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My husband and I are planning on throwing a halloween party this year on the 31st. We have 4 people that have said they will come. We threw a party 2 years ago when we were stationed in WA with 30 invites, 30 yeses, and not one person showed up. We spent an amazing amount of money on that flop and I'm wondering if it's even worth it this year.:mad: Any input?
 

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A Great Pumpkin
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Man, is there any way you could send last minute reminder eMails? I wouldn't invest much, maybe double for the number of folks that RSVP'd. Keep it small & intimate, that would still be fun!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I would send some email reminders, but I wouldn't go to much expense and trouble (if you have that option at this point).

Next year, (or this year if possible) I'd just invite a few close friends for a Halloween dinner or somesuch if I was you. Do a lovely themed meal, have some interesting games or movies and have a nice little gathering.

So sorry you had such inconsiderate invitees. :(
 

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Sad....I felt the same way because many of the people invited had to drive about an hour to get to my house. I got lucky and we had a good turn-out.


So sorry you had such inconsiderate (2)
 

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Good Ghoul Gone Bad
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I would keep it small and simple and just do it for your own enjoyment. If you don't do it, you will probably be more disappointed than you would be over a smaller turnout. Hopefully your guests will come. Maybe you could ask some other people (neighbors, co-workers, etc.) that didn't make the first guest list.
 

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I've had low turnouts for nearly every party I've ever hosted so I decided this summer to help others plan their parties and NEVER do my own again. Well last week my friends I was helping this Halloween canceled after I had spent the last 3 months helping with decor. I resigned to host the party instead. I was, like you, pissed to find that, once again, I was in for tiny attendance. I've moped around the last couple days then something occurred to me that I think may help you to... I don't have to go crazy.

I'm spending about $20 on generic snacks, that will take me 5 minutes to set up and then I'm pulling out games I already have, and turning on some music, that's it. If you're like me, you'll be putting out Halloween decor anyway so you only have to lose 1/2 hour of my time getting your house ready and $20. So even if no one shows up, you're not out much. If the party is small you can just play board games but if it grows into something larger, that's okay too. The trick, I think, is just to be flexible with different kinds of games and buy LOTS of snacks just in case. You'd be surprised how much chips, soda, veggies and such $20 can buy if you avoid anything specialized. As for alcohol, BYOB is best if you can't plan on size.
 

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4 people is too little. What if some of those don't show up. I had my party this past Saturday and 7 showed up. Lots of last minute cancellations. (I decorated every room in my house). I'm considering not doing a halloween party next year or severely scaling back or having a halloween dinner party at a restaurant or something.
 

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I can't believe what happened to you 2 years ago. :( That is so inconsiderate, some people are just clueless.

Boy, can I feel your frustration and dissapointment. I honestly don't know what I'd do if I was in your shoes. Not sure how well you know them, but maybe just give each a call and ask them if they for sure plan on coming. Explain the low count and just be frank and say that you are hesitating even doing anything at all and maybe you'll just turn it into a small dinner gathering instead.

You are not alone with low attendance, so don't take it personal. Last year we had way less than 50% attendance and I'm glad we decided to not have a party this year.
 

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PumpkinGutter, getting more participation.

I have just had my 2nd annual party. Everyone says I'm the redneck Halloween Martha Stewart. Here are some ideas for you.

Do a REALLY great invitation and that gets people excited. Make sure you do a great one next year and send it out early, send it out at the first of October to give people time to work on costumes. My invitations have MADE our parties. People talk about them all year. People's kids take them to school to show friends, etc.

Telling people there is a costume contest is a good incentive. You can get an award made or the award is a bottle of pumpkin liqour or a halloween prop or something.

I always say that costumes are optional on the invite. Some people just don't want the stress of having to deal with "coming up" with something. and then most people do a costume anyway.

I always do the house/yard with a theme and try to stick to it so I don't combine a lot of cutesy halloween stuff with gory scary stuff. Just doesn't work together.

Don't do it on halloween night. A lot of people do parties on Halloween night but people with kids have to deal with kiddie parties and stuff so I always do mine the Saturday before Halloween.

I do adult only . . gives grownups their grownup time. I usually make lots of jello shooters and a big caldron of an alcoholic drink like melonballs. I did BYOB this year and I think that hurt us because people only drank what they brought and they didn't bring much. So no buzz and they left at a reasonable hour. Next year we go back to supplying all the alcohol with the jello shooters it's really not that much.

We have a website too that we print on the invite so people can see pics from last year, see info about this year, etc. Get's them excited again.

Make new friends . . . ones that show up cause they know the party is important to you.

Tell people to RSVP on the invite. They won't. Never do. But call them a week before the party and find out. At least then you won't have surprises.

Idea: Tell everyone you invite they can bring an extra guest. You'll have extra people and you never know the new friends you'll make.

Every year carry around invites with you while shopping, Halloween prop shopping, etc. If you meet someone neat, invite them on the spot. Tell them "every year we invite someone new".

Invite twice as many people as you want to show up. It's a general rule of thumb that works great for us.

Note: We went to a birthday party in August for a friend. We knew noone else there. But met a neat couple Joya and Jeremy. So a few weeks later, we invited them to our Halloween party and they came. This year, they brought someone with them and we liked her too. So next year we can count on them for probably bringing someone else too.

Last but not least you have to have a great party. If it's lame, nobody's coming! LOL Music is a must. I like traditional halloween theme music but last year everyone kept requesting harder stuff. This year we played AC/DC, Rob Zombie, White Zombie, etc. Basically rock and metal with songs like Hell's Bells, etc. But I don't have a dancing crowd.

Do good food. Theme your food too. Make sandwiches shaped like coffins. Dip molded like a brain, etc. We have a big backyard so we do weenie roast and make smores. Easy, fast and simple.

Unless your friends are nerds (and there's nothing wrong with that) I'd skip games. People generally just want to drink, eat and talk.

Decorate as much of the house as you can. Details, details. Lighting is important too.

Be sure after the party to let the people who didn't come what a GREAT party it was! Don't be witchy but more like you are sad they missed such a good time and add that there will be a another next year.

I'm starting a new rule myself. . . if I invite you for 3 parties and you don't come. You're off the list! Anyone you take off the list, add someone new to replace them. If talk gets around that you have a great party, they may ask why you haven't invited them and you tell them they missed the last 3 you didn't think they were interested.

Take pictures of decorations and the party. We post ours on the website so after the party people can go to the site and look at them.

Whew! Hope that helps :) Party on!
You can see our invites, etc at our website: jeffandkimsloveshack.com
 

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Last year we had a great turnout!

So, this year I invited even more people. Typically about 50% of the people invited do show up. The weather was better then forecasted of 30-40o, was closer to 60o with a star filled night. We do a potluck supper & haunted maze. Last year's maze was 27x72 or 1,944 sq. ft! And this year because of the nice weather we had our first bonfire too. Maze donations were way down as well, compared to last year. Yes, the party is 18 miles out in the country but, this is our 8th yr in a row. Many of the same people (teenagers) do come year after year.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the feedback and words of support! We decided to go ahead with the party this year, we have a few more people showing interest in it the closer it gets. We're stationed in Italy so I guess their options are limited, as halloween is not widely celbrated here. Hopefully we get a decent turn out, if not then I guess we'll just try harder next year!
 
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