Two’s company. Three’s a crowd. But how many people make a party?
That’s ultimately up to you. The bottom line is that people make parties. If you’re hosting, chances are at least 15-20 guests will soon be trampling into your house, expecting hospitality and fun in the form of the following 4 party essentials. The easiest way to give them everything they want at your get-together without going crazy is with a hot and cold water dispenser. Since we know it best, we’ll show you how the NewAir WCD-200W Hot and Cold Water Dispenser can be your non-human best friend at your next house party.
Buy enough alcohol for your get-together
If you’re throwing a BYOB shin-dig, still have two cases of beer on-hand for those people who you know won’t carry their own weight, along with two wine bottles. However, if you’re playing full host and supplying most of the alcohol, prepare for a high bill.
This is because people tend to lose their drinks. They set them down to tell a wild story, forget where they put the cup, and then just go grab a brand new one instead of taking 10 seconds to look for it. Here’s how much alcohol you’ll need for a 20-person in-home party that lasts 6 hours, with most people as average drinkers and a few heavy drinkers thrown in there:
•Beer: 53 Bottles/Cans
•Wine: 11 Bottles – 750 ml
•Liquor: 3 Bottles – 1 liter
Just so you know, although shots vary in size simply because bartenders are human and pour differently, a standard shot glass holds 1.5 ounces. That means a 1 liter bottle of tequila will provide you and your friends with about 22.5 shots total. For each wine bottle you buy, you’ll get about 6 glasses out of it. And beer is self-explanatory — one bottle/can is one serving. You should keep the wine bottles and beers chilled, in a fridge or preferably in a beverage cooler, but liquor does not need to be refrigerated.
Partygoers are some of the thirstiest creatures on the planet. That’s because after they start drinking, they usually try to quench their growing thirst with more alcohol. But alcohol’s a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee more and get thirstier. Specifically, every 1g of alcohol consumed increases peeing by 10 ml. We won’t go into how this was measured.
Then there’s the fact that alcohol is a social lubricant. People come to parties in order to drink in order to talk, and chatting causes spit to evaporate from the mouth and the trachea. So parties basically involve a lot of people peeing and walking around with dry mouths. Sounds lovely.
And have an easy-to-find cold water dispenser
You can help your guests out if you have a water cooler for them to use. Seeing a cold water dispenser makes people want to drink water. It’s a visual reminder that they’re thirsty for H2O. In contrast, if there’s an ice bucket with water bottles and beer hob-knobbing together, you can bet people are going to grab the beer over the water. A water dispenser will be your friend in helping out that regular blackout drunk be more responsible at your bash. And that’s a win for everyone.
Park the water dispenser somewhere easily accessible where guests can see it from wherever they might be clustered. Also keep the alcoholic beverage stockpile in a location where people have to pass the water cooler on the way there and back. Then keep a stack of cups nearby — at least 6 per person for both drinks and water — so people don’t keep asking you for extra glasses.
Finally, before the party, fill up three, 5-gallon water jugs at your local grocery store. The NewAir WCD-200W can hold 2-gallon, 3-gallon, and 5-gallon containers, but the last one is the most convenient in a party scenario because you’ll have to switch out the jug less, if at all. Because let’s be honest, you’re probably going to be drinking too. On that note, you should never get too drunk at a party in your own home. Since it’s your space, you need to stay sober enough to keep destruction to a minimum.
Build a playlist of good party songs
A party without music isn’t a party. It’s a gathering of sad people who are going to be leaving very soon because you forgot to come up with a soiree playlist. So far we’ve learned that people come to functions to drink and talk. They also come to dance. People dancing at a party without music is a party you should be very afraid of. So give the people what they want, at a suitable sound level.
There’s no uniform decibel number on how loud you can play your music before it becomes illegal. It ultimately comes down to a nice middle-ground between your right to bump some tunes, and your neighbors’ right to enjoy peace and quiet. Because they do have the right to call the police and an Environmental Health Officer if you’re too disruptive. That’s why you should give them a head’s up, along with your contact info, a couple of days before the party to avoid issues the night-of. Invite them over too if they can mesh with your style.
While you can hire a DJ to take care of the sound system setup and playlist, you can also take a more DIY approach in the music department. Expensive, studio-quality speakers aren’t recommended for house parties; they’re too delicate. You can simply use your laptop and favorite music playlist program in combination with a rented PA system, keeping in mind that for every person at the party, you’ll need about 10 watts of sound power. That means a 200 watt sound system will be just right for a 20-person house party.
Playlist advice really comes down to 3 things: keep it upbeat, keep it continuous, and make sure you have enough songs. If each song is 3 minutes long and you’re throwing a 6 hour party, you’ll need a minimum of 120 songs on your playlist. Taking into account that some should immediately be skipped if there’s a noticeable drop in the room’s energy, you should have 150 songs at-the-ready for the night. The type of music is up to you and what your guests like, but an overall upbeat sound will keep everyone awake and shaking their tail-feathers. The easiest thing to do is search online for “party music playlists” for an already-curated selection of good songs for dancing.
And provide lots of cold water for hydration after dancing
Dancing isn’t just about fun; it’s also technically a form of aerobic exercise. When we dance (for some people it’s more of an attempt at dancing), we burn calories and we work up a sweat. Average dancing can burn over 400 calories each hour and sweating is the body’s attempt to cool itself off from all of this hard exercise. The salty water droplets on the skin make us feel cooler because they’re wet, and they literally cool us off when they evaporate because they take some heat with them.
