Whether you’re hosting your 8-year-olds birthday party or organizing a graduation bash for your fellow college students, a foam party can be a great way spice things up and create a memorable event for everyone involved.
If you’re new to foam parties, or even to party planning in general, it can seem a bit daunting at first. But with the right team and a good plan, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
First of all, let’s look at what a foam party actually is. A foam party includes most of the same elements that a regular party would; music, drinks, dancing and possibly even games. The only difference is that with a foam party, the dance floor and other surfaces will be covered in soapy bubbles, which as you can imagine, gets people into party mode pretty quickly.
Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind when planning your first foam party:
Selecting a venue
Before you plan anything else, you need to know where you will be holding your foam party. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the venue, including the time of year (weather conditions) age of party goers, number of party goers and water resistance of the party hall/room.
During the summertime, the easiest and most logical solution would be to hold the party outdoors. This leaves less mess to be cleaned up later and there is no risk of water damage.
If you do choose to hold your foam party in an outdoor setting, you will either need a hard surface such as a patio or driveway, or you could spread out a plastic sheet on a lawn to spare the grass and preserve the bubbles for as long as possible.
For kids foam parties, a bouncy castle can be a great addition, as it provides you with a way to contain the bubbles in a closed off area and also gives kids a safe environment to jump and play without the risk of slipping and banging their head on a hard surface.
During colder months, you will, of course, need to find a suitable indoor venue, as wet and slippery conditions coupled with cold weather make for a miserable party.
For indoor parties, make sure you inform the property/venue owner what you will be using it for, as they may object to the foam idea if they feel it could ruin their floors or walls.
You will need to find a location that is large enough to accommodate the number of guests you will have at your party, as too many people crowded into one small area and surrounded by foam can get unpleasant pretty quickly.
What you will need
Obviously, the first thing you will need to organize for your foam party is the foam machine. You may have heard that it is possible to make your own foam without the help of a machine, and while this is certainly true, using a foam machine is just easier and far less messy.
Speak to a party planner or do some research online to find out where you can rent one in your area. You will also need a large plastic sheet that is big enough to cover the whole ground, or if you can’t get your hands on one that is big enough, you could use several.
Just make sure you attach them securely with duct tape so that the foam can’t seep between the cracks and cause water damage. You may also want to consider covering the walls with a protective plastic, depending on what type of venue you have picked out.
Electrical sockets and plugs must be properly covered as well, and any speakers or DJ equipment should be set up well away from the “foam pit.”
You will also need furniture that won’t be damaged by the foam, so plastic lawn chairs and tables are your best bet during such an event.
As fun as foam parties are, they also present some safety risks due to the wet and slippery nature of foam. In order to ensure the safety of your guests, it is important that you follow a few basic safety tips:
Choose the right soap
Most foam parties simply use dish soap, as it tends to foam up quite well. However, using plain dish soap could cause irritations and rashes in those with sensitive skin, which certainly isn’t a pleasant way to end a party.
Dish soap may also get into people’s eyes, which can sting or burn. Consider using a hypoallergenic or at least mild shower soap or bath foam that is made for using on the skin and won’t be as irritating.
Advise your guests to wear shoes
People may be inclined to show up at a foam party in flip flips or even bare feet, but this is not ideal in wet and slippery conditions. For one thing, flip flops are likely to get lost in the foam, but another problem is that the foam will be covering people’s feet, which means that the likelihood of feet getting trodden on is quite high.
Don’t allow sliding and skidding
While it is certainly tempting to have a quick slide or skid on the slippery floor, this can lead to collisions and neck or back injuries. For some reason guys also often feel the need to pick up the girls or even their own friends, but this could also be risky if the person doing the carrying slips and falls.
To play it safe, put some rules in place to prevent people from getting too wild and purposely skidding on the floor or trying out other stunts.
Use plastic cups and plates
Because foam parties tend to get a little bit more rowdy than regular parties, it is not a good idea to use glass cups or plates that can shatter and leave sharp pieces on the floor. The foam will cover the evidence of a broken glass, which could cause others to cut their feet or ankles.
Have people leave cell phones and electronic devices at home
Foam machines do use water and things tend to get pretty damp by the end of the night, so for obvious reasons, it is best to leave all electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, iPods or what have you at home.
If some people would like to bring cell phones along for later or to use in case of an emergency, you should consider providing a safety deposit box or at least have a locked room to stash these valuables during the party.
Visit Party411.com for more theme party ideas!
Aileen Pablo is a Filipina Event Management blogger from Open Colleges, one of the pioneers of Online education in Australia and one of the leading providers of event management courses. If you want to feature her on your blog, drop a line at aileen (at) oc.edu.au.