Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone, it’s time to start getting ready for the next big event in the world of sports: that’s right, it’s never too soon to start planning your perfect March Madness party.
Whether you’re keeping it low-key and having friends over to your house, or you’re going all-out with an extravagant office party, there are plenty of surefire ways to throw a March Madness party that everyone will love.
Gotta keep score
Half the fun of March Madness is filling out the brackets, even if you don’t know much about the teams! Especially if you’re trying to throw the perfect office party, passing out brackets for your coworkers to fill out is a great way to get the whole office engaged. Make sure to pass them out early enough that everyone can complete theirs as the tournament goes on. Then you can tally up the final scores during your party.
Want to get even more brackets filled out? It never hurts to add in a few incentives. Don’t worry, whether this is for your workplace or at your home, you don’t need to give out any extravagant prizes. Sure winners include gift cards, sports merchandise, and of course, cash.
If you want to sweeten the deal even more, suggest starting a pool. Say that everyone who turns in a bracket gives a few bucks to the pool and you divide it up between your top two brackets. Sounds like a winning situation, doesn’t it?
Let’s face it: one of the biggest draws of any get-together is the food, particularly if you’re watching sports. Before you bankrupt yourself buying groceries, take a step back. Unless you’re the type who enjoys spending hours in the kitchen before, during, and after an event you’re hosting, it might be a bit easier to suggest a more collaborative idea.
How about turning your March Madness soiree into a potluck? You could choose a free-for-all where everyone brings dishes of their choosing (and your one friend who always brings chips decides to bring chips), or you could create a simple signup form. Either way, it’s easier than handling all the prep, cooking, and cleanup by yourself.
You should still contribute a few dishes of your own, but if you’re looking for a more hands-off approach, your best bet is to choose something that you can toss in a slow cooker and forget about until it’s time to chow down.
Handling the viewing
A March Madness party isn’t complete if you don’t watch the championship match — or at the very least, have it on in the background. Not a cable subscriber? Don’t stress: ESPN is easily streamed on several platforms such as YouTube TV and Hulu Live, each of which offers a convenient enough free trial. All you have to do is create an account and find the proper channel. If you do select the free trial route, don’t forget to cancel it before you get charged for a membership you may not want to hold onto.
As for what you watch the game on, keep in mind that a projection screen is in no way necessary. For offices, if you don’t have a communal room with a TV, you may want to consider having a few of your coworkers stream the game on their work computers. If there aren’t any screens available, you can always turn on the radio and listen to updates in the background!
No matter what kind of party you decide to throw, your ultimate goal should be for your guests to have fun. You know your attendees better than anyone else, so do your best to craft an experience that caters to their likes and interests. Even if your coworkers and friends aren’t sports fans, March Madness is a great excuse to get people together and share a memorable evening.
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