Today’s guest post is by Ronald G. Shapiro, PhD (Psychology, Ohio State University). Dr. Shapiro is a speaker and consultant in career development, education, ergonomics, human factors, leadership development and learning. Ron’s TV Game Show style Education by Entertainment programs are applicable, easy to remember, educational, entertaining, useful and a ton of fun. They are suitable for businesses, colleges, middle schools, high schools, professional organizations, universities and youth groups. Ron also offers similar programs for special family events such as birthday celebrations which capitalize on fun, but also bring in an appropriate mix of learning to help improve performance at school and/or at work and communication everywhere.
The ideal birthday celebration is educational, entertaining, memorable and fun for the honoree and all of the guests. One way to achieve these objectives is to plan for the event well in advance. Start by thinking about the honoree. What type of event would they enjoy most? Are they adventuresome and would they enjoy a big surprise party or would they prefer a quiet dinner at home or at a restaurant with a few close family and friends? How much time, energy and money do you want to put into planning the event? Do you want your event to be a total surprise for the honoree, a partial surprise, or no surprise at all?
Birthday Party Planning, Plan the Event around the Guest of Honor
If you are planning a total surprise think very carefully about how you will assure that your honoree attends. If you do some behind the scenes planning to, for example, arrange for the honoree to get time off from work, how do you know the honoree would appreciate this? An honoree who works as a server at a restaurant might not appreciate your arranging for them to get the highest tip night of the month off from work. Can you be sure that you have invited everyone your honoree would want you to invite (and perhaps, more importantly, to skip inviting people they would not want to invite). For these reasons we recommend that the honoree be involved with at least some of the planning for their surprise party. The honoree might help plan the starting time and ending time for the event. They should know where to meet their host, and they should have the opportunity to specify who should be invited and who should not. Also, you may want the honoree look forward to the event, rather than feeling left out for half of their birthday. If your honoree is adventuresome, all of the birthday party planning details can remain top secret, just tell them that “the surprises begin when the blindfold goes on.”