Planning a party in Norwich in 2021

Let’s party! Because, quite frankly, we all need to.

The end of lockdown and Corona virus restrictions means that people just want to meet, socialise and enjoy life again. But how do you safely plan a family get together, BBQ, party, or birthday celebration in 2021?

Nick Twist, Norfolk and Suffolk party magician explains how to organise the best party of 2021.

Although specific to the parties and events in the Norwich area in places, these ideas are great for anywhere in the UK. So read on!

Here’s what will be covered:


  1. Decide on the type of event and venue
  2. Make a date
  3. Form a guest list
  4. Make the master plan
  5. Get inspiration
  6. DIY what you can
  7. How can you make your party memorable? (Overlooked and super important)
  8. 2 days before
  9. 1 day before
  10. On the day
  11. After the party

1. Choose where in Norwich to host your party

This is easy.

Do you want a summer BBQ in your garden, are you hiring a hall for a Christening, or is it a house party for a special birthday? Your option will be important for the choices you make later in the planning process.

Depending on the event your home or garden may be perfect. If you need to hire a venue, some of my favourites are Park Farm hotel, Hunters Hall, The Assembly house, The Norfolk Mead Hotel. 

2. Make a date

Make the date as soon as you can. The early bird gets the worm, as they say. This year is going to be busy.

People will have things to catch up on this year: postponed holidays, events and days out that they missed out on last year, celebrating a belated milestone birthday etc.

So set a date early so that the people that matter can be there. Talking about people…

3. Form a guest list

Well, ideally you want to invite everyone you know – this is going to be the party of 2021! The people at the party are important.

They will make or break the event and you want those that will generate fun. But ask yourself this:

How many people can you comfortably fit in your house, garden or hired venue?

What is the maximum limit you can realistically accommodate? Remember, not everyone is going to be comfortable around people after this virus – so there needs to be space. What’s enough space…

I always recommend around 1.5 to 2 square meters per guest as being a comfortable allocation in ‘normal times’. You may want to consider 2 to 3 square meters for 2021.

Once you have your list, invite them. But how?

You could set up an event on Facebook and easily manage those who accept the invitation or those boring people who decline (that’s OK, you didn’t want those at your party anyway!).

If you have the time, handwritten invites can be made and posted or passed onto people when you see them. The first option is way easier!

4. Make the master plan

Get a notebook or open up a Google doc and start typing up your ideas.

Decide on what food you would like – BBQs can be simple or quite luxurious. Decide what you want your party guests to be eating. Christenings often have buffets so decide how much you want to spend on this.

Keep a list of all the guests who have replied so you know your numbers.

Decide on any decoration you would like. Keep ideas and notes in your notebook or document. But for this, you may need inspiration…

5. Get inspiration for your party or BBQ

Pinterest has a ton of party inspiration ideas. Check it out for some recipes, décor ideas and theming.

Alternatively, just Google your chosen theme and see what comes up!

6. DIY what you can

Make any decorations before the party so you don’t have to worry on the day. If you are preparing the food yourself, make sure you have everything you need in good time.

You can make a balloon arch using kits purchased online.

But remember, professionals not only give you a better product/effect but they save you a ton of time too. If you want professional results and you just don’t have hours (of frustration) to make it, I’m able to make you one! Visit my online store here for details of balloon décor for Norwich parties to make your party stand out.

Decide what’s right for your party.

7. Make it memorable: Plan for interactivity

This is the most important part of your party.

You don’t want to go to all the effort of planning an event, only for people to be bored. What a disaster!

Huh? What do you mean? Well, after the first hour, conversations can die down and a lull may develop. People start turning into phone-scrolling zombies at your party and they can even start yawning if you don’t act fast!

We are not having that! Let’s plan for interactivity.

Let’s get people chatting, mingling (socially distant, of course) and laughing. A good party MUST have interactivity.

There are loads of options to help.

Music amplifier


You simply can’t have a BBQ or party without music. If you have the budget, hire a professional DJ as he or she will have some fantastic equipment and your guests will be super impressed when they arrive and see the efforts you have gone to. Karl at KSD Events will be a fine choice in my opinion. He serves all of Norwich, Norfolk and beyond with his party entertainment.

If it’s a daytime party, you don’t necessarily need people to dance, but the atmosphere it creates is great.

If you want to allocate your budget elsewhere, no problem.

Consider downloading a music app which allows your party goers to add songs to the playlist. DJ 51 is an app that does just this, and it’s FREE:

Android/iOS, FREE – DJ 51

photobooth at party

Photo booth

This is fun! People just love placing images printed on paper in front of them as they pose for a shot! And it really looks great. Find some free pintables here and set them out on a table.

If you are adventurous, make up a hashtag and people can take photos on their phone and upload them to social media with your hashtag. It’s great looking through these after the party.

