Winding down. Guests depart

At the end of your party, amongst other things, you need to make sure people stop playing early. It's no use and is probably unsafe, to allow people to be flogging and tying up to the moment you bundle them and their toys up, kick them out and close the doors.

It can be a good idea to set a play curfew of between 30 minutes to an hour before the party ends. Close (and figuratively lock) the doors to the play rooms and encourage everyone to chill-out, unwind, have coffee, and rave about how much fun and how satisfying it has all been. Then kick them out.

On thing you'll probably need to start arranging almost as soon as your first guests depart is your "lost and found" department for things people have left behind. Try and make a note of where and when each object or toy was found so that when the inevitable telephone calls come in over the following days that you're ready. Have somewhere already arranged to store the "stuff" and make sure your helpers know the location as well so everyone puts found items in the same place.

For the vehicularly-challenged (people without their own cars) you might want to start arranging for transport or lifts to train or bus stations during the course of the party. This involves casually finding out how your guests got to your party and for those who didn't drive, making sure they can get home OK or can maybe get a lift part-way with someone you trust. There's an important safety aspect to this and doing your best to make sure your guests aren't wandering the streets alone late at night is a professional and caring thing to do.
Last modified: Monday, 10 October 2011, 4:42 PM