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How to throw a Blog Party!

As I mentioned earlier, I attended 2 blog parties last week. They were so much fun and I felt privileged to be apart of them. So for those of you considering hosting a blog party here are some tips from my perspective as a guest.

Thanks to Jill and Kristi for the 3rd Annual Blog Party!

1. Make it easy for the bloggers to get to know each other before the party.

Blogapalooza opened a Google Group for all us to talk to each other and get to know each other better. We each signed in as a member, introduced ourselves, and told how we knew the 'hostesses'. It was so fun getting an e-mail update and see the personalities come out ahead of time.

Also, for that party, one of the hostesses (Celia) took the time to list everyone who's attending the party and link their blog on her side bar.

These two things made it easy to take the initiative to familiarize ourselves with each other's blogs before the party. When I showed up to the party - there wasn't an awkward moment of 'who are you?' and everyone seemed comfortable.

2. Make it easy for your guests to identify each other from their blogs.

At Blogapalooza each guest had a place card with their blog printed out on it and a name tag that had their blog profile pic on it. That name tag pic saved me a couple times. ;)

If you don't have pre-printed name tags, be sure to have blank name tags available. Also be sure to have a sign-in sheet that includes blog address and e-mail address to have a contact list for next year. ;)

I made Blog Directories for each guest at Blogapalooza that had the name, picture, bio, and blog address of each guest. This helped during the party connect with each guest and served as a party favor of sorts.

3. Get the party moving with a fun ice-breaker.

This gets people talking with out having to go out of their comfort zone by approaching strangers with out a topic or purpose.

At Blogapalooza, we started out the evening with a great get to know you game. The questionnaire had a question about each guest who attended. You where to find the person that fit the fill-in-the-blank description. The person who had the most got a prize. It really got the party started.

These yummy cupcakes were made by Erin.

4. Be sure to have yummy food.

Whether you have it catered or potluck, do what's best for your schedule. Feel free to charge admission to cover the cost of food and the place. Make it easy and have your bloggers pay by PayPal.

5. Come up with an opportunity to introduce each guest.

At both parties each guest was asked to bring a door prize. At Blogapalooza we were asked to bring something we blogged about. When your name was drawn, you said your name, showed off the gift you brought, explained why you brought it, and then drew the next name and gave that gift to them.

This brought the attention to each blogger instead of having all the responsibility of the mic on the hostess. It was also fun to see who brought what and then bond with the blogger who's gift you received.

6. Be sure to take a group shot right after the introductions (door prize game).

This allows bloggers who need to get home an opportunity to leave. Also be sure to upload the group shot and other photos somewhere where everyone can download it for their blogs.

7. Provide an opportunity to discuss blogging issues.

Either provide the questions ahead of time or have small sheets of paper available at each table for your guests to write their own question.

You can do this in a small group with one speaker to present what you talked about or all together in a large circle as a group.

Thanks to Denae, Celia, and Paige who hosted Blogapalooza 2008!

8. Have lots of help and host with a couple good friends.

I hope you found these tips useful. If you've hosted a blog party, I'd love to hear your experience as well.