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Party Planning, Part 1

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for April, 2007

Where to Host Your Party--And Why Even Frugal People Might Want to Have Their Parties Elsewhere--Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip, April 2007

Okay, so the most frugal approach is a party in your own home. But sometimes, that's not appropriate. Maybe your house is too small, or too hard to get to, or has too many stairs. Maybe you have a roommate or neighbor who's deeply allergic to noise or crowds. Or maybe you just have to clean the house.

Or your event might just work better someplace else. If you're releasing a book or music album, you might want to be in someplace like a bookstore or CD store. Or perhaps you're throwing the party for a large conference and it makes sense to have the event downtown.

I've had parties in (among other places) an art gallery, a couple of public libraries, various parks, a synagogue, bookstores, friends' houses... I've paid as little as zero (the most usual price) and as much as $100 for space, and when I've paid, it's been well spent.

Often, you can get the space donated, if you figure out why it'll be good for the person in charge of the space. I did a book launch at a local library and I donated a copy of the book. The library was glad to have the space used--even helped to promote the event--and glad for the autographed copy (which cost me all of $2.59). For a gallery or museum, one way to get space donated is to use the event to raise money for the manager's favorite cause (assuming it's one you agree with). If the party is for a product launch, a retailer who will be selling it will often be happy to provide a location.

Pubic institutions such as colleges and universities or churches and synagogues often make rooms available to their own members/staff or alumni, either for nothing or for a small donation to cover utility and janitorial costs. So use your networks and those of your friends.

Next month will be a special 10th anniversary retrospective, but in June, I'll have a party checklist of what to bring when you're running a party someplace else.

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