Laney was a very popular girl at school so her parents knew they would have a lot of kids at her Bat Mitzvah. However, once the numbers were clear, they were worried that 90 kids and 40 adults would result in a party that was loud and not very user friendly for adults.
The first thing we suggested was to break up the kids seating – a “table” for 90 is like an aircraft carrier, and when the kids were not seated (like most of the time), that much empty space makes it look like the party is over before it really starts.
Next, with a small group of kids at a Mitzvah, a “diversion” tends to deplete the group and make it feel fragmented. With 90 kids, a diversion makes the number of kids on the dance floor much more manageable for the DJ, and more fluid to the integration of the adults present. A photo booth, a caricature artist, a magician or other attraction will really do the job.
Laney was thrilled that her friends loved the awesome range of fun activities at the party, but even more importantly, the kids could easily welcome the adults to participate at will, so everyone felt included. Mission Accomplished!
Frequently guest mix is something not considered in the overall plan, but the mix influences how people can and will – or won’t interact. Say you have lots of children under 12 years old, but over 8. They usually don’t dance yet, so guess what – they run and push, and throw stuff. Two children this age can blend in. Eight children need to be addressed as a group of its own with a management plan. Toddlers are irresistible, but when six of them are standing in the dance floor clapping, no one will dance. They are afraid they might dump them over. If your party is a dancing affair, toddlers can influence the dance floor popularity and participation, altering the energy and momentum.
Consider an all same-sex kid group, comprised of mostly boys and maybe five girls at a bar mitzvah. This requires a resourceful DJ. The DJ can improvise with “Simon Says” dance games that do not require a partner, or the “Electric Slide.” This way every child is still included, even if nobody “picks” them. Smiles all around. But like any of the guest mix barriers to consider, it will not self correct. Address it beforehand with the DJ and be certain he has the bandwidth to solve the problem.