People tend to sweat a lot while dancing at house parties, simply because the room temperature is higher with more people moving around in a smaller space. When the heater’s on, it gets even worse. But thirstiness only hits after they’ve lost between 1 and 2 liters of water from their body. That means that by the time a person’s system cues them to think about water, they’re already dehydrated. Combine sweat lost from all-night dancing with lots of peeing and talking, and you’re creating a toxic cocktail of headaches, tiredness, and nausea at your house party if you don’t provide enough water.
People who are hot and sweaty want to drink cold water. Lukewarm water just sounds gross and they’ll drink less. A cup of nice, chilled water is good for the body when it’s overheating. You can most easily give your guests what they want and need with the NewAir WCD-200W cold water dispenser, since the cooling thermostat on this appliance has a range of 43°F – 50°F.
You may be thinking it would be better to keep a batch of water bottles in the fridge for people to grab. This is not a good idea at all. For one, you should actually keep your fridge locked during a house party. Drunk people tend to go searching for food beyond what is provided and you can bet that cheesecake you were saving is going to get stolen. For two, water bottles are expensive. If partying is going to be a regular thing at your house, a water dispenser is indispensable for saving money. And finally, plastic water bottles are just plain bad for the environment. Do your part and prevent waste.
You may also be thinking that people can just get water from the kitchen sink. Uh uh. For one, the water won’t be as nicely chilled as from a cold water dispenser. For two, most people hate the taste of sink water and would rather drink no water over tap water. For three, most people think sink water is dirty, which it can be, and they’ll refuse to drink it. For four, everyone knows that the kitchen sink at parties is always piled high with dishes because you have to whip up the next essential on our list…
Supply good food and lots of it
Food is as important as alcohol on the party planning checklist, and is infinitely customizable according to your guests’ taste buds, dietary restrictions, and more. What doesn’t change much is how much food you should have for people to eat, along with some essentials that should always be present.
For example, you should never go without chips and dip, or some variation on a dip snack. There’s nothing worse than not providing anything for partiers to munch on while they wait for the main course. For 20 guests, you should get 2 pints of dip and 2 bags of chips.
For simplicity’s sake, plan on each person at your gathering eating at least 1 pound of food. That means you’ll need at least 20 pounds of food for a 20-person party, though it’s always better to have extra, so buy enough for 25 people.
You can divide this up equally into food types when buying groceries to make things even easier. For example, each person get 4 ounces of a protein, e.g. chicken, hot dogs, etc. Also give each person 4 ounces of a side vegetable, such as corn or carrots. Then have 4 ounces of a salad or potato-based side for each person. Finally, get 4 ounces of dessert per person, such as cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. If you know you’ve got big eaters coming over, adjust accordingly.
Actual food choices can include anything, but you should avoid providing items like raw oysters, home-made sushi, milk-based dishes, etc., simply for food safety reasons. And if you really don’t want to deal with cooking, just order-in. Pizzas are a timeless party food because they taste good, they’re easy to get, and they’re made in a way that’s ideal for lots of people to grab at. If you have 20 people at your party, plan on ordering 6 large pizzas.
And help guests digest it with H20 refills
Most people will ask for water to wash down that beer that they’re using to wash down their food. While alcoholic drinks are great, unless we’re talking about a carefully paired wine, they tend to consume the taste of food. This is a particular problem with all of the flavored liquor drinks out on the market now, from cilantro vodka to whipped cream rum to salted caramel whiskey, that leave a nice coating of sugar on the teeth.
If you’re serving good food, you should have water readily available so guests can enjoy the taste of the meal you labored over. If you’re serving bad food, you should also have water readily available so guests can get the taste out of their mouths as fast as possible without hurting your feelings. This is easy with a water dispenser. Guests can fill their own water cups before they sit down, and then refill as-needed from the cold water dispenser without a big hullabaloo in the kitchen.
Five gallons of water equals 80 cups of water. That means even with one, 5 gallon water dispenser, every guest at your 20-person hangout can have 4 cups of water. With a few back-up jugs on hand, you won’t have to break a sweat about people complaining that there’s no water to drink.
Give coffee, tea, or cocoa to designated drivers
At some point, people either have to leave the party, or they have to stay over. At most parties, both happen, sometimes without you knowing. Yep, we’ve all woken up to find someone passed out in that gap between the sofa and the coffee table.
For those departing the party soon, and who know it, grumpiness begins to set in once they realize they have to stop drinking and start sobering up. When that happens, they start looking around for something to replace the cold beer they had in their hot little hands.
Via the hot water dispenser tap
The hot tap on the hot and cold water dispenser is the solution to giving them a nice warm replacement. When that have-to-drive-soon cantankerousness sets in while their buddy continues to go wild at the beer pong table, responsible guests can rely on hot water from your NewAir hot water dispenser to make tea, cocoa, or instant coffee.
Purchase some tea and jars of cocoa and coffee, and set them near the water dispenser. They’re all fairly inexpensive and they eliminate the need for you to pull out grandmother’s kettle, don your shawl, and boil water in your bath slippers. Instead, your friends can just make their own hot, non-alcoholic drinks in one minute all by themselves. The hot water dispensed by the WCD-200W is a nice 176°F – 203°F, which is perfect for all three of these drinks. The can also grab a cup of cold water while they’re at it, to stay hydrated.
That’s those guests. For the sofa crevice sleeper and the three other people you found splayed throughout the house the next morning, get them up and out the door with a quick, hot cup of coffee. But not before they help you clean up, so you can do it all over again soon.