minimize stress and maximize the quality of the event. It is possible to do it in four weeks and incredibly difficult to do it in two. This guide covers a six week plan, If you must plan your party in four, the only constraint will be that you should purchase your birthday supplies locally, rather than online.

Week 1 of 6

The first week should be spent brainstorming with your child or teen to decide on the type of party that they want.

  • Theme - The theme will help shape your budget, location and the number of guests needed to have a great time. Have your child come up with at least three-five different themes that he or she might enjoy. Chances are, you can find the products necessary for their favorite theme, but you never know! Let them think about what theme they want for an entire week to make sure that they've picked the right one. Make sure to tell them that five weeks is a long time and once you've ordered the supplies and placed the details on the invitations there is no going back!
  • Here is a link to a Carnival Theme Planning Guide that I've written.
  • Budget - Make sure to establish your budget right at the start. A birthday party can cost as little as $50 or as much as $5000. The parties that I discuss in this guide should average you around $150-$300, but there is plenty of room for scaling back, if needed. Remember, this is just a guide and you have to do what works for you. If your child decides on a theme that you think will be too expensive, consider asking them if they'd rather that you not purchase any gifts for them and contribute that extra money towards the overall cost of the party. Younger children will probably not want this, but your teenager may feel that it is more important to have a flashier party, than to gifts from you.
  • Location - The possibilities are endless here! You can stay at home, have it at the beach, the park, the zoo, at the mall or at the movies. My guide is written under the assumption that your party will be at your home.
  • Number of Guests - How many guests do you need to invite? Have your child make a list of friends and go from there. I typically plan parties for 8 children. It is a good number to manage and is also very convenient as many party supplies come in packs of 8! If you do need to have more than 8 children, make sure that you have enough responsible adults present to watch over them. There should be at least one adult for every 3 children. 1 adult for 8 teenagers should be enough. Most parties for younger children have many adults on the guest list, but for the purposes of this guide, adults do not apply towards the party planning aspect of activities and party favors.

Recap: End of Week 1

Let's recap.

Week 1 is one of the most important weeks of the party planning process. It is essential to pick a theme that your child feels comfortable with and will still want five weeks from now. Make sure you get your guest list finished and compile all the addresses so the invitations can be mailed. (I cover invitations in Week 2). Lastly, settle on your location. If you are not having your party at home and are going to rent out a place, for example a conference room at a hotel or an ice skating rink, book it now before it's too late.

Week 2 is coming soon.


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      Leera 7 years ago

      Where can I find the next 5 weeks?

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      bachelorette party planners 8 years ago

      nice guide but how do you manage a budget based on the number of guest say i have a $500 budget and 50 guests the party cost $10 per person so basically what i am saying is determined the number of guests and just have a cost per person there is no way to have a budget with a unlimited number of guests