There are countless activities to consider when you’re preparing to host a party at home. And to some extent, your choice will depend on your crowd. Some groups will have a blast with a board game night for instance. Some might prefer lawn games and beers. Others still will opt for something like wine tasting or a make-your-own-cocktail bar tied into a film night. The list goes on and on to no end.
Sometimes though, it’s nice to tap into an older or more universal concept — something people have enjoyed doing throughout the decades, and which everyone can get into. This is how we see home bingo parties. Is bingo a little bit “old school” in most people’s opinions? Sure. But it’s a game everyone understands, it’s an activity that gets people talking and interacting, and it won’t get in the way of some side drinks or a dinner break. Plus, when you take the time to consider the details and set the party up nicely, it will just feel different, and more special than your average get-together.
With that in mind, here are our five tips for how to organise and host the perfect home bingo party!
1. Use Your Existing Space
Your first impulse when organising a bingo party might be to try to set up guests in rows of seating facing an area where numbers will be called. While this might resemble a real bingo hall setup the most though, it’s also going to make things a tad awkward. You want your guests to feel free and relaxed like they’re enjoying an activity at a party — not like they’re crammed into seating in an outdated bingo hall or at a retirement centre.
So instead, simply use your own space! You can certainly adjust things a little bit for company if need be. Some of The Spruce’s tips for living room arrangements are helpful in this regard, such as arranging space for traffic flow, or creating “conversation areas” with seating layout. And of course, you may want to make sure things like coasters and napkins are readily available throughout the space. But generally, it’s best to let people lounge about comfortably. A bingo card can be filled out from anywhere in the room, and does not require rigid, arranged seating!
2. Invest in a Cage
Much of the actual process of running a bingo game can be done in a DIY manner. You can come up with themes (more on this later), make your own bingo cards, and pass out whatever you like for people to mark those cards with. But the centrepiece is something you may want to invest in. Buying a real, brass bingo cage along with small wooden bingo balls gives the party a nice extra touch, and will help to ensure guests’ attention turns to the game when it’s time. You can usually get equipment like this for an affordable price, and it will make the games feel more official and more fun at the same time.
3. Come Up with Rewards
It’s common sense in a bingo party to reward the winner of any given game. But these days it’s also a fun idea to build in extra rewards and size prices as well. This notion comes about because of the explosion of bingo popularity online, where players can earn all sorts of fun prizes simply in the course of playing.
While these prizes can vary, Foxy Bingo provides a pretty clear idea of the general type of thing we’re talking about. There, players are pitched the chance to earn free games, portions of a jackpot accumulating over time, access to monthly prize draws, and assorted mystery “treats.” Some of the details pertain specifically to online bingo, but you can certainly imitate the idea of side bonuses and rewards at an in-person party! Coming up with fun prizes for specific patterns on cards (even if they aren’t “Bingo!”) or for consecutive wins, for instance, is a good way to generate some excitement and keep everyone engaged from game to game.
4. Come Up with a Theme
We mentioned themes above, and this is actually another concept that has helped online bingo thrive. In that space, developers have put together a number of different bingo rooms with different images and bingo cards, so as to give gamers options. You probably won’t cook up similar variety for an at-home bingo party, but you can certainly come up with a theme that suits your crowd.
For instance, if you’re getting together with university friends, design bingo cards that have to do with your shared school experience, with each square representing something from campus. If you’re hosting a crowd of film lovers, consider having each square represent a given actor or film. These are little touches in the end, but they will also help to make the games fun and engaging for all involved.
5. Make Food & Drink as Flexible as Possible
Finally, we’d suggest focusing on versatile, flexible food and drink options for this kind of party. There are certainly some parties for which you’ll want to set up something a little bit more formal. For a bingo night though, you’ll want people to be able to sip drinks and enjoy a few bites while playing — which means you should aim for small plates, easy food, and self-serve beverage stations. Setting up food and drink this way means people can spread out, monitor their bingo cards, eat, drink, and mingle all at once.
Hopefully, these ideas have helped you to start piecing together a great bingo party (or something similar) in your head! And if you feel like you could still use more inspiration, we encourage you to continue browsing Confetti Fair. There are lots more party ideas to take in!