How to Host a Cocktail Party with FreedomThursday, November 13, 2014
This summer, my friend and co-worker Ben showed me an awesome video about cocktails and inspired me to throw a cocktail party. My longtime friends, Tony and Allison, had a custom-made ice ball maker that was just waiting to make an appearance at a cocktail party — so we decided to host it together.
Tony’s custom ice ball maker
We wanted to host a memorable event and create an awesome experience for our guests, so we spent a lot of time planning every detail. We used Freedom to organize the plans and help us create an interactive experience — and now that the holidays are approaching, you can do the same. Read on to learn how to use Freedom to host an amazing cocktail party over the holidays (or any time of year).
Before you start, you’ll need to get a few things in order:
Pick a location.
My friends and I decided to throw our party at Tony and Allison’s house because the location was more convenient for our guests.
Create a drink menu and a guest list.
We used Google Docs to collaborate.
Get a Freedom license.
We used it to create forms, send emails, and get creative with the party details. You can get a license for free right now.
Plan Your Cocktail Party on Freedom
Once you set up a simple website using your Freedom license, you can create a personal and interactive experience for your cocktail party. Here’s how we did it:
1. Create a new event.
Using the Events Module, I created a new event and set the date. This module is powerful and has a lot of other options, but I kept it simple for our party.
2. Build the RSVP form.
I created the RSVP form using Freedom’s Forms Module, and customized the form to have a full-screen video background of Tony making an old fashioned. I’m a big fan of Wistia, which we used to accomplish the background video feature. You can check out the RSVP page in action here.
After much debate, we decided that we wanted all of our guests to experience the background video during the RSVP process. Since it didn’t work on mobile devices, we customized the form to redirect mobile users to a landing page that said, “Sorry for the inconvenience, but this page is only accessible on desktops and laptops.” Our guests didn’t seem to mind.
3. Launch an invitation email campaign.
Once we were ready to invite our guests, I saved our guest list as a .csv file and imported it into Freedom’s Email Marketing Module. Then I created an email campaign inviting our friends to the party, and linked it directly to the RSVP form.
4. Send a reminder email with additional details.
After using the Events Module to see who responded to the initial email, we sent a follow-up email 4 days before the party to remind everyone. We also provided a map with highlighted areas to help our guests find parking.
5. Create a mobile-friendly drink list.
Freedom. Guests were able to access the list throughout the night to help them decide what they wanted to drink — many of them also looked up the ingredients later to mix their favorites at home.
6. Link QR codes to drink recipes.
We took our mobile-friendly drink menu to the next level by using the Shortcuts Module in Freedom to create a QR code linked to the details for each drink. We also printed the QR codes on stand-up flyers and placed them around the kitchen for guests to scan. (Tip: We printed the stand-ups on 8x10 photos ordered from Walgreens. They were inexpensive and ready to pick up in under an hour.)
Time to Party
The most important part of hosting a cocktail party is …to party! The event was a huge success and guests enjoyed the website interaction. The mobile drink menu turned out to be immensely useful for Tony and me, because after a while, it was easy to forget exactly how much Chartreuse is supposed to go into the “Last Word.”
Want to make your cocktail party even more awesome? Here are a few extra tips:
- Buy inexpensive glassware from a discount store like Marshall’s or Ross. After spending so much time mixing fancy cocktails, drinking them out of plastic cups will ruin the experience. We found our glassware for less than $1 each.
- Borrow some big coolers from friends and buy extra ice! Running out of ice mid-party is a huge bummer.
- Use Spotify to build a Cocktail Party playlist.
- Install Philips Hue lights in combination with the Hue Disco app to get the party groovin’.
- Make sure to remind your guests that they can request an Uber to drive them home if they require it (always enjoy your cocktails responsibly). If Uber isn’t available in your town, provide the contact information of a local taxi service.