So you have the house to yourself and you want to throw a house party? Can you perhaps even make some money off of it?
It is possible to make money off of a house party, but usually you’re going to end up breaking even or losing a little bit of money. No worries because house parties are one of the best ways to meet new people and have fun on a Saturday night. Not to mention the hot drunk girls.
As a member of a fraternity I know all about what creates a successful house party and what makes people leave before midnight. My fraternity hosts house party about once every month. We have a strict spending limit of about $1500 in alcohol. We also have our own DJ equipment that allows us to spin tracks for free (equipment costing about 1000 bucks).
We charge a $5 cover for any guys coming in before 11:30 PM. Girls are always free all night. After 11:30 the cost goes up to $10. We make it explicit on our fliers about the cost of the party. Usually we get roughly 300-400 people to circulate in our house throughout the night. About 150 people show up before 11:30 and the other people show up after 11:30. The guy to girl ratio is usually 2 to 1. This means that we make roughly $500 before 11:30 and roughly $1300 after 11:30. So usually we make a few hundred dollars. Since we are a fraternity, the profit that we make from house parties just goes into our funds which we can use for our next party.
However, you can apply the same basic principles and make profit on a smaller scale. You probably won’t have $1500 to shell out on alcohol. You also probably won’t be able to attract a huge crowd like a fraternity can.
Let’s start with the basics of what you must already have in order to be able to profit off a house party.
A house you can use – If it’s your parents’ house then make sure that you cover up any areas that have expensive furniture. Make sure your parents don’t come busting in. Also ideally your house will be somewhat sound proof so the music won’t make your neighbors alert the police.
Initial alcohol funds – You’ll need some start up money so you can fund the alcohol. I will be covering how to efficiently use your alcohol funds. You will need about $100 per 20 people and more depending on how long and how awesome you want your party to be.
A large social circle – This is necessary to attract a lot of people. A social circle filled with good looking women is also a big plus for parties. If you can get the women to come, the guys will also come. If you don’t know any women then throwing a house party might not be the best idea. This is where being in a frat comes in handy.
So now that you have all of the above, let’s begin on how to use your money wisely to provide the most alcohol.
1) Buy a keg – Instead of getting canned beer, getting a keg is the best way to cheaply buy a lot of beer. I had previously only bought Keystone lights and this caused some unwanted problems. Cans were littered everywhere in my house. People liked to get new cans despite not having finished their current can. Buying cans is a waste of alcohol and a waste of money. One keg is roughly enough to fill 150 of those red cups (15.5 gallons of beer) the equivalent of 165 cans of beer.
2) Make punch – The best punch is a mix of Everclear, kool-aid, and sugar. Buying several handles of Everclear will make for a pretty nice punch mix that will get people tipsy while satisfying the chicks’ wants of fruity drinks. If you have carpeted floors I suggest making the punch out of clear liquids like grapefruit soda, lemonade, or sprite.
3) Buy some liquor – You’ll need a little bit of liquor if you want to keep the guys happy. I recommend having one handle per 15-20 dudes. There are cheap vodkas and rums out there. I say avoid tequila because there are some people who don’t like tequila or react badly to it. Vodka and rum are your best bets for liquor and make sure you have more vodka so you can make mixed drinks (Sprite vodka, cherry vodka, orange vodka, etc).
4) Get a bartender – This is crucial. Hopefully you have some friends who are willing to switch out shifts bartending. Bartenders will be needed to prevent people from drinking too much and also for making sure alcohol isn’t stolen.
5) Avoid the fruity drinks – Drinks like Mikes Hard Lemonade, Strawberry Daquiris, Smirnoff Ices, these appease the girls, but are crazy expensive. Tell the chicks to buy them by themselves.
6) Music – If you don’t have a DJ like my fraternity does don’t worry. Having good speakers will do fine. Make sure your speakers are pointed to the inside of the house to reduce noise.
7) Trash bags/Red Cups/Shot cups – Both are essential to any house party. Make sure you have them.
Some things to consider
Avoid underage drinking if you can – For someone over 21 to provide alcohol to minors is a felony in many places. Know the penalties for underage drinking in your state. Make sure you don’t get caught.
Don’t put the music up too loud – Make sure you check outside to hear how loud the music is. If it’s too loud it can disturb neighbors and cause the cops to come and bust your party.
Don’t get drunk – As the host it is your responsibility to not get drunk and keep an eye on everything. When people drink problems will arise. Fights, puke, cops, etc. You may also have to be the one to drive some people home. Don’t be drunk.
Make sure girls get in free – This one is crucial for attracting people. No one likes a party full of dudes.
Play beer games – Having beer pong, king’s cup, flip cup, or any beer games set up is a great way to get people to start mixing with each other.
Have friends to help you keep control – If you have a few bigger guy friends make sure they are there to keep things under control or to kick out anyone that is causing problems.
Meeting everyone – Make sure that once you have a house party that you go around and meet any strangers there. This way you can have a good recollection of who is at your house in case anything gets stolen. Also this will let you network with new people.
Don’t discriminate – Don’t discriminate someone because they might be the one to call the cops to bust your party.
So how do you promote your party?
The best way that I’ve found to promote a party is by creating a Facebook event. We create flyers for our frat parties, but this is probably not necessary for a regular house party. Make it an open event for 21 and over. Also be sure to call up a few of your guy and girl friends to confirm that they are coming for sure. On your description for the party make sure you let people know what will be going down. Saying that there will be a beer pong tournament is a big draw. Let people know what your cover cost and also make sure you say girls get in free.