The FIFA World Cup is what many consider to be the culminating event in both men's and women's soccer (or football, outside of the United States), held every four years in a different host country. Players compete for their country and the chance to win the coveted championship honor. These contests are widely viewed by an increasingly media-connected populace. Individuals and groups often throw World Cup-themed parties that build with excitement as the games and events transpire. People should know some of best ways to initiate, manage, and end a memorable World Cup party.
Overview of the World Cup Competitions
Women's and men's World Cup games are exciting athletic contests between the world's most accomplished athletes all vying for the opportunity to bring home victory to their country. Soccer is a team sport played on a grassy field or artificial turf. Players square off against each other, but have little physical contact, compared with sports like American football. They do, however, come in close quarters with each other as they maneuver a ball up the field in an attempt to knock it into the goal and earn points.
Fans from all over the world share in the excitement by viewing the contests in person or over the television. The FIFA World Cup is one of the most popularly known and watched athletic event with almost half the globe tuning in. FIFA, which stands for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (English: International Federation of Association Football), is the international body that governs football or soccer associations from more than 200 national associations. Men and women participate from well-known soccer powerhouses like Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. However, all teams from all countries have a shot at athletic glory and pride.
Initiate a World Cup Party
The first step in throwing a successful party is to initiate the planning and decision process. Some individuals hire a party planner for assistance in strategizing and executing a party, but other parties are just hastily thrown-together neighborhood gatherings. One important fact to note is that, depending on the location of the host country, the time of a preferred match may not be suitable for a party. However, it is possible to record a match and show it during an optimal time for the party. After selecting an appropriate time, a series of decisions must be made.
Set a Budget
Hiring a party planner is a great idea, but a good party is entirely possible without one. Planners, though, can be of great assistance in setting a budget for the party, as they know many vendors and costs. Without a planner, however, an individual or a company should and can make a budget, and fashion a reasonable written document that outlines the maximum budget for the party. The expense items are then filled in as the costs are discovered. The budget can always be altered as circumstances change, but it is a good idea to at least have a general plan first. Consumers can find budgeting tools like budget books or budget software that assist in the budgeting process.
Decide on the Location
After the budget, the next important decision is the location or the venue. An extravagant or informal event at a location other than the host's home will often need to be booked in advance. Also, renting a third-party venue will likely take a large part of the budget, and the other items will fall in after that.
An informal gathering at a local pub or sports bar with televisions is a good idea, as the facility also has the seating and staff to take care of guests. The advantage to this strategy is that friends will buy their own food and drinks, or the host may want to assist with all or part of the expenses. As a courtesy to the establishment so they can schedule appropriate staffing, it's a good idea to place a phone call to the owner or manager well prior to the party.
For home parties, decide on an indoor or outdoor strategy, or a mixture, for weather preparations. A tent in the outdoors can provide shelter from precipitation and sun damage. The tent can also reduce the glare on the TV.
Send the Invitations
In an increasingly wired and connected world, many people rely on social media to get the word out about events. Other ways are through email or the postal service. If possible, be memorable, and send out paper invitations that look like a mock ticket to the match. This extra touch sets the tone that the guest is going to be an active participant in an exciting event. On the invitation, no matter how it is sent, provide the invitee as many ways as possible to respond. Include your email, social media site profiles, and physical address so busy people have a choice in how they respond. You might even want to set up a temporary website that they can regularly check to see your preparations for the games, others who are attending, print out directions, and so on.
Managing a World Cup Party
A popular saying has it, "If you want to know the end, look at the beginning." A good ending means that guests enjoyed their sport and the fellow guests, suffered no arguments or disturbances, found their coats, and transported themselves home safely. Alternatively, if they were not in good condition to go home, they were provided or facilitated reasonable accommodations overnight. To this end, proper planning in the beginning and good management during the event leads to those positive results. Managing includes logistics, seating, decorations, food and drink, the television broadcast, some alternative activities, and the after-party.
Seating and the Television
Adequate seating clustered around the television allows friends to gather closely and get a good view. Good seating includes sofas, chairs, and extra pillows for floor seating if necessary. Tables should be placed within reach. The World Cup broadcast is best viewed on big TVs. Consumers may want to purchase a new or used large-screen television for the event. Alternatively, a few smaller TVs placed strategically will do.
The theme of the party is soccer, so guests will expect decorations having to do with soccer balls, fields, soccer players, soccer coaches, and food vendors. Flags of the competing countries are good to either hang outside the door, inside the door, over the TV, or over the food and beverage tables. Team jerseys and sports memorabilia make good decorations too. Party throwers could use the black and white theme of the soccer ball and use black and white balloons. Party decorations could include a grass-colored or textured tablecloth to symbolize the soccer field, or even a green rug painted or taped to look like a soccer field.
Guests always appreciate gifts or novelty items. They may like to receive color photographs of their favorite players or replica jerseys from their favorite country. Other simple and inexpensive party favors are giant waving hands, and noisemakers. One very innovative and technologically oriented item is a custom USB drive. Many companies will imprint a team logo, or the date and time of the party, or any logo the party host might dream up. The drive can be formatted with a team roster, photographs, videos, or any kind of document.
Food and Drink
For easy access and to accommodate a variety of guests, food and drink should be simple fare, familiar appropriate to a sporting event, laid out in buffet style so that guests can serve themselves as they please. World Cup parties should feature food commonly found at stadiums, like pizza, hamburgers, and French fries, as well as a cake decorated like a soccer ball.
To please the palates of a more adventurous crowd, design a menu based around the customary cuisine of the host country, or go with an international approach, creating dishes from around the world to celebrate the international importance of the World Cup. Include beer and liquor from various nations, as well as non-alcoholic options. Alternatively, food and drink can take the black and white theme, featuring blackened chicken over white mashed potatoes, brownies with vanilla ice cream, and black-and-white cocktails, like white Russians.
The food and beverage areas can be laid out in different sections so people will mix and talk. Separate the alcoholic drink tables from the nonalcoholic drinks to avoid trouble. Choose napkins with sports emblems, country names, or flags. Use paper plates and plastic silverware and cups to save cleanup time.
During the World Cup event, the host may wish to provide alternative activities to entertain children, friends not interested in the game, and for half-time. An outdoor party could have a few soccer balls and a net. You can also decorate ping pong balls to look like soccer balls, and set up a table tennis or beer pong station. World Cup trivia games also provide an interesting diversion.
Whether a team wins or loses, an after-party will be welcomed by most guests. Provide for a change of scenery for an after-party, such as different lighting and music.
Buying on eBay
Party hosts can find an extremely wide variety of products on eBay to assist in making a great World Cup party. Hosts can find innovative ideas for novelty items and decorations by navigating to the Home, Outdoors & Decor portal. Select Home & Garden, then Holidays, Cards & Party Supply. Alternatively, select Sporting Goods to find all manner of sporting equipment and memorabilia, including soccer items. Or, search all of eBay using a keyword like "World Cup" to browse through related items.
When you've found an item, or several items, for your World Cup party, be sure to review all listing details about the item(s) and the seller(s) before committing to buy. Click on the seller's username to examine positive feedback numbers and comments from other buyers. Also, be sure to verify the seller's return policy and accepted methods of payment. Finally, don't forget to add the cost of shipping into the total cost of the item.
World Cup competitions are widely anticipated and celebrated around the world. Viewership continues to climb as people are more connected than ever with televisions and computers. Party hosts can take advantage of the excitement and create an experience long remembered by guests. However, following the steps to create a successful party is important. Choosing decorations, televisions, and food and drink is all part of a memorable event that may just end in a victory for the party host's country.