Props can also include anything from a hat, funky glasses or just a fake moustache. As a balloon artist (and magician) myself, I can make and deliver a simple balloon frame like the one i made above. I’ll make some really fun balloon props for you to add to your mini photo booth such as hats, balloon face masks etc. Check out my utterly unique and talked about balloon cheap photo booth ideas here. Honestly, your guests will be super impressed with this.

balloon fun for photobooth

Want a hassle free, professional service instead?

You can, of course, hire a professional photobooth. Check out Picture blast and you’ll find all types of photobooth options which are available across the UK. These guys know what they are doing and everything comes completely self-contained with everything you need to add that buzz and excitement to the party.

The advantage of this option is that you will get professional results. Some options will even come with an assistant to help with the functioning of the booth. Not only that, but you’ll get some print outs of the photos too.

children laughing party

Sort the kids out!

If you have children attending your party, you need to think of activities to keep them busy so the adults can have time with each other. It is great to have children at your BBQ or party, so give them things to do and they will have a great time.

You can setup an arts and crafts table for them to play at, hire a bouncy castle (have an ambulance on hand), or have garden games set out.

If you have older children, assign them a job – they will actually love the responsibility.

One could be the canapé server, another could be an impromptu photographer on their mum’s phone etc. But make sure you set out a separate area for them to go and watch a movie or play on their tablets for a while. They will enjoy their own space and they adults will be able to relax a little more too!

Children's party activity pack

I mentioned at the start of this article that I am a party and BBQ magician. If you hire me to entertain at your party, you even get a free copy of my children’s activity book for them to use. It includes games, colouring pages, challenges and more. Most importantly, it allows the adults a little rest bite so that they can enjoy your party.

Guests enjoying party entertainment

Hire an entertainer

Your party needs ‘energy’. How can you get this?

You can hire party entertainers who specialise their service in relaxing your guests, getting them chatting and laughing. Shameless plug coming up – how about hiring me, Nick twist?

I’m a family, Norwich based party magician and balloon artist. I’ve worked hard to be Covid secure in everything that I do. Better still, I promise to add the wow factor to your Norfolk or Suffolk based party or BBQ, or you get 100% of your money back!

Imagine the surprise everyone has when I turn up and make a fork bend using mind power (OK, sleight of hand, but we won’t tell them that), a card they thought of appears in my wallet. They’ll even see a bottle of tonic water appear out of thin air, fully sealed and containing a playing card inside they had signed only seconds before!

My entertainment includes sleight of hand magic, mind reading and beautiful balloon art for the children. Now that is something for them to remember!

children with party balloons

Award winning party magician in Norwich

8. Two days before

Send everyone a reminder and check that they are still all coming.

Knowing your numbers will help with final preparations.

9. One day before

Clean up the house and get any last minute supplies. You don’t want to be doing this on the day of the party. You’ll have enough things to worry about!

Run through your schedule again to make sure everything works and flows well. If you are having the party at a venue and it’s possible, deliver everything right now.

10. On the day

15 minutes before guests arrive – STOP! Relax!

Pour some wine or a cold beer and await your guests. Wind down before anyone gets there so the atmosphere isn’t awkward for your first guests.

Here are some simple yet highly effective techniques for success:

  1. People gravitate to where the food is! If possible, spread the food out to different locations to increase the chance of movement and intermingling at your party.

2. Take the seats away! Well, some of them, anyway. This means that some of the guests have to be on their feet and are forced to move around!

3. Allow guests to pour their own drinks at a drinks table or bar area so that they are forced to move to get another drink (this also takes some of the stress away from you). Again, you will often find that this area becomes a serious hub as some gatherers find themselves rooted to this area and, funnily enough, tend to be in a chatty mood!

4. Take lots of photos. If you have entertainers or games, get the camera out. Capture the laughter and amazement of your guests – the pictures will be fondly remembered. Some tips when taking family shots:

  • Avoid strong lighting from behind your guests. This will almost certainly ruin the shot. So don’t put people in front of a window as this will ‘wash’ your shot. Instead, ensure there is a window behind you instead – lighting your shot well.
  • Take plenty of photos in candid. You will see professional photographers doing this more than they take posed pictures since it can capture ‘the moment’. Just shoot the natural fun and you’ll get some great pictures. You can use these photos in the final stage, after your party…

11. After the party

Thank everyone for coming. If you have taken those photos we mentioned above, a really great touch is to send a few with your thank you message or email so that they can relive the fun again!

And hey, if you hire my entertainment, I will make you a FREE video of all the fun we had. Sending this to all the guests with a thank you will make you look like the party king or queen! Sure to be a memorable party of 2021.

After everything, start thinking about your next party?!

Magician Nick Twist at a wedding fair

I hope you have found some valuable tips in this article.

Have a great party and remember, if you need a magician, balloon artist or balloon decoration, take a look at my Norwich based services: Norwich party entertainer