With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it is time to start putting together plans for your Super Bowl watch party – no matter if you are hosting all of your friends or just a few family members.
From rearranging furniture before hosting a crowd to ensuring everyone can see a screen comfortably, Super Bowl watch parties break many of the normal rules for hosting friends and family.
According to professional party planners, this is what you need to consider when hosting a Super Bowl watch party.
How to host a Super Bowl watch party
Unlike many other holidays and events, there is more to hosting a Super Bowl watch party than just getting your kitchen ready for hosting (although this certainly helps if you are dishing up snacks during the game). Instead, you should focus on your watch zones, ensuring everyone has enough space to watch the game comfortably.
This is what to keep in mind:
1. Ensure everyone has a view of a screen
Although we typically discourage screen time at parties, the Super Bowl is the major exception – that is why you’re all there, after all.
Sarah Klingman, hosting expert and Founder of Gather Event Planning, recommends rearranging your furniture around your viewing area to give everyone an equal view. Practicality should go above aesthetics here, she suggests:
‘Rearrange your furniture to create a semi-circle around the viewing area. This setup ensures that everyone has an unobstructed view of the screen. Consider bringing in extra chairs for additional seating if your regular setup won't accommodate all your guests.’
Emily Coyne, luxury event planner and founder of Emily Coyne Events, also suggests using a tiered seating system to accommodate more people: ‘To expand on the theater seating, use large cushions and pillows to create a front row. You can even bring outdoor cushions from a chaise lounge or similar for this purpose.’
When arranging your seating, hosting expert Sarah Klingman reminds us to ensure that people are not sat too close or too low, forcing them to crane their necks or strain their eyes to watch the game. ‘The center of the screen should be at eye level when seated. If necessary, mount the screen on the wall or place it on a higher stand to achieve this.'
Gather is an event planning service offering a stress-free solution for busy individuals. Sarah founded Gather with the dream of democratizing event support for the DIY host.
2. Remove non-essential furniture to make space
When adding seating, be sure to take other furniture away that you don't need to make more space and prevent the room from feeling cramped, continues Sally Gibson, founder and owner of party planning experts, Someone Sent You A Greeting:
‘When hosting a large group, maximizing your space is key. Move nonessential furniture to the edge of the room or a different area to open up space. Consider how busy areas might get, especially around the food and drink stations.
‘You want to avoid congestion, so plan the layout well. Outdoor spaces are useful if the weather permits or if you can stay warm when dining outside, either for additional seating or as a chill-out area.’
Someone Sent you a Greeting is a group of connoisseurs of all things celebratory, who’s goal is to share and their knowledge of event planning from birthdays to weddings and parties.
3. Clean your screens for streak-free viewing
Whether you are using a TV or a projector screen, ensuring your screen is clean and free from smears is a must for a good viewing experience.
To clean a TV screen without streaks or damage, Sarah Klingman recommends using a microfiber cloth to gently dust off the screen. Avoid using paper towels as they can scratch the screen. ‘Apply a screen-specific cleaner or a solution of mild dish soap and water to a microfiber cloth, not directly onto the screen. Gently wipe the screen without pressing too hard to avoid damaging it.
‘Finish by using a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off any residual cleaner to prevent streaks. Ensure the screen is completely dry before turning it back on.’
If using a projector screen, ensure your screen is clean and flat, ironed or steamed to remove wrinkles if needed, and pulled and pinned so that it doesn't move or shift if someone knocks it or walks past it. Cleaning your projector with a dry microfiber cloth can also help to ensure the image is crisp and the machine doesn't overheat.
4. Keep the space at a comfortable temperature
Although it is only February, and we are usually focused on making heating more efficient, it can be a good idea to turn down the heat before your party starts – especially if you are hosting a large group, says Emily Coyne, luxury event planner. You might be surprised at how quickly it warms up.
‘It will heat up quickly once you have everyone in the space, and once it's hot, it's tricky to balance the temperature again,’ she says.
Emily has always had a passion for creating extraordinary events. As a child she set elaborate tablescapes and planned dinner parties and productions, never dreaming that these childhood inspirations would one day lead to her life’s work.
5. Keep food options casual
Even if you have a formal dining space, Super Bowl parties are usually on the more casual side, says hosting expert Sarah Klingman. This allows you to break dinner party hosting rules to keep food simple and serving spots casual.
‘Opt for easy-to-eat finger foods that don't require constant attention or silverware. Foods like sliders, chips, dips, and vegetable trays are perfect as they can be consumed without taking your eyes off the game.’
6. Plan a few days in advance
One of the most important holiday hosting tips is to plan at least a few days in advance. Although Super Bowl parties are laid-back, they still require some prep to ensure all the food is ready and your home is comfortable, says Laura Fischer, VP of product development atover&back:
‘Think through the food you will be serving a few days in advance and pull out your serveware, bowls, and plates to be sure you have everything people who love hosting always have in their homes. You don’t want to be caught out on the day.
‘For most game day snacking, you will be surprised at how many bowls you need. Think dip bowls, bowls for condiments, snack bowls, and chili bowls! You will also need several serving bowls and platters. If you don’t have enough, you still have time to borrow or purchase. I usually make my dining room table the snack area and leave the kitchen for the drinks and warm snacks like the nacho and chili bar.
‘I move all my dining chairs out from around the table and use the table space for all the snacks. This makes it super accessible, and there is plenty of room for all the great snacks so your guests can graze while the game is on and hopefully not miss any of the action. Leaving it out of the way also means no one stands in front of the winning touch-down.’
What do you need to host a Super Bowl party?
When putting together your Super Bowl party checklist, the main essentials you need are screens to watch the game on, some comfy seating, and something to snack on during the commercials. With these essentials out of the way, it can then help to include some football-style decorations to help set up the mood – especially if you have a playful wager with friends about who might win.
As with any event, it is important to work your way through your pre-guest cleaning checklist before your guests arrive to ensure that your home is in top condition for welcoming people in. Although it might not make sense to clean until after everyone has left and you have all finished snacking and celebrating, cleaning before the party starts makes cleaning up after easier, as you haven't left extra mess to build up.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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