Here’s how: host an epic pool party that will step up the vibe.
Pool parties are a great way to gather a large group in one place and provide an opportunity to connect with no agenda. To make it truly epic, it’s important to add a few memorable extras that will keep your attendees hyped about the event for years to come. We’re not talking a few floaties and some drinks — think cultural immersion, themed entertainment, and a next-level sensory experience.
Achieve Incentives recently helped a client host a pool party during their program in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Picture this: 600 guests took over the resort’s “party pool” for three hours of pure fun.
The tropical, naturally beautiful location meant that the need for decor was minimal, but we still added a few touches. Achieve worked with the resort to re-wrap the poolside umbrellas with bright pink, green, and yellow toppers. But it was the 200+ floaties that really set the stage for the party.
Entertainment was everywhere. Guests could chill out with a treat from the popsicle cart while enjoying the entertainment from the bicycle snack cart-pushers, who also happened to be professional dancers.
There were pool volleyball and basketball games going on at all times. And a six-foot-tall human piñata popped in to surprise everyone, while dancing along with the steel-drum band set. Boozy drinks were served at the swim-up bar, while refreshing beverages were pedaled around the perimeter on a beverage bike.
Oh, and the body painting. Artists offered up every color of paint and glitter under the sun to design beautiful words, images, and even team-specific logos that guests could have painted on their bodies. For those who preferred to wear their art more long-term, local artists were onsite to paint names and designs on sun hats that attendees could take home as gifts.
The biggest draw? Hard to say, but we’ll argue it was the bubbles. Our client envisioned having a foam party as the big ticket item, but like many places these days, the request became complicated with environmental restrictions and cleaning policies.
Luckily, our planning team came up with another option: bubble machines – which turned out to be just as cool as foam and had the exact same fun effect. And when we say bubbles, we mean a LOT of bubbles.
Some hotels and resorts have separate pools for relaxation or for fun. If you’re planning a wild party, see if you can reserve the party pool so you don’t disturb other guests.
To do it right, you’ve got to plan a pool party that will make sense for your group and take into account the many detailed logistics that will make it awesome. Here are some things to consider in the initial planning stages:
- How do your attendees like to spend their free time? Do your guests typically enjoy relaxing by the pool, or do they prefer to be off doing excursions? If they are pool people, you know you have the right crowd for this type of event.
- What are typical weather patterns for the area? Many tropical locations have seasonal weather, such as hurricanes or heavy rain. More moderate locations may have chilly seasons that aren’t conducive to pool parties. Think about this as you’re timing your event and coordinate a weather back-up plan.
- Is your event adults-only or family-friendly? Important for many reasons. If kids are welcome, make sure to think through food, beverages, and activities that are great for little ones.
- What’s the food situation? Do you need to bring food onsite, or is it all-inclusive with easy access? If a hotel is all-inclusive, you will still have to account for food and beverage costs.
- Do you care if other guests at the location join in, or would you prefer a private party? Some hotels allow groups to rent an entire pool, while others will not. Some have multiple pools that make it easier for their guests to have their own space separate from your party. Make sure the place you plan to host your attendees will meet your needs, and whenever possible – get the function space confirmed in your contract.
- What’s the vibe on a scale of tame to wild? Pool parties sometimes have a connotation for being spicy and wild, but not all of them have to be — especially if you’re hosting colleagues and want to keep it more relaxed. If relaxed is the tone you want to set – think about incorporating more outdoor spa experiences and having a violinist versus a DJ.
- Do you want everyone together, or would you rather include breakout areas for people to mingle in smaller groups? Many resort pools have restaurants, bars, cabanas, or other areas you can consider reserving if you’d like the extra space.
- Will you require cabanas? Speaking of which, you’ll likely need to reserve these separately from the pool itself. They could be a great escape for those who need a break from the sun.
- Are there noise ordinances? You’ll need to time the event so as not to overlap with pool closures, dinner service, or other restrictions that may be in place.
- How much do you want it to be structured vs. unscripted? Entertainment and activities (especially those with the local culture infused) add to the experience, but you may consider some free time to allow guests to interact and relax.
- What decor is available onsite? Know whether or not you’ll need to bring in your own extras or if you’re good with what already exists at the hotel.
- Do you need signage? Ensure your guests know where to go and what to expect when they arrive. Branded signage also gives the impression of exclusivity and camaraderie.
Even knowing a little of this information at the onset will help with planning for vendors and agendas.
Sending someone to scout out the location ahead of time will give a better idea of what you have to work with. Achieve Incentives will always do a site visit to get the full picture of what’s needed before a program.
Does this get you excited about incorporating an epic pool party in your next event? If so, we’d love to support you. Our team at Achieve Incentives can help you decide on the scope and details of the party, and perhaps most importantly, take the burden off of you so you can enjoy the fun too.
In addition to helping our clients plan their dream events, we spend a lot of time building and nurturing our vendor partnerships. So when it comes to negotiations, tend to get more yesses and more extras because of our long-standing relationships.
With so many moving pieces, we are focused both on the big picture of the event, and the teeny tiny details. That means we’ll notice if something isn’t where it needs to be or if something isn’t happening when it should be.
We ensure activities and entertainment start and end on time, gratuities get paid, and all paperwork is filled out. Need to get guests from one area to another? We can coordinate transportation. Whatever you need to make your big event a success, we are there to make it happen.
Ready to start putting your big pool party dreams into action? Let’s chat.