We had our first party on Valentines Day 2009. We did some things really well. Learned a lot of lessons of where improvements can be had.
Instead served red / white wine and hard liquor. Beer has the disadvantage of low alcohol content and causes frequent trips to the toilet. Parties that serve beer typically have long waits at the toilets. Think most people come to parties to meet people, not wait on lines nervously shifting their stance with anguish written across their face until it's their turn to go.
It gets worse, the low alcohol content results in too many sober people. Alcohol is a social lubricant. Weak alcohol is like a placebo. It's expected that after a few drinks you'll be in a good mood and talking with people will be easier. Now exchange that tequilla sunrise with an oolong tea. Now we are talking tuberware party without the 1940s beehive hairdos.
Parties don't have to be expensive. International Parties range from 500 -> 5000 yen. The average price being 3,000 yen. Currently economic forecasts aren't looking too rosy, so we wanted to stay at the lower end of the price range. The major expense is cost of real estate. Lots of greedy old bastards out there. These are the same dirty old bastards that forced the youth to be temp workers, keep us poor, and then fired everyone. We weren't exactly in a rush to further enrich them.
So when choosing venue to hold a party we cared about
Think we found a good place and slowly we're finding other good venues.
At International parties the girls are looking to hook up with white / black men (i.e. foreign guys). Think it comes down to scarcity of foreign guys in Japan.
Admittedly we focused too much on getting enough girls out to the party. We had a high turnout of girls. We thought well if we get the girls, the guys will come. What we should have been focusing on was getting enough foreign guys.
We will continue to control the number of Asian guys. Hey Japan is 50% Asian guys. Naturally you'd expect 50% of the people at the party to be Asian guys. We'd prefer around 10%. Hey, the girls want to meet foreigners, so to reduce, not eliminate, the number of Asian guys we charge them higher admission fee. Hopefully we will get good ratio as well as continue to get strong turnout.
The music selection was great! We didn't know about the quality of the sound system beforehand, so we brought CDs. So we kept changing the CDs and had to play the entire CD. Next party, we'll have a mini PC. So no more swapping CDs or limiting to just a few artists.
Expected to have a lower turnout. So we didn't buy enough alcohol in the beginning and kept running out. So during the party, staff was making multiple trips to buy more. That was tiring. Next time we'll buy much more alcohol up front.
We didn't know how to adjust the lighting. We should of gotten the lights perfect before everyone arrived.
All the main lights were shut off except one. But it was still too bright. Then we figured out how to turn on just the stage light. This was much better. Only problem was now the bar was pitch black. So next time, the bar will be moved next to the stage.
We tried to get half salty and have sweet snacks. We had two types of chocolate: Pocky sticks and chocolate cubes. Both had wrappers on them. But the chocolate cubes were individually wrapped, so less were eaten. Next time either forget the chocolate cubes or unwrap them before hand.
The salty snacks we had a variety of crackers, Pocky sticks, and popcorn. At the end of the party the popcorn was all over the floor along with red wine spots. Don't mind at all the red wine spots because we have mops. The popcorn had to be picked up. What a pain! So no more popcorn. By the end of the party, both the sweet and salty Pocky sticks were completely gone.
Next party, we'll try Ritz crackers with dips.
All and all, the party was an unexpected success. Everyone got wasted. Got almost no negative feedback because everyone was too busy leaving together with a special someone they meet at the party.
A parties success should be measured not by turnout or ratio, but by the number of new couples. We had plenty of those.
Check out the party page for the next party here