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Nine Tips for Hosting Winning Watch Parties

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Do you and your friends enjoy watching sports? It can be a lot of fun to organize a sports watch party to view a championship game or other sporting events together. When planning your party, keep the following nine tips in mind:

1. Make a to-do list. Most successful parties are well-organized, so before you even send out the invitations, make a detailed to-do list so you don’t forget anything.

2. Invite your guests. While you can reach out to your guests in person, by phone or by email to invite them, using an online RSVP app can be a good idea. This allows you to send out all of your invitations at once and keeps track of who’ll be attending, as well as who won’t, so you know how many guests to expect.

3. Prepare your home. If you live in a cold climate and it has snowed, make sure your driveway is shoveled. If you’re in a warm climate, check that your AC is functioning properly. Also, be sure to clean and tidy the space where you’ll be hosting the party. As HGTV advises, don’t stress out about one or two untidy rooms — just close the doors so guests won’t be tempted to enter.

4. Decorate your home. Whether it’s a team or country you are cheering for, you can find flags, banners, balloons, mini-mascots and other decorations with unique colors and logos at your local party store. You can also get sports themed cups, plates, napkins and more to tie your party all together. Note that if you want to make decorations yourself, Pinterest has a lot of fun ideas!

5. Prepare the food ahead of time. Spare yourself the hassle of having to cook during the party by preparing the food ahead of time or asking everybody to contribute to a potluck. If you choose to make the food yourself, a buffet with finger foods is always a good idea since it allows people to eat little bites throughout the party. You can find a lot of good ideas for game day food from the Food Network channel and sites like Epicurious. If the game is a country rivalry, then you can also prepare dishes that are typical for each country.

6. Test your video and audio equipment. Make sure it’s working properly and that your TV will be visible to everyone in the room.

7. Create a separate space for socializing. Since some guests might not be as much into sports as others and may come along just for fun, it can be a good idea to create a separate space where they can hang out and still enjoy the party.

8. Don’t forget about guests’ children. If any guests will be bringing young children, throw them their own little party in a separate room. Make sure there’s plenty of fun food and child-appropriate entertainment. You can even hire a babysitter for the duration of the party so all the grown-ups can relax.

9. Make sure you have time to enjoy yourself. If you’re inviting a lot of guests, ask one or two people to help you out. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your own party instead of continuously fetching drinks and bringing out new dishes. Note that it’s best to find your helpers well ahead of time, for example, by enlisting the help of your teenage children — who might appreciate an advance on their allowance.

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